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Welcoming & Hospitality

Parish Action Plan Success Stories – Welcoming and Hospitality

Objective: Stimulate the whole community to create a welcoming and accessible environment for hospitality and evangelization through embracing a Spirituality of Communion.

Parish Action Plans

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Manvel

Action Plan:
Engage new and visiting parishioners through Welcome program at all Masses.

Success Story:
Prior to each Mass, Fr. Tom greets the entire congregation and walks throughout the church acknowledging visitors and new parishioners. He encourages them to introduce themselves and where they are from. A deacon hands the visitor a "Welcome Packet" that contains a Rosary, prayer booklet, and listing of the different church ministries with contact information.

This practice has attracted new people to the church and made them feel welcome. Current parishioners often take time after Mass to talk to the visitors and new parishioners. The end result is a closer community at Sacred Heart.

Web site: sacredheartmanvel.org

St. Cecilia, Houston (Memorial)

Action Plan:
Establish Welcoming Committee and a monthly program to meet parish staff.

Success Story:
The New Parishioner Welcoming Program and Welcoming Committee hold a monthly program for parishioners to meet the Pastor and Parish leadership and to learn about St. Cecilia parish membership. After registration, a welcoming letter and packet is sent to new parishioners; a quarterly dinner is held to further welcome them and build fellowship. Efforts are underway to provide a personal contact for each new parishioner to answer questions and ensure they have opportunities to become quickly engaged in parish life.

The New Parishioner Welcoming Program has been met with much enthusiasm and also reinvigorated the parish's greeter and usher programs at the Masses. A sense of warmth and community is growing.

Web site: saintcecilia.org

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Houston (Cy-Fair)

Action Plan:
Create a Spirituality of Communion committee to address hospitality and the challenge of integrating intercultural and ethnic perspectives in our English, Spanish, and Vietnamese communities.

Success Story:
A Hospitality Ministry was formed where parishioners would greet parishioners and visitors at the church entrance before every weekend Mass.

The parish also developed a public awareness campaign, ministry of the month, and program to unify the parish's rich diversity. Materials included a Spirituality of Communion banner, flyers for the bulletin, and web site updates to emphasize the campaign and the many ministries offered at the parish. Messages were delivered throughout religious education classes, schools, and Mass.

Web site: seascatholic.org

St. John the Baptist, Alvin

Action Plan:
Build a hospitality ministry.

Success Story:
The parish developed a standard form to capture visitor and new parishioner information. Then they created a new guidebook and recruited volunteers to be a part of the ministry.

Web site: stjohnalvin.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:
Reformulate both direct and indirect efforts to welcome new parishioners.

Success Story #2:
A new Welcome booklet was developed and is mailed 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