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Why Catholic Parishes Need to be Welcoming | WHY

November 12, 2021

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What will people find when they visit your parish for the first time? Creating a welcoming environment helps accompany people who are seeking an encounter with Jesus. Fr. Mario explains that, “Evangelization begins with a smile.” How can you make your parish a more welcoming place so that more people can meet Christ when they walk in the door?


Fr. Mario Amore: Our parishes and our church as a whole exists to evangelize. Evangelization is sharing the saving message of Jesus Christ with all.

Parishes are the places where the local community of faith gathers day after day or Sunday after Sunday. Parishes must be welcoming so that people have a real life experience of community and people’s hearts and minds are open. They’re more able to listen to, and to receive the message that’s being shared.

And so what do our parishes look like? How are they welcoming? If parishes fail to be welcoming, then we put up an immediate obstacle for those who are seeking to have a true encounter with Jesus. Each of us share in this great mission of evangelization. Evangelization begins with a smile. It begins with a hello. It begins with a welcome.

The kingdom of God is at hand. Our parishes are those primary places where Christ is encountered. And so let us all give our hearts and minds over to the Lord and allow him to work through us, to bring all of the lost, all of those who are seeking, all of those who are desiring to be found into that place where Christ can be met.

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