As parishioners and guests enter the Cathedral of St. Peter and prepare for the sacrifice of the Holy Mass, it is important that they feel welcomed into the parish community. Mass is not a solitary experience, and being greeted at the door is one way that we can help everyone feel comfortable.
Sister Tess Markus is the coordinator of the greeters. She trains them and does the scheduling each month. She shares why it is especially important to have greeters at the Cathedral.
“We are a Cathedral, and we get many visitors to our Cathedral,” Sr. Tess says. “We have a very large church, and I believe greeters can help them to feel more comfortable. Even if you have been in the parish for a long time, when someone greets you, it immediately makes you feel better. A smile and a greeting may be what a person needs at the time — to feel that someone cares that they are here.”
Greeters are asked to arrive about a half hour before Mass. During this time they welcome people to the Cathedral, distribute bulletins, and assist guests with any questions or needs that they may have. After Mass, they help straighten the pews.
“If people feel welcomed, they are more likely to enjoy their experience and continue to come back,” says Karen Lanter, who has been a greeter for a year. “You never know what people are going through and sometimes a friendly welcome might just brighten their day. My hope is that it makes them feel more connected, and a part of the parish community.”
In addition to creating a welcoming environment for guests, being a greeter provides a great opportunity to be involved and get to know other parishioners.
“I like having the opportunity to chat and learn more about my fellow parishioners,” Karen says. “I am more connected to my fellow parishioners because every week that I greet, I get to learn a little more about them. Also, when volunteering at other parish events, I am working with fellow parishioners that are no longer just a face I see at Mass, but someone that I have had regular interactions with.”
Being a greeter is a wonderful way to get involved in the Cathedral. To get involved, contact Sister Tess Markus at 618-234-1166.