Hospitality: The DOORway to Evangelization
With the Pope’s opening of the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Rome on the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and Bishop Bambera’s opening of the Holy Door of Mercy at the Cathedral of Saint Peter’s in Scranton, we, as parishioners of Gate of Heaven and Our Lady of Victory Churches invite you to learn more about Hospitality: The DOORway to Evangelization
The ministry of hospitality is based on scripture: “For I was a stranger and you welcomed me” (Matthew 24:25). “Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.” (Heb 13:2) “Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me: and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.” (Jn 13:20)
The spiritual pillar of Christian hospitality is our call to see Christ in others. A further element of being hospitable is developing an attitude of mercy. Fostering in our hearts an attitude of mercy can in turn help us to accept all we meet. EVERYONE who comes is in need of God’s love. The ministers of hospitality are hosts who put a face onto the parish. They welcome those who arrive and begin the process of forming them as a worshipping body. Practically speaking, they can welcome with love newcomers who visit the parish and they can awaken the “regulars” to the place of love and mercy at which they have arrived. This is done concretely by removing concerns, creating a sense of belonging and let people know, “This is a place where I can be loved”.
Goals for the ministry to achieve a more welcoming parish:
My parish is easily identified with the name and times of Masses visible from the road.
Hospitality ministers are present to greet and assist people at all Masses.
New parishioners are welcomed into the parish community.
Our parish welcomes young children, those with special needs and of all ethnic backgrounds.
The parish community reaches out in times of grief.
Ask yourself: How welcoming am I?
I am a welcoming presence in my parish.
I am welcoming in my facial expressions and my mannerisms.
I see Christ in others. Do others see Christ in me?
I greet people as I approach the church.
I greet people in the gathering space of the church.
I make a conscious decision to speak positively about the Catholic Church, my parish, my pastor, etc.
I make a conscious effort to participate in the Mass to give glory to God and give good example to others.
I extend Christ’s peace to others, looking them in the eye, and acknowledging everyone around me.
We invite you all to cultivate a hospitable heart and help to create a more welcoming atmosphere in our church community. We are looking to grow this important ministry both within and beyond the greeter role. If you would like to become more involved please attend one of our meetings or contact one of the co-chairs:
MerryAnn Edwards (OLV) 570-639-5426 or Susan Sheridan (GOH) 570-991-8296
Hospitality Committee meets the third Wednesday of every month at alternating OLV/GOH
THE ROLE OF THE GREETER
If interested in Greeting, contact MerryAnn Edwards 570-639-5426
SMILE, SAY HELLO AND MAKE PEOPLE FEEL WELCOME!
This is a wonderfully simple way to play a special role in our parish. We don’t want to complicate things, for all we really ask is that you greet those who enter, but there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Arrive at mass 15/20 minutes early
- SMILE and say hello, and try to greet everyone as they enter. Some examples of friendly things to say:
- Welcome to OLV/GOH parish!
- How are you today?
- So glad you are here!
- I like your dress/hair/coat/tie etc.
- Isn’t this weather great/cold/crisp?
- Is everyone awake yet?
- You don’t have to shake hands. Give the people you greet, their personal space.
- Dress appropriately and wear you a Greeter Tag
- Greeter Tags are found in the sacristy in a basket; please return them when you are finished for the Mass.
- If asked for info about the church, know where to find it. We will have pamphlets available. If they mention that they are new to the area – offer them information about the parish if they are interested.
- If you cannot fulfill your assigned ministry time, please contact someone to replace you.
- Be overly aggressive
- Ask too many questions
- Don’t feel like you need to assist people to a seat. This is really not your role. Your primary role is to welcome them. There might be unusual situations where this could be helpful in order to be welcoming.
- You do not have to be posted at the door after Mass has started; You do not have any responsibility to be at the door to say ‘farewell’.