I am Looking For:

Ten Tips for Attracting New Catholics

When speaking about the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) process, some parishes say, "We do not have anyone expressing interest in becoming a Catholic."

This raises the question of how we invite people. Do you have an RCIA process in place? Is there an identified contact person who can provide information and follow-up? Are parishioners invited each year to become involved in RCIA ministry as a team member, sponsor, hospitality person, etc.? Are new or relatively new team members encouraged to participate in the diocesan workshops that support RCIA teams?

This is the time of year when parishes actively invite those interested in exploring the Catholic faith to contact them. Simply extending an invitation in the parish bulletin is not enough. Parishes who have successfully identified inquirers have used some of the following methods to communicate the invitation and information about learning more about our Church:

  1. Invitation from priest in the pulpit throughout the summer.
  2. Parish bulletins announce the date of an Inquiry/Information Night and give a contact name and number.
  3. Parishioners are encouraged from the pulpit to invite non-Catholic friends, neighbors and family members.
  4. Two or three weeks before the Information Night, new Catholics write a paragraph in the bulletin or give a short witness talk at weekend Masses about their faith journey.
  5. A banner or sandwich board in front of the church announces the date and time for the meeting and a number to call several weeks in advance of the meeting.
  6. Ads are placed in community papers offering free advertising space. Some parishes collaborate with a common ad and invitation and list a name and number for each parish.
  7. A sensitively written letter is mailed to non-Catholic spouses of registered parishioners inviting them to an Information Night. Parish secretaries are advised where to direct someone seeking information about becoming a Catholic.
  8. A letter is included in the summer Religious Education mailing, "If you know someone who may be interested...".
  9. Informational brochures are provided to those preparing engaged couples, parents for infant baptism, etc.
  10. Information is available on the parish website.

It is important to remember that it is God who calls and invites. However, a welcoming parish community and a process need to be ready to receive those seeking to learn more about our Catholic faith.

For more information, please contact:
Eileen Smith
Director of the Office of the Catechumenate
(603) 663-0174
esmith@rcbm.org

Diocese of Manchester
The Catholic Church in New Hampshire

153 Ash Street, Box 310
Manchester, NH 03105-0310
(603) 669-3100
Fax: (603) 669-0377

© Diocese of Manchester