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Editor | A joyous invitation to others

Increasing Mass attendance requires a welcome spirit from all the lay faithful

A reader recently expressed concern about “dwindling numbers at Mass,” and requested a story about what the archdiocese will do to reverse this trend.

Many stories we publish in this magazine and the weekly newspaper, the St. Louis Review (you read it, right?) are about how archdiocese evangelizes, thus encouraging faithful to attend Mass. Agencies and ministries serve the parishes with the goal of increasing participation in Church life, especially the sacraments.

In this issue, for example, we explore:

• How registration in a parish helps keep the faithful connected, thus inviting more Mass attendance.

• How a family empowers their children to lead and sets examples with prayer, community service, singing, lectoring and serving at Mass.

• How a ministry supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal helps young adults grow in their faith.

But all the programs and events and communications that donations can fund doesn’t replace the most important evangelists: each of us.

The lay faithful often are the first Catholics others encounter, whether at Mass or in the communities. Our invitation to them, or at least our welcoming spirit, has a significant impact on their perception of the Church. Indeed, it is our commission, our call as missionary disciples, to joyously invite others to the Eucharist.

Are we inviting our families, friends and neighbors to Mass?

Are we happily greeting others at Mass, especially strangers?

Are we inviting new parishioners to join ministries, clubs and fraternal orders?

Are we truly welcoming of families at Mass, especially those with squirming and fussing children?

Are we welcoming sinners, non-judgmentally?

Are we living so joyously that people want what we have?

No doubt decreasing Mass attendance should concern us all. But the appropriate question is: What are we doing to reverse the trend?

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