Our Catholic faith is not just about encountering Christ in the sacraments, but also about encountering Christ in one another. That is what it means for us to live the Church’s identity as the “Body of Christ.” Do we and the visitors of our parish recognize Jesus in us, the members of Christ’s Body?
It is said that the largest Christian denomination outside the Catholic Church is lapsed or “fallen away Catholics.” There are many reasons for that, but a large number of those who were baptized and grew up Catholic now attend evangelical megachurches. Many of us cannot fathom how someone could leave the sacraments and the Eucharist, but it goes to show the importance of feeling welcomed and connected at one’s church, which is one area that Catholic parishes in general need to improve upon.
Are you interested in improving that here at our parish family of St. John? Cultivating a welcoming parish was one of the four major strategies to implement that came out of the Diocesan
Assembly in 2014. Bishop Boyea encourages all our Catholic communities to direct considerable efforts to the practice of hospitality in our parishes. As part of that initiative, the Diocese is hosting a few workshops conducted by the “Catholic Hospitality Training Institute” around the Diocese. One of them is RIGHT HERE at St. John Parish on Thursday, May 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.!
My hope is that a number of our parishioners interested in actively fostering a warm and welcoming environment at St. John will attend that workshop. Please let Todd Gale and me know of your interest. I plan to then meet with all the parishioners who attend the workshop and together come up with a concrete plan of action in making St. John an even warmer and hospitable place for fellow parishioners and visitors alike.
The aim of the Catholic Hospitality Training Institute is to foster a parish environment “where every person can become an open door to Jesus Christ.” Find out more about how to work towards that here at parish on Thursday, May 12 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Do not allow the $30 fee for the workshop keep you from coming. If you need financial assistance to attend, please contact our Director of Faith Formation, Todd Gale, at the parish office.
You can register for the event at www.eventbee.com/v/hospitalitytrainingjackson.
You can find out more about the Catholic Hospitality Training Institute at www.catholic-institute.com. Last weekend, we had an incredible Confirmation Retreat for our youth preparing for that sacrament. Many of our young folks were authentically moved by the power of God the Holy Spirit, particularly during the time of adoration.
Pray for our first communicants who will be receiving First Eucharist on either 1) April 30 at 4:00 p.m. at St. Joseph Oratory or 2) May 1 at 2:00 p.m. at St. John Church.
Yours in Christ,