|Read an article in St. Anthony's Messenger about Creating More Welcoming Parishes
Read an Article on Welcoming Parishes published in the St. Augustine Catholic Magazine
NEW: Best Practices in Parishes
As Catholics, we have been challenged by the Lord to love our enemies (Mt 5:44). So, if we are called to love our enemies, certainly we are expected to love those who sit next to us in church. Right? And yet, how many times have newcomers to a church been greeted with a dirty look because they were sitting in someone else's seat?!
Hospitality is manifested in an open and welcoming spirit; a willingness to drop what we are doing and receive the other person when they need us. We are reminded of Abraham's hospitality to the three strangers (Gen 18:1-10). In welcoming the strangers, he was welcoming God.
We recall Jesus' words: "what you do to the least of my brothers and sisters you do to me" (Mt 25:40). And then Christ gave us the exquisite example of hospitality at the last supper when he got down and washed the disciples feet (Jn 13:3-17). And he commanded us, who would claim to be his followers, to do likewise.
St. Benedict wrote rules for living a Catholic life. These rules are still practiced by most monastic communities today. Rule #53 states, "All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me," (Mt 25:35).
|"We must form welcoming communities in which all outcasts find a home." XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Final Report #3, 10/28/2012
"This book is an invaluable resource, thank you very much for this body of work." Marianne Rydel, Milltown, NJ
Company's Coming; A Spiritual Process for Creating More Welcoming Parishes
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"A must read for pastoral leaders wishing to improve their parish's welcoming."
William L. Pickett, PhD, author of
A Concise Guide to Pastoral Planning.