As parishioners and guests enter All Saints Catholic Church 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 this is why creating a welcoming environment — where both new and old members, as well as visitors, can join together to celebrate — is so important. Fr. Jovita Okoli knows how important a welcoming environment is to the celebration of the Mass.
“Everybody likes to meet someone who wears a smile,” Fr. Jovita says. “Even with the old and new members, the moment they encounter the greeters with a smile on their faces, they realize this is the place to be. Even though they have their own worries and concerns, they are coming into the house of God. They are meeting other people who have other worries and concerns, but are willing to welcome them into the Church.”
The Welcoming Team consists of more than just the greeters and ushers. Many men and women act on behalf of All Saints Catholic Church to welcome new members into the community.
The Welcoming Team expands beyond our liturgy and into our fellowship,” Fr. Jovita says. “We are seeking to make both our new and old members feel like this is a place for them.”
One Sunday each month is dedicated to welcoming new members into the All Saints community. The Welcoming Team hands out welcome packets and leads new parishioners to the pancake breakfast, where they can join the community in fellowship following Mass.
Becoming involved with the Welcoming Team is a wonderful way to get involved in parish life and to live out your call to stewardship. It is open to everybody, even children. Families can come with both parents and children to get all the members of the community involved.
“Parishioners are offering their time and their talent,” Fr. Jovita says. “They are setting an example to other parishioners that this is something anyone can do to get involved. And it is not staff members — the Welcoming Team is regular parishioners who volunteer their time. It is also a way for parishioners to integrate into the life of the parish. It helps build good relationships and friendships with new and old parishioners.”
To get involved with the Welcoming Team, call the parish office at 972-778-0301.