Spirituality of Communion – Educate the Faithful

Many parishes have created specific initiatives to improve the spirit of unity among their parishioners, inspired by the first pastoral objectiveEducate and form the faithful in a Spirituality of Communion, recognizing that it embodies our vision for the future of the Archdiocese.” Take a look at the following examples showing how parishes considered this objective to address challenges or to create new ministries and activities.


Brother Ian, the pastor of Holy Rosary Parish downtown, has been writing occasional bulletin articles on Spirituality of Communion, based on Called to be a community: a guide to living a spirituality of communion, which is a publication of Living City of the Focolare Movement. He picked up the booklet when he attended Bishop Michael Mulvey's talk on the Spirituality of Communion at the University of St. Thomas on April 8, 2014. These bulletin articles have motivated Holy Rosary parishioners to get involved and create parish activities that foster a Spirituality of Communion such as parish potlucks, Adopt-a-Family Program, and a St. Joseph Altar Celebration. 

Holy Rosary’s first action plan reads as follows “Communicate messages about Spirituality of Communion through a series of bulletin articles to help parishioners understand and appreciate Spirituality of Communion.”

Also, Holy Rosary's St. Valentine's Marriage Guild created opportunities to include Spirituality of Communion messages for engaged and married couples. Activities included:

  • An Italian dinner with Deacon Tom Vicknair, the leader of Marriage Matters!, as the guest speaker;
  • A Lenten meal and reflection after the Sunday Vigil Mass; and
  • A family picnic and barbecue.

These events have been instrumental in helping the parish's married couples appreciate the goodness of their Sacrament as well as make new friends.

The parish's second action plan declares, “Foster a Spirituality of Communion in the sacrament of marriage and plan parish events that enrich couples' marriages.”


At Prince of Peace in Northwest Houston, the parish knew communication was vital in keeping parishioners engaged, not only on Sundays, but throughout the week. The parish identified numerous ways to stay in communication. First, a weekly message on Spirituality of Communion and a reflection question are broadcast on large screens before and after Masses. The question is also published in the bulletin, on the web site and social media vehicles, and published on the electronic sign outside the church. The prayer of the faithful is also customized to include the reflection question. And last, but not least, web surveys are conducted to determine feedback on the spiritual reflection.

 The parish action plan emphasizes: “Include Spirituality of Communion messages in weekly communications.”


St. Elizabeth Ann Seton fully embraced Spirituality of Communion for its parish and parishioners. Their pastor educated a task force using the Archdiocese's Fostering a Spirituality of Communion materials. The task force then developed a primary objective and elements of a campaign, including both a liturgical focus (environment, homilies, Prayers of the Faithful, speakers at Mass) and communication channels available to publicize the campaign. The multi-faceted campaign materials and events included signage, web site information, guest speakers, and weekly bulletin inserts.

Also, multicultural statues of our Blessed Lady adorn the chapel where the parish holds Adoration 24/7. This has sparked dialogue as parishioners seek to understand the story and culture behind the different statues.

This action plan seeks to underscore the idea to “Promote a Spirituality of Communion focus in the liturgy and other means.”

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton also developed session modules for Confirmation first utilized during 2013-2014. The parish also implemented an annual Day of Reflection and created session modules for English, Spanish and Vietnamese youth faith formation programs.

The parish’s second action plan addresses this activity: “Create a "Spirituality of Communion" catechesis module for elementary, middle school and high school faith formation programs.”

 Finally, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton 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.

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

 The parish’s third action plan states: “Create a Spirituality of Communion committee to address the challenge of integrating intercultural and ethnic perspectives in our English, Spanish, and Vietnamese communities.”


Fr. Alfonso Tran and Deacon Ed Kleinguetl at St. Martha, Kingwood, developed and delivered a series of homilies on Spirituality of Communion at all the English Masses.  Each homily included a PowerPoint presentation, with the initial homily presented on the Fifth Sunday in Easter 2014 ("I am the way and the truth and the life"). Additional bulletin inserts were included to expand upon the concept. Parishioners appreciated the working definition and have a better understanding of the concept.

St. Martha’s action plan declares: “Educate & form the faithful on Spirituality of Communion.”


St. Clare of Assisi parish offers both social and service oriented groups as well as study groups that focus on faith formation. The church sponsors ACTS Retreats and That Man Is You (TMIY), along with a Christians in Action ministry.

The parish proclaims how it addresses this need through its action plan: “Foster a Spirituality of Communion by inviting parishioners to join small communities to form relationships and become more involved in parish life.”