The best way to accompany parishioners through the transition to Families of Parishes is to communicate openly and effectively. As more information is solidified, comprehensive updates are shared on the Families of Parishes website , but parishioners will likely be turning to you, the leaders in their specific parish, for information and answers to their questions.
Any change is likely to be met, at least in some way, by a level of hesitance, and that can only be magnified when considering a change as radical and widespread as the Families of Parishes transformation. Many parish constituents are habitual individuals who have formed deep connections with their current practices and identities as Catholics, and this significant of an alteration to regular routines may create feelings of skepticism, frustration, or being overwhelmed.
As leaders in the parish, part of ministerial responsibility includes assuaging these concerns and reaffirming the necessity of this transformation in order to be a truly evangelizing people, living up to Jesus’ commission for us. The first step to supporting parishioners is keeping them informed.
Here are key ways to share Families of Parishes content and updates with your parishioners.
Add Families of Parishes information on your website.
Your parishioners are already in the habit of checking your website for Mass and Confession times, pandemic updates, and messages from your pastor. Post pertinent Families of Parishes updates — both those available from the diocese and those specific to your own Family — on the website, and encourage people to contact the parish with questions.
Post regular updates on social media.
Share inspiration and information in places where your parishioners can easily respond to and engage with content. Use your social media channels as a way to share inspirational and informational videos about Families of Parishes . Solicit questions from your parishioners and compile them for your pastor to answer in a live or pre-recorded video to share on social media and your website. You may also use your social channels to direct people to content coming directly from the archdiocese.
Host a study of the Pastoral Note.
No one will better explain the goal, impetus, or context of Families of Parishes than our Chief Shepherd. Refer parishioners to Archbishop Vigneron’s pastoral note Led by the Spirit on Mission , and encourage them to discuss it in small groups or Bible studies, or host a livestream group study of the note led by your pastor.
Order Families of Parishes Prayer Cards
In Led by the Spirit on Mission , Archbishop Vigneron reminds us, “There is no goal, plan, dream or aspiration we can have which is not under the authority of Jesus Christ.” Invite parishioners to pray for our Families of Parishes by ordering Families of Parishes prayer cards to supply around the church. Read the Families of Parishes prayer at the end of Mass, and encourage parishioners to pray it on their own or as a family.
Encourage parishioners to attend your Family gatherings.
The lay faithful have a specific role to play in the archdiocese’s missionary journey, which they can learn more about in each of your Family gatherings . Encourage parishioners to attend and discover the role they have in the movement and how this structural renewal will help each of them rise to their calling.
Stay up to date.
Ensure that all the parish staff are checking the Families of Parishes website and the
Families of Parishes Toolkit
for new information, or
sign up for the newsletter
to receive monthly updates and keep informed. Be sure to follow the
Archdiocese of Detroit
Unleash the Gospel
on social media to find new video and graphic tools that may benefit your parish, as well.