TRAINING FOR THE MINISTRY OF HOSPITALITY Office for Parish Life Diocese of Scranton I. OVERVIEW OF THE TRAINING Use the components in any combination & order The bare bones = greeter & usher roles & howto, w/ prayer/song & commissioning How ministries fit into broader context: baptismal call & call to be servant leaders Reflection on spiritual basis for hospitality Conversation w/ parish pastoral council or session to discern how to expand hospitality ministry in parish Other options for the ministry of hospitality,
Method for a parish group to discern which avenues for hospitality ministry they wish to pursue and Encourage larger parish community to see of hospitality as everyones responsibility II. INTRODUCTION Deep roots: Abraham & Sarah welcome 3 angels Hospitality = value in Bedouin culture Scripture: part of Gods generosity religious requirement Broad range of activities, attitudes and behaviors. Traditionally: ushers & greeters Newer: parking team or information team
Also: way parish community acts/speaks Transformative Jesus saw each person for who they were transformed into disciples Likewise, we welcome those who come to worship feel they belong frees them to enter into mystery of Eucharist. So, hospitality = necessary prerequisite for full, conscious and active III. PRAYER A. Suggested hymns/songs
A Place at the Table, Lori True All Are Welcome, Marty Haugen Christ Has No Body Now But Yours, Steven C. Warner Come to the Feast, Marty Haugen Come to the Water, John Foley SJ Gather Us In, Marty Haugen Gathered as One, Deanna Light God Has Chosen Me, Bernadette Farrell Table of Plenty, Dan Schutte We Are the Light of the World, Jean A. Greif We Come to Your Feast, Michael Joncas TO START OR END THE SESSION The Breastplate of St. Patrick Christ, be with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Christ. May your salvation, Lord, be ever with us. START OR END, CONT. Hospitality Prayer #1 Hospitality Prayer #2 Lord, give us the eyes of Jesus to see our neighbors and the strangers we meet. Teach us what it means to love the stranger as we love ourselves. Forgive us for our selfishness, for our silence, for not caring enough for the strangers who come to our communities. Teach us to love and care for the stranger the way you do. Amen.
Welcoming and gracious God, whose love and compassion are boundless, place in us a desire to greet each person we meet with the same love, compassion, and respect we would show to you. Help us to see your face in every person, and to serve your people with dignity and care. Bless us as we seek to love as you loved, and serve as you served. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord. -Rebecca Jimnez Yoder -Archdiocese of Cincinnati HOW WELCOMING AM I? The hospitable person I
am a welcoming presence in my parish. I am welcoming in my facial expressions and mannerisms. I see Christ in others. Do others see Christ in me? I greet people as I approach the church. I greet people in the gathering space of the church. I make a conscious decision to speak positively about the Catholic Church, my parish, my pastor, etc. I am inclusive. I make a conscious effort to participate in the Mass to give glory to God and give good example to others. I extend Christs peace to others, looking them in the eye and acknowledging everyone around me. Consider prayerfully : A strength you bring to the ministry of hospitality An area youd like to develop COMMISSIONINGS Congregational Blessing for Ushers or Ministers of Hospitality: see chapter 62 in The Book of Blessings
Blessing of Ministers of Hospitality/Ushers: O God of divine welcome and hospitality, who calls us together with praise and thanksgiving in the Mass, bless these men and women who serve your people as ministers of hospitality/ushers, greeting each person in a Christ-like manner, directing processions in your honor and as a community of faith, and collecting the gifts of your priestly people. Form them to be prayerful, patient, helpful, and understanding in their service to others. Gift them with a friendly and pleasant spirit to those they greet in the mass and throughout their day. In thanksgiving for their service as hospitality/usher ministers we ask this prayer of blessing through Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen. -Archdiocese of Cincinnati BEFORE MINISTERING Prayer before Ministering #1 Heavenly Father, You sent your Son as a model for hospitality and ministry. May I have the courage to walk in his ways and serve your people.
