Hospitality is a crucial ingredient in the Mission Direct area of Engagement and an important building block of the work of evangelization. Unleash the Gospel calls us to practice radical hospitality that permeates all parish activity and flows out to the community. By having a person or a team of people dedicated to hospitality in a Family of Parishes, we have the unique opportunity to begin to address any blind spots and create an environment that is welcoming for newcomers and visitors. This page provides numerous tools and resources to help you launch and grow a fruitful Hospitality Ministry.
What are the goals of Hospitality Ministry?
- To create a culture of hospitality, where each parish has a warm and loving environment where parishioners, as well as guests, feel welcome and cared for
- To connect newcomers to the faith community and provide follow-up to parish engagement
What are some things to consider?
For hospitality to truly permeate all of parish life, it is important to evaluate:
- Physical Environment - Is our entire campus an inviting place for someone new?
- Sunday Experience – Do weekend liturgies have powerful preaching, uplifting music, as well as a welcoming environment where all are known and loved?
- Staff and front office interactions - Is there a live person answering the phone? Is he/she a good listener, patient, friendly, and familiar with what is happening around the parish?
- High Traffic Liturgies (especially Christmas and Easter) - What is our strategy for attracting and engaging individuals who only join us once or twice a year?
- Gateway Moments (Weddings, Baptisms, Funerals, Communions, and Confirmations) – How can these gateway moments be used as opportunities to attract and retain those who have fallen away from the Church or who have never been to a Catholic Church?
- Festivals and Picnics – How can we identify, welcome, and follow up with newcomers?
The Office of Engagement and Family Ministry has developed a Hospitality Handbook to explore these questions (and more) as well as provide guidance on how to launch Hospitality Ministry in your Family of Parishes. Be sure to download and explore this handbook!
A great way to begin Hospitality Ministry is to adopt the Ten Commandments of Parish Hospitality. Print the poster below and hang a copy in each office. Share with all staff, ushers, greeters, and other volunteers who engage with parishioners and guests. It’s a simple and effective way to initiate radical hospitality!
Check out these helpful resources to help you develop Hospitality Ministry in your Family of Parishes:
- Hospitality Handbook
- 10 Commandments of Parish Hospitality Poster | English Spanish
- Post Marriage Hospitality Survey Template for Parishes
- From Parish Day of Renewal 2018
- Hospitality within the Liturgical Team Online Training
- Video: Why Catholic Parishes Need To Be Welcoming
- Call Campaign Phone Script
- Come Home to Hope Welcome Back Playbook
Recorded AOD Zoom Sessions for Hospitality Ministers:
- What Does a Welcoming Parish Look Like?
- How Hospitality Serves as a Gateway to Parish Life
- Attracting the Unchurched and Unaffiliated
- A Sense of Belonging: The First Step to an Evangelizing Parish
- Finding Fellowship: How I Built Community at a New Church
Check out these helpful websites for additional resources:
- Catholic Missionary Disciples – 16 Tips to Improving Your Parish Hospitality
- Dynamic Catholic – “Welcome” Program
- Evangelism Coach
- Franciscan Media – Tips For Becoming a Welcoming Parish
- M3 Ministries – Podcast on Radical Hospitality as the Foundation for Evangelization
- Ministry Blueprints
Forming Ministers for Hospitality
A local apostolate, the St. Paul Evangelization Institute, provides one-day hospitality training for first contact staff (parish and school secretaries, business managers, liturgical ministers, etc.). Consider this training program for practical, hands-on experience in customer service and hospitality.
Catholic Hospitality Training Institute – Resources on Hospitality and the Mass
Visit the SPARK Knowledgebase for hospitality resources. Also, join the Encounter Grow Witness Online Community – there is a Group called “Engagement” to plug into.
For support for Hospitality Ministry contact:
Associate Director of Engagement and Family Ministry