A Plan for Welcoming
“Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.”-Romans 15:7
Jesus Christ our Savior profoundly welcomes us from the cross with open arms as we celebrate his greatest act of love in every Eucharist.
What is Welcoming You With Open Arms?
“Welcoming You with Open Arms” is a special initiative that invites each person to encounter the love and mercy of Jesus Christ and is connected to our diocesan vision, Courageously Living the Gospel. It provides a framework to reach out to those who have been away from Mass, for whatever reason, and invite them back. It also provides a framework for welcoming people to Mass on a consistent basis. All parishes are invited to participate and this effort will also be conducted at the diocesan level. Visit WelcomingYou.org to see new webpages that have been created to invite people to Mass and to teach about the Mass. VIDEO: BISHOP PARKES INTRODUCES WELCOMING YOU WITH OPEN ARMS
What resources are available to support this initiative?
- Parish Toolkit that provides step-by-step suggestions for implementing the initiative.
- Training webinars to provide an overview of all the resources and answer questions
- Hospitality training resources.
- Templates for communication resources that parishes can customize, print and distribute/display.
- The Communications Office will also be a launching a diocesan-wide advertising campaign to invite people to Mass.
Why is this effort needed?
Parishes are called to be welcoming places where the love of God is made known in a hurting world. Also, a priority of Courageously Living the Gospel is to invite all to encounter the love and mercy of Jesus Christ and to welcome and accompany one another. In a 2018 Pew Survey, 14 percent of self-described Catholics said they rarely attend Mass because they didn’t feel welcome. Prior to the pandemic, only 34% of registered Catholics participated in the Mass each Sunday. The pandemic has prevented even more people from going to Mass. As life resumes a sense of normalcy, we are called to invite and welcome people back to Mass and also educate Catholics about why the Mass is so central to our faith .
When will this be launched?
This effort will be launched at the diocesan level once the general dispensation is lifted. Parishes can launch this effort at any time that they feel is appropriate.
Who at the Parish should coordinate this effort?
It would be ideal for a pastor to work with a specially formed committee or an existing committee that is already involved with missionary discipleship, evangelization, communications and/or outreach.