January 9, 2007 at 1:47 pm #2060
I have complained and complained about the lack of fellowship and community at our small Church so I decided to do something about it. I started with a small “core” group of ladies, some of whom I don’t even know their first names, and we are going to try and have a ladies night out once a month at different locations.
Does anyone else have any ideas that have worked in your Parish to bring people closer together? I just think it’s aweful that we don’t know the name of the person sitting in front of us at Mass. That doesn’t feel like community. We here in New Hampshire are undergoing what is called a “Reconfiguration” concerning all the Parishes due to the forseen decrease in new Priests for the future. “Vibrant” Parishes will have the best chance of staying open and I sure want my Parish to be one of them!!!!
Thanks!January 10, 2007 at 2:38 am #3251
We are also going through reconfiguration. It has really been splitting our community apart. Everyone battling to have their Parishes be the ones that stay open! 😥 I pray that our Church leaders are being guided by the Holy Spirit in all this. It surely doesn’t seem to be doing much for Catholic unity in our community.
Our Parish has started after Mass socials (coffee and danish…the kids run around while adults visit.) Seems to be well-attended and fun. I know there were some Moms on this board a while back looking to start a Moms club at their Catholic Church.
BTW….LOVE New Hampshire! (East Coaster here, too – albeit Upstate NY.)
A friend of ours is a Franciscan assigned to a NH Parish – he married us as a matter of fact. Also, the most vibrant Mass I’ve ever attended was at a church made out of cobble stones somewhere in NH (we were travelling and happened to stop for Mass there. Think the church was St. Joseph’s? 😕 I’ve been told the NH has its share of young, charismatic priests (our friend and the priest at the other NH church both fall into this category.)
Good luck & God bless!
MichelleJanuary 10, 2007 at 2:29 pm #3252
A Mom’s club is a good idea. I really should change my post name from Lost to something else. That came from when I first began posting a few months ago and truly felt “lost” being drawn to a local Baptist Church that just oozed with fellowship and warmth. I tested the waters for a bit but knew in my heart that it was wrong. But I have to hand it to the Protestants, they do have the fellowship thing down and boy can they quote the Bible!!
Have there been any firm recommendations signed yet for your parishes?
It’s very scary. Yes, we do have a young, vibrant priest, Fr. Daniel, who is open to whatever the Bishop requests but he has to be scared too.
Where in NH did you travel to? Our church is also St. Joseph’s but I can think of a few coblestone churches locally……St. Rose of Lima is one.
~MicheleJanuary 10, 2007 at 7:30 pm #3253
My Mom felt the same way about our chruch when we moved from NS, Canada to BC, Canada. She felt that there were so many young families that didn’t know eachother except for on Sundays that she should do something about it and started a “Play Group” on Thursday Mornings after the AM Mass. This really brought the families together and us older kids who were at school wished we could go too.
She set it up in the gym hall of the church and addvertised in the bullitin. Everyone brought some toys with them…ride ons, stuffies, blankets for forts , mats…ect. It was open to any Mom with young children ages new born to kindergarden. They had free play time and circle time where thay would sing songs and play some games and read stories. There was a table with tea and coffee and juice and sometimes people would bring treats. Friends were invited catholic or not. It is still going all these years later, but others have taken over as my brother who was just a baby when Mom started it will trun 18 this year. It was a great way to build community and it also encouraged young Mom’s to get to at least one weekday Mass. And that can never hurt.
This is just what I know, but it’s an idea and I hope it helps.
All the best in Jesus Christ, +
Emma 😀January 13, 2007 at 6:13 pm #3254
We have a MOMS group, part of the Elizabeth Ministry, and it is wonderful!!!
We also have Hospitality Sundays, where after each morning Mass, a ministry serves coffee and donuts and parishioners can sit around and chat with each other.
Someone mentioned Protestants as really knowing how to promote fellowship… well, at our Parish, our Spanish ministry is king of it! So much so that it’s starting to cause a little bit of a problem, as they are slowly beginning to act like their own parish and never take part in general parish activities, and hold their own parallel ones. But while the Spanish community here makes up just 10% of our registered parishioners, out of that 10%, at least 90-95% are active at church. MEanwhile, out of the 90% of non-Spanish parishioners we have, probably only half or less are active If you have an active parish base, your attempts at creating more fellowship will probably be more successful. If your parish doesn’t have very many active members, perhaps some basic spirituality classes would be good. Like we have spiritual classes that teach the different prayers (Lectio Divina, Ignatius Prayer, etc.) and also some that talk about the different lay organizations within the Church. Maybe your parish can try that to spark people’s interest. Or even classes explaining Church doctrine. Sooooooo many Catholics have not a clue why things are they way they are, why the Church teaches certain things, etc. Maybe having a few workshops explaining things would also help spark some interest and involvement; if they understand the “why”s, they are more likely to become more interested and active.
Good Luck!!!!January 19, 2007 at 3:52 am #3255
Hi there! I’m new and so I hope I’m doing this right!
Our parish started ‘Guess Who is Coming to Dinner’. You signed up with info about your family then they grouped you with like families (young couples, young couples with small families, large families etc) and then one person started and hosted a potluck. And away it went. We met some very good friends and some others only came once but it was nice to put a name to the face of the people in the crying room or sitting next to you. My husband and I enjoyed it!
Another help for me was a mothers bible study during the school year and then a mother of toddlers group that met in different parks in the summer weekly.
Hope I was of help!
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