What Do You Want from Your Parish? Ministries

What Do You Want from Your Parish? Ministries February 27, 2014

Our weeklong series “What Do You Want from Your Parish?” continues. Today the focus is on Ministries.

How can your parish best aid you in your mission within your Domestic Church in the arena of providing great ministry experiences, both within your parish and outside it, in the community? What great experiences can you share from your own parish, or other good ones you’ve heard of? If you were able to make a request of your pastor in this area, what would you ask for?

Please include your comments below or feel free to email me at lisahendey@gmail.com. And if you’d really like my unending gratitude, record a one minute video answering this question and email it to me. In order for our talk to be a good resource for those attending, your feedback is essential and greatly appreciated!

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  • UAWildcatx2

    My wife and I are a little disappointed at the seemingly lack of ministry for younger couples in our Diocese. We came from a Newman Center, which was ok for what it was. But when we got married, we knew that it was time to move on. The ministries at the Newman Center were very student-focused (as they should be), but that was about it. Our new parish is a beautiful church with faithful priests, but there is nothing targeted to couples in their late 20’s-early 30’s. I’m in the Knights of Columbus, and a Daughters of Isabella chapter is trying to form, but it’s been a tough go for them. Other than that…nothing. It’s a challenge.

    • S.C. has a young adult Catholic organization called Via Crucis. I think it was self-generated in Charleston a few years ago by young adults Catholics who saw the need, and then spread from there. IIRC it’s independent of diocesan oversight or management.

      • Diane

        I think I saw that the Cathedral chapter in Charleston is splitting into an “older” young adult group, which is awesome! (alas, I am not longer in SC). The needs of 18-20s are different from 30s-40s.

        • UAWildcatx2

          That’s why we stopped going to the Newman Center’s “Twenties and Thirties” group. I, as a nearly 30-year old, have very little in common with a 20 year old, and have different pastoral needs.

        • Interesting. Of course, Catholics are free to self-organize as they see the need and have the motivation.

    • I agree with this- and my Knights Council is working with a historical “Social Justice Potluck” to try to change things a bit in that arena.

      I’m thinking Knights needs to sponsor more family oriented faith activities. And don’t forget the childcare…..

  • What I want is more family based ministries. It’s hard to be involved in a parish beyond Sunday Mass when every ministry meeting doesn’t offer childcare and every retreat is no children allowed.

    • Diane

      Amen! After you age out of young adult groups (or have more than 1 baby, which makes you seem ancient), you are on your own until your kids are school-aged or older. We went to an New Evangelization study at another parish specifically because they provided childcare–almost unheard of! A women’s Bible study at 10 am does me no good if there is no childcare, and couples /general studies and activities that do not include families or provide childcare leave my husband and me out, since most baby sitters won’t come for only one or two hours (and we don’t have the $$ to pay for constant babysitting either!). My husband is also loathe to leave me alone at night or on the weekend with the kids, since I’m home with them all day.

      Young families are hungry for fellowship (it’s lonely!) and for help getting our family life started out on the right foot, in a Catholic way (many of us did not have a strong example from our parents in weaving the faith into everyday life and could use some help/tips/examples/support).

      We are starting a young families’ potluck dinner (w/ childcare!) at our parish next month in hopes of getting this group of under-involved people involved in something. Hope it works out!

      • lisahendey

        Diane, if you think of it, please keep me posted as to how your potluck goes. We are getting a lot of feedback about the “gap” years between early marriage and religious education… that newlyweds and young parents feel the need for support in their parishes. I congratulate you for taking the initiative to try the dinner.

      • “have more than 1 baby, which makes you seem ancient..” lol. Isn’t that the truth??

    • lisahendey

      This is a great suggestion.

    • Yes and yes!

  • I couldn’t agree more with what Theodore and Diane have already said. My husband & I both teach Sunday school to be more active together in our church & I guess it’s an unconventional date night away from our 4 kids (5 & under)…. grandparents get time w/their little angels. Win-win. However, I’m a SAHM and I would really enjoy having a good laugh, learning more about how best to serve the Lord/Catholicism, evangelization (!!)–with others that have little feet to work with & around. It can get pretty lonely in a small college town….I do have plans though. I would love to start a ministry at our church. I’ve been ‘complaining & complaining’ about this problem for a few yrs now & my husband, getting tired of hearing my complaints I suppose, finally said I should do something about it. It took me aback for a minute & I laughed but it has my wheels turning now…..

    • lisahendey

      Get busy setting this up Amber. I’m sure it would be very well received!

  • TapestryGarden

    Although this doesn’t apply to me personally I’d like to see something for our young moms like they have in Evangelical churches. They have Bible studies or other chances to fellowship and childcare is provided so the moms get a break and get a chance to make new friends or stay in contact.

    • lisahendey

      This is a very common request. It’s true that many of our Catholic women are availing themselves of study/worship groups at area Christian churches midweek. Thanks!

  • Janen7

    One thing I would like to see and two great activities from my parish. Please please please improve our ministry to youth. I live in the Bible Belt where Protestant families receive amazing support from their churches in raising their families. Kids are brought together with great youth ministers and strong funding to create a steadfast support system designed to withstand the perils of middle/high school. We, on the other hand seem to try to ensure that no parish introduces any “best practices” that could draw parishioners from other parishes.

    On the positive front our parish sponsors supper clubs where eight parishioners join together for monthly dinners for four months and then join 6 different parishioners the next semester. It’s a really fun way to build friendships. There’s no reason there couldn’t be a family version of this.

    Our parish also sponsors a quarterly service day where people of all ages can join together to work on their choice of a number of projects (this quarter they included the local food bank, a nursing home, Catgolic charities refugee program, human trafficking services). Afterwards participants join together for lunch and a truly beautiful time to answer discussion questions and share the grace they experienced.

    • lisahendey

      Janen I love what you’ve shared on your parish’s supper clubs and service days. Would you mind sharing with me the name and location of your parish? thank you for commenting!