All posts by Dana Kingrey

Preparing for Lent With Communication to Parishioners

In the time before Lent, many of us start thinking about what we and our family members are going to “give up for Lent”. Many bad habits are put on hold during that six week period, while other habits are given up completely. As the years have passed and I don’t have small children to guide through the process, I find myself looking for a balance. Not only do I focus on something I can give up, but something I can change about myself to help me be more in touch with the beauty of the Lenten and Easter Season.

Lent is a special time of grace in the Church and as parish communicators, we can support and foster our parishioners and visitors in their desire to grow in holiness through inspiring and welcoming images, thoughtful reflections and links to meaningful content. Preplan your Lenten online communications using the app. Ash Wednesday is February 14. To assist app administrators with tools for your parishioners, Diocesan is offering several new and exciting options for the myParishApp audience.

  • As in previous years, there will be Lent and Easter backgrounds that you can request. Once we have your request, we will make the changes for you to Lent, then to Easter. And then back to your current background at the end of the Season. Click HERE to sign up for these new features listed below – all FREE!
  • Weekly Lenten video reflections from Fr. Agustino Torres, CFR. In six transformative weeks, you will learn how to allow the Holy Spirit to move in your heart through a new theme each week. Please encourage your parishioners to tune in for these. Made for Heaven is perfect for both individual and group use. All available through our partnership with Ave Maria Press. Free companion videos and a downloadable leader’s guide are available at
  • Daily Lenten reflections and blog by Amy Thomas,  from The Catholic Pilgrim.
    Promote the Catholic Faith and rebel against the culture. This button is not just for Lent and can remain on the app if you choose.
  • Grow deeper in your faith life as you reflect on the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This Visio Divina prayer book includes guided prayer and reflection on a beautiful series of seven pieces of artwork by Belgian painter Jozef Janssens, portraying the life and passion of our Lord through the eyes of Our Lady. Also included is a guide to praying the Seven Sorrows Chaplet.

myParish App has a wealth of resources to help your community make Lent meaningful. Click HERE

Catholic Life Every Day

Resolutions & Praying for 2024

I believe that we are all ready to move forward with a fresh outlook and new beginnings for 2024. In our Church community, it’s important to channel messaging and communications based on what parishioners have available to them – the bulletin, email, myParish App, Evangelus, social media, or all of these.  This past Advent and Christmas, the App offered Advent and Christmas Reflections as well as backgrounds that parishioners have found helpful and enjoyable. Similar Reflections are offered for the Lenten Season that begins February 14 for 2024, so encourage your parishioners to use the App if not already doing so. Effective communication can work hand in hand with these tools.

If one of your goals would be to improve the timeliness and quality of the information to your parishioners, then how is the current communication process in your parish? In your role as the App administrator, try sharing meaningful messages with your parishioners that keep them engaged, strengthen their faith, give newfound ways to use the app, and share it with others. Keep goals concise and attainable. Here are a few you might want to share:

  1.  Relaunch the app
    1. Use the bulletin and promo materials to reintroduce the app to the parish
    2. Announce the app during Mass announcements
    3. Have a team of volunteers ready to help people install the app
    4. Make sure the download link is readily available on your website
  2.  Commit to sending at least two or three messages per week through the app
    1. Send informational messages
    2. Send inspirational messages
  3. Contact the myParish app customer support team and do an app refresh
    1. An app expert will look over your app and make suggestions on how to improve it
    2. Consider changing your background to something new after the Season
  4. Make sure you are using your custom download link
    1. Website
    2. Signature line of emails
    3. Facebook
    4. Personal invitations to download the app via email or text
    5. Create a custom QR code
    6. Are you using Evangelus? 
  5. New and custom buttons
    1. YouTube
    2. Facebook Mass Videos
    3. RSS feeds
  6. Review and add or subtract administrators
  7. Purchase a new myParish app banner and stand
  8. Update your staff directory, confession times, and Mass times as needed


From all of us at Diocesan, we wish you a Happy & Healthy 2024. God Bless.


Preparing for Advent

With the beginning of Advent just a month away, the gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love are once again on our minds as we prepare for Christmas. In your role as the App administrator, you have an opportunity to foster these gifts in the lives of your parishioners. Try sending meaningful messages that will keep them engaged, strengthen their faith, give newfound ways to use the app, and share it with others. Starting December 3, 2023, the first Sunday of Advent, there will be buttons –  Advent 2023 for Reflections and Prepare 2023 for videos. Additionally, here are a few Advent ideas you might want to share with your parishioners:

  • Encourage small group daily devotion. Share a couple of readings and prayer found on the App with a friend, family member or group. Remember, “Inspiration Daily” can be delivered right to your email box. Click here to subscribe.