Prepare my heart to love all who come through the door today. Give me eyes to see their needs and gifts, and grace to respond wisely to each situation. I ask this through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. -Ferrell & Turner, Guide for Ushers & Greeters Prayer before Ministering #2 Lord, in your love you gather your people this day; help me to serve them in a Christ-like manner, even as your son Jesus served those who gathered about him. Make me prayerful, patient, helpful & understanding, & may I radiate the joy that faith brings as I serve their needs. Give me your strength to support my fellow ministers. May all who assemble to celebrate our common faith in the risen savior be glad of heart for being here and for having encountered your son in one
another, in our priest, at the tables of the book and the bread, and through the ministry of ushers like me. I ask this in Jesus name. Amen. -Gregory F. Smith, O. Carm V. UNDERSTANDING OF MINISTRY Baptismal To serve others and to participate in the liturgy I Call Corinthians 12:4-7different gifts, same Spirit Each member is called to play a different role Must discern our gifts and call by God to share those gifts
Wounded and Loved, Regathering the Scattered We are called to lead lives deeply rooted in service service to our God, neighbor, self, and creation (p. 6). Serving, one comes to realize that service to God and neighbor is also an act of leadership that differs in kind and orientation from what normally counts as leadership. Christian disciples lead as a result of faith, not because of personal success or institutional commitment (p. 6). VI. ROLE OF THIS MINISTRY A. Particular functions GIRM: ushers & ministers of hospitality among other functions lay people may serve Those who take up the collections in the church Those who, in some regions, welcome the faithful at the church doors, seat them appropriately, and marshal them in processions. (para. 105) May be commissioned to do so: Liturgical functions that are not proper to the
Priest or the Deacon and are mentioned above may even be entrusted by means of a liturgical blessing or a temporary deputation to suitable lay persons chosen by the pastor or the rector of the church. (para. 107) OTHER MINISTRIES OF HOSPITALITY Parking Accessibility and Campus Ease of Use Information Fellowship Bakers New parishioners Sacramental Prep Ministries Brochure/Fair Childcare
POSSIBLE CHARACTERISTICS Is good at making others feel at home Can talk to a lamp post Is outgoing Listens attentively Put you at ease when you were introduced Moved in the parish and/or understands what it is like to be on the outside. B. THEOLOGY OF THE MINISTRY Abraham and Sarah
(circa 1800 BCE) Three visiting angels who knew? Welcome seems particularly pleasing to God Moves covenant forward to promise of Isaacs birth. Hence: You never know when you may be entertaining angels. Ps 23: 5-6 The Lord models hospitality You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long. safety, security, food, honor and distinction, forgiveness, goodness and a home with the Lord! NEW TESTAMENT Mt 25:34-40 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was a stranger & you welcomed me Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when was it that we saw you a stranger & welcomed you? And the king will answer them, Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. BEING CHRIST FOR OTHERS: NT
So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one anothers feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. -Jn 13: 14-15 BEING CHRIST FOR OTHERS: CHURCH HISTORY The Breastplate of St. Patrick (5th century CE): unity & humility of our relationship with Jesus St. Teresa of Avila (15151582): necessity & urgency: Christ has no body but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which he looks Compassion on this world, Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good, Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, Yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now but yours. SEEING CHRIST IN
OTHERS Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. (Jn 13:20) Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. (Mt 25:40) Rule of St. Benedict: All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ. A discipline! Prayer gradual changing of the heart MERCY
Recognize our own need for Gods love and forgiveness. Same need in others & be conduits of mercy EVERYONE who comes is in need of Gods love. A church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints. (Pauline Phillips, aka Dear Abby) The Church is always in need of reform. Mercy helps us to accept all we meet. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. (Mt 18:20)
We greet Christ in one another long before we receive him in the sacrament of Communion. (p. 7) [Ministers of hospitality] are hosts who put a face onto the parish. They welcome those who arrive and begin the process of forming them as a worshipping body. (p. 5) Guide for Ushers and Greeters, Karie Ferrell and Paul Turner EVANGELIZATION & HOSPITALITY Your encounter is NOT the first step in their encounter with Christ. What got them to come to begin with?
Loving in a concrete way when the lost arrive Seeking the lost sheep by waking them up Who me? C. HISTORY OF THE MINISTRY: St. Joseph Parish in Keyport, NJ Oldest lay ministry in the Catholic Church Ushers in the Bible Keepers of the threshold collected money offerings from the people (2 Kings 22:4)
Also 1Chronicles 9:19 Jeremiah 35:4 Shallum = keeper of the threshold 1Chronicles 26 -classes of gatekeepers kept watch 24/7 Nehemiah 7:45 -138 gatekeepers returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile Later, included as members of Levites who ministered at the Temple USHERS IN CHRISTIAN HISTORY During time of Christ, hundreds of doorkeepers of temple Clerical order of porter: Pope Cornelius (3rd-cent.) - doorkeepers serving Church of Rome. Apostolic Constitution, (4th-cent. Syrian Church) -includes role of doorkeeper or porter. Duty: guard door against intruders who might disturb service
Middle Ages: porter = one of 4 minor orders (carrying out some original functions of deacons) Thomas Aquinas - porter duties ="to ring the bells, open the church and sacristy, to open the book for the preacher." The minor order of porter was conferred on all those seeking ordination to the priesthood Pope Paul VI suppressed minor orders (1972) task goes to laity VCIIs renewal of liturgy - foster community's full participation in liturgy from time one enters church to worship VII. REQUIREMENTS OF MINISTRY: Many Options! Greeters Ushers Parking Team Information Accessibility and Campus Ease of Use Greeters & Ushers: Same or Different?
