Recently many priests have been telling me that very few parishioners are reading the parish bulletin. While some bring home the bulletin as a weekly proof of Sunday Mass attendance, a large portion of the parish, in particular the younger generations, never bother to pick it up. Why is that?
This appears to be a growing trend, very much connected to the recent decline in physical newspaper subscriptions. Simply put, traditional means of communication are not having the same effect on people that they once had. This has left pastors with the reality that entire sections of their parish are no longer connected.
They attend Mass on Sunday, walk out the door, and quickly forget the paragraph long announcements they just heard. What is a parish to do to remain connected and relevant throughout the remainder of the week?
Whether we like it or not, we live in a digital world and basic communication is increasingly moving online. This leaves the parish and many other organizations with the need to build a website that communicates what was traditionally conveyed in print form (the parish bulletin). However, is it enough to simply have a parish website? If you build it, will they come?
Unfortunately, no, they may not come and you may spend thousands of dollars building a beautiful website that has no visitors and serves neither those in the pews nor the lost sheep. The good news is that there are 3 essential qualities of a parish website that if implemented, will have a lasting impact on your flock.
One of the hardest changes for a Catholic parish in America is to move from maintenance to mission and sometimes even maintenance can be a challenge! However, whatever challenges it may present, a parish is not meant to stay idle and only serve the needs of those in the pews. As Canon Law states,
Can. 528 §1 [A pastor] is to make every effort, even with the collaboration of the Christian faithful, so that the message of the gospel comes also to those who have ceased the practice of their religion or do not profess the true faith.
But how does a pastor reach those who do not even go to Church, or those who only come occasionally?
Over the past several weeks I have been working on an exciting new project that is renewing parishes and helping them in their mission of evangelization.
In conjunction with this new project, I am wrapping up a detailed guide for parishes (which can also be applied to any ministry) that will jumpstart their digital evangelization efforts. I plan on releasing it at the end of this month. Before I do, I need your input as parishioners and pastors. Could you do this? Also, please be sure to send this to your own pastor as I really need a large variety of input.
I have an extremely short survey (and a longer description of this project) at this link:
I will give more details about this new project in the next week, so be sure to stay tuned!
Thanks for you help!
The next element of spiritual combat according to John Paul II is the invocation of the Holy Name of Jesus. In the Roman Catholic Church we often forget about the power of Jesus’ name, while the Eastern Church (both Byzantine and Orthodox), has an ancient tradition of reciting what is called the “Jesus Prayer.”
Before we examine the “Jesus Prayer,” let us hear about the power of Jesus’ name from Saint Bernadine of Siena, who was a strong promoter of the Holy Name of Jesus:
Our Guardian Angels are very powerful, but we must allow them to have a greater influence in our lives. How can we do that?
Before we examine how we can concretely better our relationship with our Guardian Angel, let us take a moment to hear from a woman who developed a very close friendship with her Guardian Angel.
The next part of the foundation for spiritual combat is something few of us are able to have on a regular basis, spiritual direction.
Unless we are a seminarian, priest or religious, we are not required to have a spiritual director. This means we have less motivation and zero obligation to ask a trusted priest. At the same time, we are also met with the reality that few priests know how to give proper spiritual direction.