It is time for us to welcome back more of the faithful with a renewed amazement that we have a God who is so close to us and who has such a deep love for us that he comes to us in flesh and blood. Active participation in Mass is an occasion for all of us to avail ourselves of the immeasurable spiritual graces Christ desires for his faithful through his Paschal Sacrifice.
— Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, Letter to the Faithful, February 9, 2021
It is fitting to reflect on these words from the Archbishop as we launch our efforts to welcome the lay faithful back to Mass with the expiration of the general dispensation. Parishes have a new opportunity to reach out to and welcome back our parishioners whom we’ve desperately missed, as well as those who have drifted away, those who have been alienated from the Church for any reason, and those who perhaps have turned to God for the first time in their lives because of this pandemic. This post-crisis moment invites us to redouble our commitment to evangelization, bring the healing power of Christ to his people, and employ every strategy we can to turn the coronavirus crisis into a moment of rebirth and renewal for the Church of Detroit.
For this reason, the Department of Evangelization and Missionary Discipleship has put together a Welcome Back Playbook to help pastors, parish staff, and key volunteers strategize and plan on how to greet and minister to those who come to our parishes in the weeks and months ahead. The playbook includes ideas in the areas of hospitality, liturgy and sacraments, prayer, evangelization and catechesis, and pastoral care and outreach.
As we prepare to welcome the lay faithful home to full participation in the Mass and Holy Eucharist, let us recommit ourselves to unleashing the Gospel!