Fellowship Bakers Ministry Brochure/ Fair New parishioners Sacramental Prep Childcare GREETERS, page 1 Purpose: create atmosphere of welcome Begin to build a relationship w/ newcomers Develop relationships w/ parishioners Nametags build relationships!
represents parish community lets newcomer see greeters name Arrive 15-20 minutes early & stand at the doors Outside the door and open it? Greet EVERYONE What to say: Welcome! So glad you have come! Thank you for coming! How are you today?
I like your hair/coat/ dress/shoes/tie! Isnt the weather great/freezing? Is everyone awake yet? GREETERS, page 2 Help visitor find a seat briefly explain missal Sit w/ non-Catholic visitor to guide? A smiling face Non-verbal expression Welcome & love expressed culturally by being happy to see person Source of information about building & parish During mass, be friendly to those seated nearby
MAYBE: say good-bye as people leave & hand out bulletins Reinforce the love of God & concern of community Smile & Have a great week! or Looking forward to seeing you next Sunday! Positive impression: This is a place where I USHERS, page 1 Purpose: help liturgy flow Direct seating & movements outside pews Take up collection Need to be kind, pleasant & Christ-like Speak politely & treat w/ welcome & respect Each person is a child of God & worthy of love.
Name tags important Official representative of parish Begin relationship by easy sharing of the ushers name Arrive 20-25 mins early to tidy up pews & entrances Assist w/seating, esp. at crowded liturgies or after mass starts Families w/ small children Persons in wheelchairs or with walkers or canes need communion in pew? Those w/ difficulty
hearing Source of information about building & parish MAYBE invite someone to take up gifts Give clear directions Be there to assist during liturgy Help latecomers find a seat Know how to handle overflow crowds Balance being a full participant in liturgy & assisting others Preparing readings ahead of time Praying before
coming to church USHERS, page 2 After Universal Prayer, take up collection Guide parishioners to communion MAYBE say good-bye as people leave and to hand out bulletins Reinforce love of God & concern of community A smile & Have a great week! or Looking forward to seeing you next Sunday! Positive final impression:
This is a place where I belong. OTHER MINISTRIES OF HOSPITALITY Parking: Team directs traffic Helps people find spots Indicates handicap parking Knows street parking rules Especially useful at masses with large crowds Clarity keeps potentially sinful area flowing smoothly Information: table where people Join parish Get mass cards, sponsor cards, etc. Any info they would have had to come to office
for ACCESSIBILITY & CAMPUS EASE OF USE Clearly marked buildings? Would a stranger know which building is which? Would they know where a certain meeting room is? How accessible are your buildings for the elderly? For the handicapped? Places for families with small children Campus Tour: even pavement, adequate night lighting, safe, pleasant Seating for handicapped & elderly? Do EMs bring the Eucharist to them? FELLOWSHIP & BAKERS Fellowship Develop & lengthen peoples time/relationship food/drink & visiting time after mass: Coffee & donuts Caf
Room to mingle NOT out of the way Religious ed. parents while they wait Bakers team to provide coffee &after special masses or at special parish MINISTRIES BROCHURE MINISTRY FAIR Each member of Belonging & Invitation the Body of Christ brings unique gifts Ministry fair: Brochure:
Committee members comfortable w/computer Pastors letter of welcome Contact information for the parish office and staff List of all programs and ministries offered by parish w/description, name of person in charge & contact info 1-2x/year after masses In church hall Tables for each ministry to display info Reps to welcome, inform &
sign up new participants Freebies, drawings & flyers Organizing committee invites all ministries to participate NEW PARISHIONERS Folder with all parish info that would be helpful Census Ministry booklets Programs interesting to newcomers x Parochial school Electronic x Religious ed giving Parish mission statement and 3-5 yr plan DO NOT fundraise Visit/Call
Supper Multiple times/year W/ parish staff and/or parishioners who sit with newcomers Share parish plan/programs & invite participation Personally invite to parish events the first year SACRAMENTAL PREP Attitude of welcome Meet people where they are Baby-sitting service Feed so evening meals are not an issue CHILDCARE Provide for all events where you expect adults to attend IX. SERVING IN THIS MINISTRY
Attire Clothing makes a statement. Formal or informal? Uniform or individual? Clean, without rips and modest no one is offended Making 1st impression for parish Ask pastoral staff what message they would like you to send. B. TROUBLESHOOTING: Emergencies
