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How can you get families to come to Mass? Check out what this parish did.

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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. 

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