5 Tips to Holy Hospitality

  • Look for the “lost sheep.” Have your greeters on the look-out for unfamiliar faces, visitors, people who are alone and make sure they are greeted in a welcoming and friendly manner. We must remember, this might be their first time in a while at your parish, give them an experience of welcome, hospitality, community that will encourage them to come back!
  • Say THANK YOU for joining us! It seems quite simple, but we often forget that parishioners and guests have options on Sunday. Beyond options of places to worship, they chose to spend time with you in worship. They chose your parish, they chose that specific time and place, let us continue to thank them for their presence!
  • Is your home prepared? Just as we clean and prepare our own homes for guests, we should always keep in mind those guests who enter this spiritual home. Are the bathrooms clean and restocked? Are the pews clean from clutter, coloring books, or Cherrios? Between masses, are extra chairs, worship aides etc. swept from the pews or seating area?
  •  Give the VIP service…to everyone! Is parking a problem at your location? Ask some of the greeters or hospitality ministers who are brave enough, to tackle your parking lots. Make sure they are easily identifiable, but they will be able to help with crowd control and parking difficulties by managing the line of cars entering the lot. Also, think about the parishioners who might need extra assistance. Have some of the volunteers or 7th/8th graders volunteer to be “escorts” to those in need.
  • Extend the welcome! Let’s think beyond the typical coffee and donuts… Is it Easter and you see an unfamiliar faces in the crowd? Have everyone at the beginning of mass introduce themselves! Simply make an early announcement to extend a “hello” to your neighbors within the community, even those you may have sat next to for years! This practice works well for many parishes, including Old St. Pat’s! For example, at the beginning of mass at Old St. Pat’s a volunteer or priest extends a welcome and encourages everyone to stand and simply, “greet those around you.” Simple, yet incredibly refreshing!