We are very happy you found us! Because we want you to feel a part of the parish and belong, and we want to get to know and appreciate you and the gifts you bring to the parish, we have some suggestions for a better bond between us:
1. Make Friends
Stay a little longer after Mass and be open to meeting a crowd of people in the vestibule, stop by coffee and donuts, or join the choir or another ministry. Sign up for Welcome (formerly Christ Renews His Parish). If you have children in the School of Religious Education, or Youth ministry, that is great way to get involved in some common activity.
2. Start Small
American Catholics, like all Americans, are enamored with ‘big things’. We hear Evangelists building megachurches that fit in basketball arenas and the Vatican is not only the location of the Catholic Church but a city and a country—talk about BIG. But Church begins small. Jesus began with twelve disciples. That is why we need to practice our faith at home. Evening prayers, meal prayers, talks about following Jesus, doing what Jesus would do are all part of living our Catholic Faith. Sharing faith in small groups is perhaps the best way to grow in faith. Look for small discussion groups within our parish. Joining a small group is a wonderful way to learn more about your faith and meet new people.
3. Get to Work
Jump In! Faith without works is empty. We have so many important and understaffed ministries designed to help people in their life journey. Sharing ourselves in our work is a unifying element that makes us a part of Christ’s Body, the Church. Belonging is real and genuine when we work together from the heart. “Pitching in” to help the “work” of the Church is not only good in itself, but doing God’s work and becoming a part of the community. Seek out ministries of interest in our weekly bulletin.
4. Eat and Drink
At Sunday Mass, we eat and drink not-ordinary food-but Jesus’ Body and Blood. It is easy to miss the great importance of being together at Mass and eating and drinking the same Jesus’ Body and Blood. We eat and drink of Jesus and we become the hands and feet, he heart and head of Jesus. It is not only an obligation to participate in Sunday Mass, but our nourishment of God’s life in us.
Jesus tells us, ‘where there are two or three gathered in his name, he is there.” Prayer is the communication of relationship with God. When we have this relationship, with God, we are joined together like a family. We cannot feel isolated when we are joined with everyone who is part of Jesus’ Body and Blood. We will think and act like a family joined together.
Registering in a parish is a formality that the American Catholic Church requires unlike parishes in Europe and Central and South America. When the parish is a small community it is easy to fit into and get to know people and feel like you really belong to the parish. When a parish is large, like All Saints, with a population of 2,000 families, it is often much harder to feel connected to your faith community.
A feeling of belonging is a two way street. If you are normally outgoing, then you might find a niche quickly, but if you are more quiet, or very busy, then it might take more time for you to get to know others and feel a sense of belonging. All Saints parish is a busy place with lots of people doing lots of things. It sometimes can feel that it is hard to break into any one of the ministries, even though they might be eager to have new people. Rest assured, you will find a home here.