In these times of uncertainty, it’s crucial to give back to the ones who have given so much to us. One blessing that we often take for granted is our local churches. While it may seem like the future of our parishes relies solely on our priests and deacons, the Catholic Church relies on laypeople to help the local churches thrive. Here are five ways to help your local church.
Many churches have eliminated the nor- mal offertory collection during Mass in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Instead of passing the basket, some churches have adopted the practice of having baskets at the entrance of the church. Be sure to keep giving financially to the church. An easy way to do this is by setting up a secure recurring donation online. Without financial support, your local parish will not be able to pay its bills or support their charitable work. Another way to donate is by giving to the Diocesan Annual Appeal. The money that’s raised from this supports the parishes that can’t support themselves. They rely on outside donations to function. Bobbi Silver, diocesan development director, says, “The outreach and support we provide does not depend on someone being Catholic or not. We are doing this because we are Catholic. Through this work, we are able to show the presence of God and build his kingdom through service to others.”
Sadly, many people have been left jobless due to the coronavirus; however, this is a sure way to help the church without spending a penny. Whether it is praying in church or at home, our local parishes, their clergy and staff need as many prayers as they can get. Praying not only pleases God, but unites all of us and brings us one step closer to our common goal: getting back to church and closer to God. Please pray for the parish that prays for you.
Being involved in a parish can look differently for everyone. Call your parish office to see whether you can help with cleaning the pews after Mass, leading a CCD class, being a greeter, taking part in the sacraments or even learning more about Masses offered. The Church offers multiple resources. Make sure to take advantage of them and most importantly, attend Sunday Mass either in person or virtually. Pope Benedict XVI said, “Taking part in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration will be the very thing that can keep your family truly united and centered.” This unity and centrality within the family will translate to the churches you attend.
How did just 12 people make Christianity as big as it is today? By inviting people! Reach out to your friends, neighbors and family members to see if they’ll join you at Mass, other church events or participate in Mass online. Everyone likes to feel invited and welcomed; make sure to not keep the gift of Catholicism to yourself, but to spread the wealth. Be the person to show the love and hospitality of Christ to others.
In the midst of a global pandemic, it’s important now more than ever to have a grateful heart and be generous to others. You can do this by helping your local church thrive. Don’t forget to support priests and your parish life director. They are working behind the scenes to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. Silver notes, “We can extend our gratitude to our parish staff for the increased workloads they are experiencing during this pandemic. Let our priests and parish leaders know they are appreciated for all they do every day.”