There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about our parish’s hospitality. In my view, we have come a long way in the last few years. Our Welcoming Committee greets each of our new members. Our Hospitality Ministers greet parishioners as they enter and leave the church. But with a parish of 1200 families, it’s hard to get to everyone, or even make everyone happy. But if everyone tries to be friendly to those around them, attitudes can be changed.
At one of our recent adult education classes, the phrase “open table fellowship” was used. It made me think….When we celebrate Mass, we are coming to the Lord’s table to share in the body and blood of Christ. At His table, all are welcome – none are turned away. So why do we turn away from our fellow diners without a word of welcome? Just as we invite our friends, family, and neighbors into our homes and seat them around our table with words of welcome and thanksgiving, so we should welcome our fellow parishioners as we all gather at the Lord’s table.
So I challenge everyone to be more welcoming to those you meet. A smile, a handshake, a simple “Hello” can go a long way to being a hospitable parish. Hospitality can increase our membership and make those who may have been away from the Church for a while feel welcomed back.