Christ the King Parish in Chicago reported a whopping 64% increase in parish attendance last fall. What did they do? Catechist’s Journey quotes a note from the pastor, Father Larry Sullivan, who wrote that he took a multi-faceted approach :
Sent weekly e-mails to all of our parishioners inviting them to celebrate the Eucharist.
Put a flyer in everyone’s mailbox.
Each week, at one of the Masses, we had a well-known parishioner give a short presentation on “What CK Means to Me.”
Sports Mass and pizza party.
One of the organizations sponsored Saturday night Mass and pizza separate from the Sports Mass.
Debut of our new student choir.
Each week offered anyone in the school a special prize if they had a picture taken with one of the priests at Sunday Mass: out-of-uniform pass or homework pass.
On the last Sunday of October, if 75% of a particular classroom came to Mass, the classroom was given a treat and game time with Fr. Matt or me. If 90% of the class came to Mass, then the whole classroom got a pizza party. It was great to see the kids encouraging each other to go to Mass.
A number of families told me that after 4–5 weeks of going to Mass, that future attendance was moving from a “hope to” to a priority.
Read more here.
And check out Rita Ferrone’s analysis of this phenomenon over at PrayTell.