Category Archives: Administrators

manage myparish app

It’s Almost Easter! 4 Ways to Manage With myParish App

Folks outside the parish office don’t know that Easter planning begins right after the last verse of “Joy to the World” at the Christmas recessional. As joyous as Easter is, it can be tough on parish staffs.

Using myParish App can help.

  1. Use messaging. Often. Your parish has a lot going on – study groups, missions, special services, extra confession times. Taking 5 minutes a day to send out a message can help keep folks informed.
  2. Keep important app information updated. This is the time you’ll really want to make sure bulletins are up-to-date on the app, as are Father’s homilies. Also, make sure basic parish information is current. People travel a lot this time of year and look for a church – you don’t want them to show up for 10 a.m. Mass on Sunday when you changed the schedule 8 months ago.
  3. Tell people about the app. Keep the Launch Kit banner up in the parish hall. Have teens pass out information during coffee after Mass. Run information on how to download the app in the bulletin. Remember, this is the time of year when folks who often don’t go to church will be there – giving them the app is a wonderful gift!
  4. Use the app yourself. First, you’ll know for sure if something isn’t right! But use the app for your own spiritual enrichment. Too often, parish workers set aside their own spiritual life for everyone else’s. You can’t give what you don’t have, so dig into the readings of the day, set prayer reminders to go off to  help you stay on track, and enjoy one of the other features such as “Living the Good News” or “Real Life Catholic.”

Enjoy the rest of Lent, and have a wonderful Easter!

homlies

Hey, Father: Great Homily!

myParish App allows you to post your pastor’s homilies using our “Homilies” button. Admins can post homilies by simply cutting and pasting an already existing URL to the myParish App admin page. (If you need a refresher, or there is someone new to being an admin for your parish, watch our short Adding Homilies & Uploading Bulletins” video. Look for video #5.)

If your pastor does not publish his homilies, we may have other options for your parish. Our team members would be happy to talk to you about other ways you can use the “Homilies” button.

Also, this feature is a great way to keep your homebound and “snow bird” parishioners connected to parish life.

Using the “Homilies” button in myParish App means giving all your parishioners a great message to  ponder and pray about throughout the week.

featured events

A Notable Feature

Learn to use Featured Events to promote parish activities.

Today, let’s focus on using the “Events” feature to promote parish activities, while at the same time promoting the use of myParish App more fully.

First, create your event: you can do that by going to your admin page. Click on the “Events” tab at the top. Then, under the “English/Spanish” tab on the left side, you’ll see “Add  event” with the calendar icon. Click on that, and fill in the applicable information. Don’t forget to click “Add” when you’re done to save the event.

You won’t want to use the Events feature for everything that is going on in the parish. This is really for Featured Events. For instance, if your parish is planning special study groups and/or activities during Lent, this is the use for Featured Events! Set Ash Wednesday on March 1, and then add in Bible Studies, Stations of the Cross, youth activities, fish dinners, etc.

In addition, tell your parishioners about the Featured Events in at least two different places outside the app.

A sample bulletin announcement might be: “Be sure to check out our Lenten Featured Events using myParish App. It’s a quick way to see what is happening during Lent here at St. Meinrad’s. Don’t have the App? Aren’t sure how to use it? Please ask a parish staff member or call the parish office at xxx-xxx-xxxx.”

You can also put a similar message on your parish Facebook page: “Don’t miss any of St. Meinrad’s Featured Events during Lent. As we grow in holiness, we also want to grow in communication! Use the myParish App to stay in touch during this holy season. Don’t have the App or not sure how to use it? Talk to a parish staff person or call the parish office.”

If  you’re going to be using the App heavily (during Lent, for instance), the Sunday before Ash Wednesday would be an excellent time to host a “Redownload Sunday.” Break out the t-shirts from your Launch Kit, and round up volunteers for each Mass to help those who don’t yet have the app, or need a quick tutorial.

Happy event planning!

changes

Ch-ch-ch-changes!

Make sure your app is up-to-date for Ordinary Time.

Note as of 1.9.17: This blog post is causing some confusion; our apologies. Here is an updated version regarding re-loading:

The app updates automatically. The different platforms (iOS-Apple, Android) handle updates differently. Androids do a complete update weekly in the early morning hours on Saturday (midnight-1:00 a.m. or so). Apple also does a complete weekly update, but it’s scheduled according to when the app was loaded to the device, so we can’t be specific as to when it is. 

Additionally, different parts of the app check for updates for their content regularly. For example, if you tap on messages, the app goes to the server to check and see if there are new messages.
You only need to do a re-load if you’ve made a change that’s not showing up, and you don’t want to wait out the week.
Again, our apologies for any misunderstanding and/or confusion.
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As we leave the Christmas season behind and enter into Ordinary Time, you’ll notice some changes to the look of your myParish App. You’ll also see some content changes, as we’ll be removing the Advent and Christmas reflections.