  • Listen to beautiful Advent music. “Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel” is a favorite. Enjoy this beautiful version from The Piano Guys.
  • Light an Advent wreath. Advent wreath traditions can be simple, lovely ways to strengthen your faith at home.

  • With or without small children, reading classic Christmas stories each evening can be very peaceful. “24 Christmas Stories” is a popular one.
  • Give to your church, your neighbors, your community. Leaving a simple gift on a friend’s porch can mean so much.

  • Consider the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Advent is about preparation. Prepare your heart and spirit for Christmas.

“Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”

Romans 12:10

Catholic Life Every Day


Use Your Calendar to Stay Organized

It’s October! The months are coming and going quickly as we near the end of the year. We all know that our calendars start to fill up with many events in the next few months and especially in the Church.

Does your Church use the calendar button? Most often it is found on the first or second row of your app button layout. This button can be used to help ministry leaders and organizers set dates and keep up with Church and school events, so as not to miss out on important upcoming fall, Advent, and Christmas happenings. Adding dates to the calendar also prevents from double booking activities with other groups. And with this said, it’s always best to check the calendar prior to setting the date for your event.

If your parish has a digital calendar, let Marc see if it can be integrated into the app (not all can). After your calendar is in place, announce to your parishioners using app messaging and other tools of communication, that the calendar is updated, accurate, and ready to follow. There’s also a drop down feature where you could add another calendar for school specific scheduling.

So many aspects of Catholic life and more can be found in your myParish app. Share all of this with your parishioners. They will appreciate it. May it allow them an experience of our faith, just a touch away.

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Add Prayer to Your Workspace

The busy days of fall are upon us. This is a good time to remind ourselves as an app admin, as well as our parishioners to take the time to make sure our offices are a sacred space. By doing so we can intentionally bless all those whose names and lives we touch (literally) through our workspace and fingertips: at the door, at our computer, over the phone, or through our writing. Maybe there’s a place for a prayer board in your office, or keep your own individual one to be sure to pray for those in need each day.  It’s time to rededicate our work space to be an extension of prayer for each and every one with whom we come in contact, in every moment of every day.   

Remind parishioners through messaging that there are several great prayers available in the myParish app for those times you feel moved to offer a specific prayer for one of your parishioners or co-workers. The prayers also come in handy when praying in a large group. Each person has access to the same wording and all can actively participate.

There is a nice little prayer service from Catholic News Agency with blessings for an office, shop or factory that can also be shared with your parishioners.

Again, remind parishioners that all of these aspects of Catholic life and more can be found in your myParish app. May it lead to an experience of our faith, just a fingertip away.

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Back to School – Already?

How can it be? Didn’t our summer just begin? Yes, it’s August and parents, teachers, and some children, are thinking about the coming weeks ahead. As the parish app admin, here are some ideas that you can share with your parishioners that might make the transition from summer fun to back to school smoother.

  1. Eat Dinner As a Family
    After busy schedules of vacations, summer camps. time with friends, dinner around the table as a family may have fallen by the wayside. Try to get this important event back in your routine at least twice a week.
  2. Pray As a Family
    This is something that you could combine with dinner or right after. Make a list of important prayer topics. Maybe world events, or maybe something requiring prayer right in your community, or special prayers for family members and friends. Get the children to suggest what they feel needs prayer.
  3. Attending Mass Together
    Just as with dinner, try to work towards getting your family back to Mass together. You might have to adjust to Saturday or Sunday options, whichever works best for the majority of the family.
  4. Religious Education
    As the app admin, reach out to parishioners whose children do not attend Catholic school. Remind them of Religious Education/Faith Formation classes and schedules for these meetings.
  5. Youth Groups
    Encourage children to become involved in youth groups activities. Make sure that parents and students know the schedules and location for their age group. You might consider adding a back-to-school group to the App to help organize this.

You probably have more ideas that are specific to your parish that you can share with parents. For more detail, or help with groups, call or email Marc for assistance. Text app to 55321 for parishioners not using the app. All of us at Diocesan hope that your parish community has a fun, safe, and healthy back to school season.


Catholic Life Every Day

Reinvigorate myParish App

Parishioners using the App count on information to be accurate and up to date. As an App Admin, it might be helpful to create a checklist of things to verify or change regularly. In addition to messaging, which we covered in last month’s blog post, here are a few things to consider reviewing often so that parishioners feel confident using the App:

Staff Directory – Check this often, and especially if you have a new Priest or clergy at the parish. Be sure that you have the correct details for roles in your parish such as bulletin editor, office admin, communications, web & IT staff, as well as other critical administrative contacts.

