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Parishioner Participation

Parish Action Plan Success Stories – Parishioner Participation

Objective: Engage parishioners in the life of the parish by providing opportunities to offer their talents and skills and by recruiting, forming and empowering them to serve in existing parish groups and ministries.

Parish Action Plans

Holy Family, Missouri City

Action Plan #1:
Charter an ACTS group

Success Story #1:
As a result of Holy Family parishioners attending ACTS retreats, workshops and leadership meetings throughout the Archdiocese, the Pastoral Council decided to charter its own ACTS group. The parish found this initiated more communications between the English and Spanish speaking parishioners. View the video about this success story.

Action Plan #2:
Address the needs of those less fortunate living within the community.

Success Story #2:
Holy Family partnered with the Social Concerns teams of neighboring St. Laurence and St. Angela Merici via the St. Vincent de Paul Conference to address the needs of the poor within each parish's respective boundaries. Through the combined efforts, they've assisted the community through the food pantry, with financial assistance for utilities and furniture needs, home visits, distribution of items at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and back packs, shoes and school supplies for children at the beginning of the school year.

Web site: holyfamilychurch.us

Holy Ghost, Houston (West)

Action Plan:
Create opportunities for parishioners to be more involved.

Success Story:
The parish first developed a survey to understand why parishioner involvement was so low in the various ministries. Then, they used several communications channels like the parish bulletin, web site, and fliers to introduce and explain the ministries and programs.

The church also hosted a "Get acquainted" meeting inviting all the leaders of both the Hispanic and English-speaking groups. The meeting was facilitated by members of the Archdiocesan Planning group. The meeting was quite beneficial and one goal established is for membership of the Parish Pastoral Council to be more representative of the multi-cultural Holy Ghost community.

Web site: holyghostchurch.net

Mary Queen, Friendswood

Action Plan:
Establish a Financial Peace University (FPU) ministry to educate parishioners and community members on how to be better stewards of the financial resources that God has entrusted to them.

Success Story:
The first Financial Peace University class was held in early 2015. Participants learned about budgeting, saving, eliminating debt and financial stewardship of the resources God has given to them. Twenty-three families successfully completed the nine week class. The schedule for future Financial Peace University classes at Mary Queen can be found at the parish's web site.

Web site: maryqueencatholicchurch.org

Queen of Peace, La Marque

Action Plan:
Offer parish services to retirement and nursing homes within the community.

Success Story:
Parishioners visit Bayou Pine and Sea Breeze Nursing Home in Texas City. The church offers Mass and Communion services, when a priest is available. Members of community are receiving blessings and parishioners are making a difference in the lives of those unable to worship at the church.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Manvel

Action Plan #1:
Engage Filipino community to incorporate their traditions and celebrations into all parish activities thereby exposing all parishioners to multi-cultural celebrations and activities.

Success Story #1:
A Filipino member of the pastoral council mentioned activities among Filipino parishioners were held in their homes rather than on church grounds. This conversation created the catalyst to promote these Filipino programs and invite all parishioners. The first activity was the October Bazaar where there was a Filipino food booth.

Two other activities, a weekly event and a yearly celebration, were formerly held at a Filipino home. Now, they are celebrated in the parish hall and open to everyone. The parish is benefiting from the new level of vitality and sharing among the parishioners.

Action Plan #2:
Engage the parish community to come together as one by performing acts of service, love and sacrifice for others. Acts of service for the week are posted on Sunday for parishioners to see, and hopefully become involved.

Success Story #2:
During Advent and Lent, the entire parish took part in "W I D F O" (What I Did For Others) by writing their personal acts on small paper cut-outs, made by CCE students. Each individual act was then transferred onto large posters hung on either side of the altar. Every week Father would acknowledge the acts.

Deeds were recorded in more than six languages as well as simple XXXs and OOOs from the youngest parishioners. Each week, the plain brown poster transformed with more colorful acts of service, love and sacrifice for others, in imitation of Jesus, in His Name, as one parish community.

Web site: sacredheartmanvel.org

St. Edward, Spring

Action Plan:
Increase awareness and celebrate successes of parish programs with a Ministry Spot Light in the weekly bulletin.

Success Story:
St. Edward has 48 active ministries. In order to publicize information about each ministry and its successes, each weekly bulletin includes a Ministry Spotlight. A paragraph, highlighted with two pictures, includes information about the ministry, meeting times, spiritual and social activities, contact information and a call for volunteers. The goal is to get more parishioners involved regardless of the amount of time one can volunteer.

Web sitesaintedward.org

St. Ignatius Loyola, Spring

Action Plan #1:
Promote knowledge of all parish ministries and encourage cross participation.

Success Story #1:
The parish created an organizational structure with five major groups for 80 ministries. The goal of this structure is to better serve the parishioners, increase participation levels and develop a stronger sense of belonging within the Parish. 'Leadership Nights' are conducted with each ministry to solicit ideas/challenges/successes and keep each group moving forward.

The parish is also establishing 'term-limits' for ministry officers.

Action Plan #2:
Hold an annual ministry fair.

Success Story #2:
The ministry fair is held on Sunday and starts following the first Mass. All ministry groups are encouraged to host an information table where they can share information about the ministry, its successes and needs. Parishioners can sign up for one or several ministries.

The sign-up forms are entered into a main spreadsheet to analyze the results. This gives the pastoral council a clear picture of which ministries were successful in the membership/volunteer drive and which ministries will need further attention. The analysis also shows where there is sincere interest and parishioner participation.

Web site: ignatiusloyola.org

St. Michael, Houston (Galleria)

Action Plan #1:
Reformulate both direct and indirect efforts to welcome new parishioners with families.

Success Story #1:
The first activity was a Movie Night for parish families held on the sports field at St. Michael. It was a huge success and is now planned to be an annual event. In addition, an annual festival/picnic is being established. Other ideas include an outdoor mass or a "come as you are" mass invitation at the Saturday evening mass.

Action Plan #2:
Partner with "sister" parish on youth/young adult activities.

Success Story #2:
St. Michael's Director of Social Justice Ministry established a collaborative approach to invite St. Raphael's youth to St. Michael's Youth Faith Formation programs and events. The annual Christmas Party for children became a joint effort with great success for both parishes. Also, both parishes enthusiastically created an annual St. Raphael Festival beginning in October 2013.

Action Plan #3:
Revitalize the Children's Choir and Contemporary Choir.

Success Story #3:
In an attempt to foster greater parishioner participation, young adults who sing or play musical instruments, gather and create music for the Sunday evening Mass.

Action Plan #4:
Reformulate both direct and indirect efforts to welcome new parishioners

Success Story #4:
A new Welcome booklet was developed and is mailed along with the Monsignor's welcome letter to each new parishioner. Pastoral Council members also take turns each week to call new parishioners; response is very positive. The church now has a fully stocked Welcome Center in the Usher's Closet and at the Church Office with all registration and sign-up forms both for Parish and outreach activities.

Web site: www.stmichaelchurch.net