Post-Crisis Rebirth and Renewal of the Church of Detroit
“Right now, all of us, especially us pastors and our co-workers, are focused on responding to the coronavirus pandemic. But that doesn’t mean our work to “unleash the Gospel” has been abandoned. Quite the contrary. We still must be about evangelization. That’s always our mission. This is a providential time for us to witness to our sure confidence in Jesus as Lord of history, to manifest to the world that we face this challenge with unshakable trust that the Lord will sustain us.” (Archbishop Vigneron, Spiritual Closeness Guideposts)
It is fitting to reflect on these words from the Archbishop as we gradually reopen our churches this week. 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. While the Guidelines For Resuming Public Masses that were published last week require strict adherence, the ideas in the Welcome Back Playbook are suggestions that parishes may consider implementing in addition to the guidelines. 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 unlock our parishes, let us recommit ourselves to unleashing the Gospel!