Know what to do in case of an emergency. Parish plan for emergencies, incl. weather How to reunite children in religious ed w/ families Emergency exits, fire extinguishers, defibrillators & first aid kits? Take a first aid course Parish plan to deal with violence Silenced cell phone 911 Disruptions Be compassionate: bring Christ to situation and
people Children = part of the Body of Christ and welcome even if noisy. If adult brings noisy child to back of church: kind word, offer of help directions to cry room or nearby space, if needed Adult: gently, firmly lead to place where you can talk Need another minister for safety C. PRACTICUM Persuading people to move into a pew from the aisle seat or to sit in the front rows Running out of seats at a special liturgy, like Christmas or Easter Being told the bathrooms are out of paper towels or toilet paper Handling a medical emergency
A homeless person asks you or other parishioners for help. The fire alarm goes off. An animal enters the church. X. QUESTIONS XI. RESOURCES: ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY XII. ONGOING FORMATION A. The Parishs Role Create a context for hospitality:
Most parishioners do not know that they should be welcoming. Part of discipleship How to? Homilies Info Series: in bulletin and/or brief talks before mass or after communion E.g. Hospitality Is Biblical Its Not Optional Reflection questions to talk about in pew (or to take home) QUESTIONS TO PROMPT THINKING: What does our parish look like thru the eyes of a visitor?
What are we doing now to welcome visitors? Do you know the names of those who sit by you? Recall a time you felt welcomed in a strange place. What made you feel that way? Are you and your fellow parishioners doing that now? What is one thing you can do to help everyone feel at home in our parish? If you imagine our parish as a model of ONGOING FORMATION B. Cultivating a hospitable heart After Mass and throughout the week, strive to cultivate a hospitable heart. Work on the demeanor you will bring with you to church. This works both ways. Your service at church will also help you keep a kindly spirit at home and at work throughout the next week. -Ferrell & Turner, p. 15
1. BE WELCOMING Say hello to everyone. Dont force yourself on others. Learn peoples names. Learn from the way people welcome you. Be a good guest. CONSIDER:
How did you react when the phone rang? Did you feel inconvenienced? Was it noticeable in your voice? How do you handle tele-marketers? Did you hang up on them? Do you refuse to listen to them? Do you get angry? Do you politely turn them aside? How do you respond to email or texts? Do you read the messages carefully? Are you prompt in responding? Do you ever respond with rage? How do you respond when a stranger asks for help? Are you anxious to be of service or anxious to get away? Do you judge by appearances? If the person asking for help has a different skin color than you do, a different accent than your friends use, or different clothes than you wear, do you find yourself getting tense? Do you avoid persons of a certain age young or old? Are you more likely to help the handsome and the beautiful than the sick and disfigured? 2. DISCERN NEEDS Be attentive to the needs of those who come to church.
Discuss: Practice all week What are some needs you might spot at church? During the week? 3. BE PRUDENT & TRUSTWORTHY All we have is Gods, comes from God and needs to be returned to God We are stewards.
Be generous with time, talent & treasure Appreciate sacrifices & gifts of others Your personality will change: think less of self/things & more of others 4. BE PART OF THE TEAM Discuss: At home, who is responsible for the hospitality? Do you let everyone have a role? 5. BE PRAYERFUL All week: Your time w/ Jesus = important Jesus: a model prayer We focus on God
At Mass: Martha or Mary? (Lk10:38-42) Role at mass = worship Prepare readings ahead of time IS OUR PARISH WELCOMING? My parish is easily identified w/ name & times of masses visible from road. Church rectory & parking lot well marked & easily identified Rooms & buildings clearly marked Parish buildings wheelchair accessible Parking spaces for persons w/ disabilities Large print missalettes & listening devices available Hospitality: The Doorwa y to Evangelization
Hospitality ministers greet & assist people at all masses. New parishioners are introduced to the community. Our parish works toward inclusion for those who speak other languages. Our parish welcomes young children, those w/ special needs & persons of all ethnic backgrounds. The parish community reaches out in times of grief.
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