What can smaller parishes learn from the successes of megaparishes?

This week on the podcast, Matt Malone, S.J., and Kerry Weber talk about “Amoris Laetitia,” the family and parish life. Sam Sawyer, S.J., also offers his perspective.

The main topic of this week’s conversation is Leah Libresco’s recent article, “Lessons on evangelization from the largest parish in the United States.” Libresco, a contributing editor for America, described her experience visiting St. Matthew in Charlotte, N.C., and the example it sets for other parishes.

“The most striking thing about what parishes can learn from giant parishes—evangelical or Catholic—is that lots of the accommodations we think of as being necessary for a huge parish are necessary for a lot of medium-sized parishes too,” said Libresco. “Many of the best things I saw at St. Matthew were maybe easier to do because they had so many people to draw on to do them, but were really a good idea for a medium-sized parish.

“I think the welcoming ministry is one of the most obvious [examples]. It’s a really critical time for someone who’s joining your community who is already in some kind of state of flux. If they’ve just joined a new church it's reasonable to assume that those folks need more help...it’s a shame to go to Mass, just you and the liturgy, as though you were attending a private Mass somewhere.”

More: US Church

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

After learning about [my daughter’s] syndrome and acknowledging my own resistance to that I’m realizing: This is how God made her.”
April 27, 2017
Who gets to be an expert on Ignatian spirituality? What are "God moments?"
Zac DavisApril 21, 2017

On this episode of “America This Week,” Kerry Weber and Matt Malone, S.J., speak about the state of Catholic art and how art can aid spiritual and political growth. Olga Segura, an associate editor at America, joins the hosts to offer her perspective.

The EditorsApril 20, 2017
Pope Francis lies prostrate at the beginning of the Good Friday liturgy in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican April 3. (CNS photo/Stefano Spaziani, pool)
All things Holy Week with Father James Martin
Ashley McKinlessApril 14, 2017