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 avemariapress.com
- 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
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.
Catholic life every day
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.
- 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 8 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, 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!