One thing to remember: you (and your parishioners) will need to “re-load” the app on whatever device you’re using. That means you open the app and click on the Menu (the three bars in the upper right corner.) Once there, tap “change parish,” and select your parish. (You may need to search for your parish, then select, as the app gives suggestions based on your location.) This will update all the content you and your parishioners see.

It’s a good idea to run a little note in the bulletin for a few weeks; that way, your parishioners won’t be stuck in Advent when Lent rolls around!

Thanks to all the parishes who took part in our Advent and Christmas reflections and backgrounds. We enjoyed hearing from many of you during the holiday season.

May your New Year be blessed and peaceful!

message

Message Me!

Craft great messages for the best results.

Sending messages via myParish App is a terrific way to keep your parishioners informed. However, there are a few tips to create great messages, making them more effective.

  • Include most relevant at beginning of message because that’s what shows in a push notification.
  • Send your message now, and then add as an event to remain on calendar.
  • Use messaging and events together to keep information available on the calendar.

Here is an example of a “weak” message:

“We need volunteers! There are many volunteer opportunities here at St. Ann’s. This week, we are cleaning the church. Call the church office if interested. “

This message is really unclear. It doesn’t tell parishioners when they would be needed, and there is no phone or email included so that they can easily contact the office if interested. They would have to hunt around to find the contact information.

Here is an example of a “stronger” message:

“Help clean the church for Christmas! Wednesday, December 21 at noon, volunteers are needed to clean and decorate the church for Christmas. Snacks and drinks provided and all ages welcome. Please call Patty in the church office at 616-555-5555 for more information or to volunteer.”

Then, make sure you put this event on the app calendar.

A few simple tweaks to a message can make a big difference!

remind

Remind ‘Em Again … And Again

Remind your parishioners frequently about myParish App.

Now that you’ve got myParish App up and running, you can just sit back and watch your Analytics improve, right?

Sadly, no. We humans are a forgetful bunch. You’ve launched myParish App, you’ve had Download Sunday … and there are still lots of parishioners who don’t know about the App. How can you improve this?

Here are just a couple of ideas:

  • Bulletin announcements – add them in once a month
  • Use banners, bulletin, bring the t-shirts out from your Launch Kit
  • Download Sunday again – “Redownload” or “myParish App Reminder Sunday”
  • Make myParish a presence at parish events and/or group gatherings. 

Doing just one or two of these will help in the long run. Remember, myParish App – with just a few minutes of your time each week – will help keep your parishioners informed and connected to their faith.

mission

Where Are We Going? How Are We Getting There?

And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Mt. 2:9-12

Imagine traveling to an unknown land, no map, no GPS. Just a star and a whole lot of faith. And it worked!

Our faith communities are a lot like these wise men. We have faith, but often are a little fuzzy on where we are going and how to get there. That’s where a Parish Mission Statement comes in.

Most parishes have their mission statement on their website and their bulletin. But people get so used to seeing it there, they never really SEE it. And that mission statement is important! It tells your parish family where they are going and how to get there.

One way to draw attention to your parish mission statement is to send it out as a Message in myParish App. Maybe you can send it out once a month, or once a quarter. It’s a good way to remind your faith community: This is where we are going. This is how we are going to get there.

advent

It’s The Holy Days – Don’t Forget!

Advent is a busy time at the parish. And you know that the phones will be ringing (“What time is midnight Mass?”)

Using myParish App Messages is a great way to keep your parishioners updated.  Many parishes have Penance Services during Advent. Use Messages to send out reminders to your faith community a week or so before, and then the day before. Do the same with the Holy Day on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception when you’re likely to have a different Mass schedule. Of course, parishes have a variety of Masses for Christmas and January 1.

You’ll also want to make sure your parish’s myParish App calendar is kept up-to-date. You might even want to put a prominent reminder in the bulletin that says something like, “Make sure to check myParish App for calendar and event updates during Advent and Christmas.”

Happy Holy Days!

Advent

Almost The New (Liturgical) Year: Get myParish App Advent Features

The new Church liturgical year begins November 27 this year, the first Sunday of Advent. Advent focuses on the coming of our Lord:

The Catechism stresses the two-fold meaning of this coming : When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for His second coming (No. 524).

Therefore, on one hand, the faithful reflect back and are encouraged to celebrate the anniversary of the Lord’s first coming into this world. We ponder again the great mystery of the incarnation when our Lord humbled Himself, taking on our humanity, and entered our time and space to free us from sin. On the other hand, we recall in the Creed that our Lord will come again to judge the living and the dead and that we must be ready to meet Him.

We are offering our myParish App churches two great Advent features: a free Advent background and free Advent reflections. The reflections will be added to the app via a special Advent button. This means app users will receive Advent reflections every weekday during the Advent season. What a great way to prepare for the coming of our Lord!

To receive these free Advent features, simply click here. And Happy New Year!