As Catholics, we need community to grow deeper in our relationship with God, and where better to find that community than your local parish?
Married couples and families offer unique gifts to a parish that can bring a new life to a community.
Here are five tips to help you and your spouse become active members of your parish:
Register at your Parish
While “parish-hopping” has become the norm for most young people today, that is not what we are called to as Catholics.
The 1993 U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that parishes “are the heart of our Church.” We need community to help us grow in our faith.
So whether you are attending a new church or the church you grew up in, it is important for couples to register their newly formed family with the parish. By registering with a parish, you are making a formal commitment to the community.
This commitment allows the parish and its ministers to better serve you and further encourages you to serve the needs of that particular community.
Attend a Regular Mass
Especially for families with small children, it is easy to move between parishes to fulfil your Sunday obligation depending on the mass times and your weekend plans.
However, if you really want to become an active member of your community, you should attend mass at your parish every Sunday (at least for a while).
Attending a regular mass at least once a week allows you to further acquaint yourselves with other members of the parish.
Do you have a heart for service? Or a desire to assist with preparations for the liturgy? Are you interested in joining your parish council or the Knights of Columbus?
Parishes often offer ministries in many different areas, so you can do the things you are passionate about while serving the wider parish community. If your parish doesn’t have a ministry you’d like to join, talk to your pastor about how you can get one started.
Start a Bible Study
Starting a Bible study or forming small group is an excellent way to intentionally build up the community among the church members. You might consider starting a group for fellow wives, young adults, or even other couples.
A Bible study can cultivate authentic friendships among the members and strengthen the bonds between them. It also facilitates an encounter with Christ, who can transform the parish for the better.
Open your Home
The creating of a home is calling unique to married couples, the fruit of which can be shared with your parish community.
Invite other couples or regulars at mass over for brunch, or maybe you can have local college students or your parish priests over for a home cooked meal.
Welcoming others into your home not only brings the joy of parish into your domestic church, but also allows your whole family to pour into other members of your community.