Dear Parishioners and Friends of Saint Patrick,
This past Wednesday evening parishioners from Saint Malachi and Saint Patrick met for a very uplifting evening on Making the Church Feel Like Home, a continuation from our June meeting. We welcomed the return of Jane Angha who is serving as our facilitator.
What I experienced was a wonderful spirit of folks from both parishes who came up with creative ideas for welcoming others to our parish and to affirm those who are already a part of the community. Personally, I found the evening to be filled with a positive spirit of enthusiasm and creativity. Additionally, I found the goals of the evening’s reflection consistent with the four pillars of our Building with Living Stones initiative: Encounter, Accompany, Community, and Sending (recall that these are highlighted on the four banners located on the choir loft balcony and on the outside of our buildings).
Many of the ideas raised are easy to accomplish while others may take a bit of organizing and planning. Examples of some immediate ones include approaching others we have seen at Mass but really haven’t met, or coming down to the lower hall to spend some time in conversation and fellowship. Other examples involve new approaches of personally reaching out when someone is noticeably missing from Sunday Mass, or simply inviting others to join in the group(s) to which we belong. Engagement is key.
Examples of longer-range goals include establishing more social opportunities for folks of all ages and various backgrounds. These might take longer as we seek volunteers to lead and organize.
Many areas of parish life were addressed, including liturgical ministries, social concerns, community events, faith formation, service and outreach. The list is longer and the ideas streaming out of each category are plentiful.
While those who are leading our Making the Church Feel Like Home initiative will prepare a more refined and clearer summary, I want to take this opportunity to thank our many parishioners who participated and allowed the Holy Spirit to work through this gathering. Hopeful, positive, and creative would essentially sum up the evening and will certainly bear fruit for our parish family.
In Christ, Our Cornerstone,