Are our parish doors truly open?

Are our parish doors truly open?
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Our parish website traffic spike to an all-time high a few weeks ago when we celebrated the Holy Day of Obligation in honor of the Assumption of Mary. As I was preparing our parish bulletin, I got the bright idea that I would list area parishes’ Mass times in a special section.

A lot of our congregation works in the neighboring city, and many others wouldn’t be able to make our Mass times. I saw it as a service.

I learned a couple of lessons from that endeavor.

Update your parish website a few weeks before the Holy Day.

NONE of the 13 parish websites I visited had the Assumption Mass times listed. I had to call them. On the phone. During office hours.

Know what your Mass times will be well in advance.

One of the next door parishes to us couldn’t tell us when the Masses would be. “The woman who takes care of that is out of the office and I can’t give you that answer.”

I felt badly, really I did. But I also felt frustrated. That was the second phone call that day, the deadline for our bulletin, and I had already spoken to another neighboring parish. At the other parish, I had to wait on hold while the right person was tracked down and then that person wasn’t sure she even knew. (Turns out she found the answer.)

What’s the big deal?

Are we crossing things off our list? Is this just a sacramental checklist or a real call to conversion?

The reason for a Holy Day of Obligation is one that shouldn’t be a mystery. It shouldn’t be a surprise.

And yet, most of us (yeah, I’m guilty) are caught unawares when there’s a Holy Day of Obligation.

Our online doors need to be open and welcoming.

About 18 months ago, our parish transitioned from a brand-new layout to a mobile-enhanced website. We don’t at all think that this replaces person-to-person interaction, but it sure does make it easier to find the Mass times on your phone.

As long as the Mass times are there, that is.

Copyright © 2013, Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to be shocked and delighted that her life as a grown-up involve horses, writing, and sparkly dress shoes. In her work in the New Evangelization as a Catholic wife, mom, writer, parish employee, and catechist, she’s learned a lot of lessons, had a lot of laughs, and consumed mass amounts of coffee. She’s online at and, and is the author of a number of books.

  • […] are current parishioners. I blame a few recent posts here (RCIA: Rolling Out the Red Carpet and Are Our Parish Doors Truly Open?) and a few experiences at work and in my […]

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