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Inviting Catholics Back

Dear Parish Leaders, 

As the dispensation from attending mass is lifted and we invite our parishioners to return, we cannot assume that everyone who was here when this began last March will walk back through our doors. So much has happened in our world and in the lives of our parishioners in that time.

We also know that not everyone will return on day 1 when the dispensation is lifted. We must continue to reach out to our absent brothers and sisters and let them know that they are loved and they are missed.

In reality, the work before us now as the immediate impact of  COVID-19 appears to be winding down, is the same as before the pandemic; to proclaim the good news to all within our parish boundaries. We had much work to do in evangelization before the pandemic, and we have much work ahead of us. Trusting that Holy Spirit guides our efforts, we set out to be faithful to the command of Jesus at the great commission, to  “go and make disciples of all nations”.

Know that the staff of the Office of Evangelization and Discipleship is ready to assist you in forming plans customized to the needs of your parish.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Brian Miller

Director of Evangelization & Discipleship



Pray | Engage | Welcome

To help you reach out to your parishioners we have compiled resources to aid you in creating a plan for evangelizing in this time, using the PEW Model. PEW stands for Pray, Engage, Welcome, and it outlines the basic steps for planning as we seek to build a stronger church in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.






“apart from me, you can do nothing” – john 15:5

prayer is at the heart of all our efforts in evangelization. everything we do begins and ends in prayer. if we want to be successful in our outreach of inviting catholics back as the dispensation is lifted, we must make a radical commitment to prayer and beg the lord to bless our efforts. building a culture of prayer at your parish is essential to becoming an evangelizing parish. visit the pray page for  a few simple recommendations for prayer activities at your parish that you can undertake as the first step of evangelization.



“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”– John 15:5

Engaging others is more than just inviting them. While invitation is a key part of engagement, what we truly want is to be in relationship with those who we are seeking to evangelize. Invitation and programs are an important part of evangelization, but we know that being in relationship makes invitations and programs more meaningful. All of our outreach and invitations should oriented towards making a personal connection with those that we are inviting back to church.

Visit the Engage page for ideas and templates for what your parish might do to reach out and connect in meaningful ways with those in your community.



"Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” - Hebrews 13:2

Showing a true welcome to anyone who attends our parish is so much more than just opening the door, smiling and saying hello. In order to show true hospitality, like a good host, we must work to make our parishioners and guests truly welcome anytime they are with us, for the duration of their time with us. This means we have to know them, their interests, what engages them and how we can meet their spiritual and physical needs. In order to show true hospitality, we must have a parish plan for how we can walk with people in Christian community as we welcome them into our parishes.



Additional Resources

Download graphic elements for parishes!



What If They Don't Come Back?

Emerging Stronger

After The Livestream

Re-Opening the Parish