Archive for the ‘Why Mass matters’

Mission: The Reason the Church Exists

Liturgy that is divorced or disassociated from the mission of Jesus Christ is not Christian liturgy. In a participative community, the reason for liturgy is to prepare us for mission. We do not prepare by reading textbooks and hearing lectures. We do not watch PowerPoint presentations on how to be missionaries. We prepare as lovers do. The U.S. bishops tell [...]

Anchor your parish in faith

A participative community is filled with faith. Participative communities fully live out the call of Jesus, “Repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mk 1:15). The General Directory for Catechesis says, “The Christian faith is, above all, conversion to Jesus Christ, full and sincere adherence to his person, and the decision to walk in his footsteps” (53). Participative communities, then, will [...]

Your parish’s divine fuel source

A participating community is energized or spirited. Go back and read the Pentecost story again (Acts 2:1-11). As you read it, keep in mind that while most Catholics know this story, very few of them have ever read it in the Bible. They know it because they’ve heard it proclaimed at Mass on Pentecost Sunday. Keep in mind that for [...]

Hospitality is more than just being nice to people

A radically participative parish will have four faces it shows to the world. Strangers will see these faces on their first visit to the parish, and the parish will be “known” in the diocese for these characteristics. The four faces of a participative parish are: hospitality energy (Spirit) faith mission Hospitality Fourteen hundred years ago, St. Benedict wrote in his [...]

Why do the things we do at Mass matter?

A few years ago, I was giving a workshop on how parishes could improve their liturgy. A man in the back row stood up and told us all that we were wasting our time. As long as we had a validly ordained priest who was consecrating the Body and Blood of Jesus, that was all that mattered. That should be [...]