Parish Calendar – There are so many important events happening at parishes. Check your list of important dates, holiday programs, guests & speakers, along with other dates that are helpful for parishioners to know. Be sure to add this to your specific myParish App calendar.

Mass & ConfessionTimes – Having a guest try to attend your parish and Mass times are incorrect on the App would not be a welcoming. Check Mass and confession times often if they tend to change seasonally, and be sure to update.

Buttons – Buttons on the App help parishioners find the subject they are looking for, i.e., prayers, rosary, groups, etc. Are there too many unused buttons, or think you would like a new one? We are here to help with anything you want to add or delete. Email Marc for assistance and suggestions.

Volunteers or Part Time Staff – As an admin, we know how difficult it is to stay on top of these technical tasks with all the other daily to-dos. Maybe you’ve had offers from parishioners to volunteer for something. This could be a volunteer project for someone. Not being interupted by others, as staff often is, this would be the perfect project for them. The same for students, high school and college, if they have a little free time and want to work on something worthwhile for their church this should still allow them time for a summer or part time  job.

If you have any questions, simply reach out to Marc or Dana at Diocesan.

Catholic life every day

Messages Help Parishioners Engage

As an App Admin, we encourage you to use messaging for your parishioners. Messages are one of the most valuable assets of using the app. And there’s not a better time to start it, or restart it, than summer – and those sunny long days are right around the corner. Here are a few simple examples that you can consider using:

  • When reviewing your bulletin each week, identify several highlights that were mentionioned for the week and send a message. These messages might encourage parishers to spend a little time with their weekly bulletin, daily readings, or Catholic prayers.
  • Add a daily or weekly prayer, so that parishioners are seeing something fresh each day. A simple prayer is something most parishioners would appreciate. We often hear, “I don’t know how to pray, or, I’m not sure what to say when speaking to God.” Short, daily prayers may help struggling parishioners turn their prayer life around.
  • Have Father write a reflection to share in messages as often as he is able. A friendly word from him would be welcome. Two or three each month would be a good goal.
  • As an admin, we know how difficult it is to organize these things with all the other daily tasks. Maybe you’ve had offers from parishioners to volunteer for something. This could be an easy volunteer project for someone. Not being interupted by others, as staff often is, this would be the perfect project for them. The same for students, high school and college, if they have a little free time and want to work on something worthwhile for their church this should still allow them time for a summer job.

If you have any questions, simply reach out to Marc or Dana at Diocesan.

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Look What Our App Can Do!

Promoting app features is a great way to keep people engaged in using the myParish App. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Touch the windowpane (four boxes) icon in the top right of the app to get back to the main screen, where you can access all the features of that parish’s app.
  • It’s good to know how to access another parish’s app. Folks often need to attend Mass at a different time, find a Confession time that works for their schedule, etc. Knowing how to get to that information is great! Just tap the menu at the top left of the screen, then choose ‘change parish’ under the parish name. You can enter the city or zip code in the search box.
  • If  you or a parishioner would like to remove a message from your phone, swipe left to access the delete button. Press “delete” and the message is gone.
  • As an admin, it’s a good idea to check with your ministry team and ask if they would like any messages sent out via the app. Say something like: “I’d be happy to enter events/messages for your group in myParish App. Please email me at“ You can also contact your ministry team through the app. Tap “Parish Info” on the main screen (the steeple), and then touch the “Directory” bar at the bottom and find the right person. Then, touch the icons to the right of their name to call or email directly from the app.

Letting app users know about these features means they are more likely to use the app consistently.

Remember, you can always watch and rewatch our admin videos for ideas, clarifications, and information about what myParish App can do.

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Prepare For Holy Week

As we quickly approach Holy Week, there are many recommendations that you can share with your parishioners to engage them.

  • Encourage the use of the daily readings from the App. Often, just a reminder that they are there will guide them. Suggest reading their way through Holy Week — Jesus from Cross to Crown, all with a tap of the readings button.
  • The best message is one that is from the parish priest. Have him write a brief message and have it sent to your App messages on Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.
  • Add Holy Week Confession & Mass Times to messages. Also, inform parishioners through messaging of the other services and times during Holy Week.
  • Suggest that parishioners use reminders on the App
  • As families move throughout the building during Lent and Easter, be sure to use cards and myParish App banners if you have them.
  • On Palm Sunday and throughout the week, encourage parishioners to invite family members, friends, and neighbors — especially those who have strayed from the Church the last few years, to come to church with you for the Easter Vigil or for Mass on Easter morning.
  • Remind parishioners of the Lent Reflections and videos currently on the App.
  • Check out these additional Holy Week  resources

Since the beginning of Christianity, the week beginning with Palm Sunday and ending on Easter has been sacred because it commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


From all of us at Diocesan, we wish you a Blessed Easter Season.
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