Proclaim: Office for Mission Renewal
We all want our parishes to be healthy and growing. Pope Francis dreams of a ‘missionary impulse, capable of transforming everything’ and inspiring ‘a constant desire to go forth and … elicit a positive response from all whom Jesus summons to friendship’ (Evangelii Gaudium, §27). At the heart of this missionary impulse is a people confident and equipped to invite others into relationship with Jesus and the Church.
Building a strong invitational culture is an essential element of a missionary parish. In the past, all that was required to grow a parish was to build a church, open the doors and welcome those who came. Today, however, ‘We cannot passively and calmly wait in our church buildings’ (Evangelii Gaudium, §15). People are no longer coming to our doors. There is a prior step required. We need to go out, beyond our doors, to meet people where they are and then invite them in.