I believe that we are all ready to move forward with a fresh outlook and new beginnings for 2023. 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. 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:
- Relaunch the app
- Use the bulletin and promo materials to reintroduce the app to the parish
- Announce the app from the pulpit
- Have a team of volunteers ready to help people install the app
- Make sure the download link is readily available on your website
- Commit to sending at least two or three messages per week through the app
- Send informational messages
- Send inspirational messages
- Contact the myParish app customer support team and do an app refresh
- An app expert will look over your app and make suggestions on how to improve
- Consider changing your background to something new after the Season.
- Make sure you are using your custom download link
- Signature line of emails
- Personal invitations to download the app via email or text
- Create a custom QR code
- Are you using Evangelus?
- New and custom buttons
- Facebook Mass Videos
- RSS feeds
- Review and add or subtract administrators
- Purchase a new myParish app banner and stand
- Update your staff directory, confession times, and Mass times as needed
- Explore the Admin Resource Center: https://myparishapp.com/apptools/
- Explore the Diocesan Classroom for interesting webinars: http://diocesan.com/classroom
From all of us at Diocesan, we wish you a Happy & Healthy 2023. God Bless.
The app for Catholic life every day
myParish App isn’t just about the features you see on the screen. If you do a little creative thinking, you and your parishioners can use the app in some unique ways.
There are a couple of new buttons and a custom option that would be inspiring for your parishioners. For instance, two new buttons were shared in our recent podcast.
- Consider having the Eucharistic Miracles button added to your app. Click this link for a list of Miracles from all over the world. This button can be added to your parish’s app for easy access for your parishioners.
- Purpose, connection, peace—these desires are written on our hearts for a reason. The answer lies at the very center of our faith: the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. This Revival button will link to the National Eucharistic Revival YouTube channel to give your parishioners another source in expanding their faith journey.
- How much do your parishioners know about your parish’s patron saint? If you have information about your patron saint on your website, that could easily be linked to your Parish Info button. In addition, you could send a message on the saint’s feast or send a message with a prayer for your patron’s intercession on a regular schedule (weekly, or monthly.)
With just a little effort, your parish community can use myParish App to stay connected to the world-wide Catholic community in prayer, and learn some new things as well. For questions or details on adding these buttons, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Catholic Life Every Day.
Summer typically signals a time to slow down. As an app administrator, here are some thoughts that you can share with your parishioners as they relax, refresh and renew both personally and spiritually.
While you’re out at the beach, a lake, in the park or waiting for an appointment, your myParish app gives you quick access to many aspects of your Catholic life every day.
One touch takes you to the USCCB readings of the day. Another and you will find a selection of prayers in the Prayer button. Catching up on the news is a snap by touching the News button. There are interesting articles from the Catholic News Agency. Looking for someone to share a rosary? Push the Rosary button and hear the soothing voice of Fr. John Riccardo.
Have a moment for a quick read? Click the Inspire Daily light bulb and find daily blogs from Catholic writers based on the day’s readings.
If you’re trying to find a church while traveling this summer, tap the three lines in the upper left hand corner while on the myParish app. Then type in the zip code of your destination where it says Find a Parish. In seconds you will see the parishes in that zip. To see parishes in the surrounding area, please type in the city and state. And you can also touch the Discover Mass button and enter a city name and state.
All these aspects of Catholic life and more can be found in your myParish app.
May it allow you an experience of your faith, just a fingertip away. Catholic life every day.
It’s been a little over two years since the world “stopped” due to Covid. In recent months we are seeing things start to turn around. The plan of the Church is to get people back to Mass as a community. With Palm Sunday this weekend, Holy Week and Easter next week, here are some suggestions to share with your parishioners.
As my colleague, Arthur Richardson, stated in a recent Diocesan podcast, people are hurting, we are broken, and the Church is a place for healing. Fellowship between family, friends, and other parishioners is a key component to that healing. Reminding parishioners to come back can be communicated in a number of ways. Depending on budgets and staff time, a call or post card, or even an email to parishioners who haven’t been there ‘live’ is a thoughtful reminder that they are missed.
Another parish suggestion is to pass around note cards this Sunday, or as soon as time allows, and ask parishioners for names and contact information for someone that might enjoy attending Mass at your parish for Easter or anytime.
Invite parishioners to tell their Catholic faith story, and if they are willing, add it to the testimonial page of your website or social pages. It might just be the little something that another person needs to hear. Oftentimes, your Catholic life could be strengthened by another’s testimony.
In closing, it’s important to keep your social media, myParish app, Evangelus, and websites up to date, but especially during holidays when families are traveling and are looking for Mass times and activities at your parish.
At Diocesan, we hope these ideas to get your community members back in the pews will help.
Easter is fast approaching. Use these suggestions as you prepare your parishioners.
- 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.
- 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 months ago.
- 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!
- 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, and set prayer reminders to go off to help you stay on track.
Find Peace in the remaining days of Lent.
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. Ash Wednesday is March 2.
As others approach you to share their sacrifice, below are a few that you might offer:
- Take the time to set up online giving, it is easy to do and will help you give consistently throughout the year.
- Set a prayer reminder and pray every day. Need more accountability? Set one with a group of friends.
- Start a daily Lenten reflection through the Inspire Daily button.
- Be more accepting of other peoples’ habits that seem to push you over the edge. Close your eyes, smile and think about why that person or action annoys you. When you take a moment to think about it, you might feel better about yourself which will in turn help you to be more accepting of others.
- Start weekly and offer acts of kindness to your friends; surprise a friend with a meal, stop by with a little inexpensive gift for them, offer to run an errand for someone or pick up something from the grocery store for them. Even something as simple as a happy text. Seeing the gratitude from others will encourage you to continue this lifestyle habit.