Listen to this story:
Have you ever wondered how the Christogram IHS typically seen on liturgical items originated from? Or who was the first beatified millennial?
In our free ebook, we highlight the lives of five holy men and women, and how their example of courage, faith, and innovation in their time can inspire parish leaders in their daily work today. We walk you through the lives of:
- Paul, the Apostle
- Isidore of Seville
- Bernardine of Siena
- Blessed Carlo Acutis
- Frances Cabrini
We also share the wisdom of St. John Paul II, prayers for parish leaders, and the four most important characteristics that every parish leader needs in order to serve well in today’s Church.
For a long time, parishes relied on word of mouth to attract new people to join them in celebrating the Mass and the sacraments, either through a personal invitation from a parishioner or the pastor himself. Bulletins, pulpit announcements, and emails were the go-to communication tools for leaders to keep parishioners informed. But with a shrinking population of Christians every year, these methods of growing the Church aren’t enough.
Seeing the cultural and religious shifts happening around him and the explosion of new forms of technology, St. John Paul II met with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in 2002. Before imparting his Apostolic Blessing on the people and work of the council, he shared his concerns and challenged his brother bishops and sisters in Christ to take advantage of new opportunities:
“The Gospel lives always in conversation with culture, for the Eternal Word never ceases to be present to the Church and to humanity. If the Church holds back from culture, the Gospel itself falls silent. Therefore, we must be fearless in crossing the cultural threshold of the communications and information revolution now taking place…
“Therefore, dear Brothers and Sisters, I urge you, in all your planning, to make room for Christ. In the print media, in radio and television, in the world of cinema and the Internet, seek to open doors to him who so mercifully is the door of salvation for us. Then the mass media will be a world of genuine communication, a world not of illusion but of truth and joy. I pray fervently that this will be so, and I entrust your work to Mary, Mother of the Word made flesh. I gladly impart my Apostolic Blessing to all involved in the work of the Pontifical Council, as a pledge of Christ’s presence among you and his power upon all that you do in his name.”=
Decades later, the words of St. John Paul II are bearing fruit in the Church.
74 percent of parishes who participated in our Catholic edition of the 2023 State of Church Tech report indicated that they offered worship services both in-person and online. The Church is sharing, experimenting, and extending its ministries—and in response, people are exploring their Catholic Faith in digital spaces like never before.
But for some parishes, making meaningful improvements to parish life is difficult. It can feel impossible to get everyone on board.
This free ebook will help leaders discover how the faith, courage, and innovation of saints from centuries ago can impact their leadership today. Download your free ebook today.