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.

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“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.”

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