One Practical Thing You Can Do to Make Your Parish a Warmer Place

One Practical Thing You Can Do to Make Your Parish a Warmer Place


In keeping with the social nature of man, the good of each individual is necessarily related to the common good, which in turn can be defined only in reference to the human person:
Do not live entirely isolated, having retreated into yourselves, as if you were already justified, but gather instead to seek the common good together. (
CCC 1905)

We are all called to seek the common good of everyone; we are called to live in community. When we go to Church, we are of the one body of Christ. Thoughts like these are constantly going through my head while I am in Mass. When I walk into my Church in Toronto I see people and think--I should reach out and say hi to them.

Because, well, why not?

We both attend this church, we are both Christian, we are probably both Catholic, so it should be easy; but, every time I chicken out. Yes, even me! I think a lot of people would find that shocking, because I am extroverted and I like meeting new people. But, sometimes, the idea of tapping someone’s shoulder and saying hi is awkward.

I was in Saskatoon this summer and I sat down with a friend of mine and we were talking about this topic. Now my friend brought up a good point; she said that it should be easy, because just by the fact that you are going to church you are stepping out of your comfort zone and making a statement. You are saying, "I am Catholic! Church is somewhat a priority, and I go to Jesus to be fed, I choose to be here!"

When you walk through the doors you make a public, outward profession of something you believe; that you believe enough to give up some of your Sunday to worship the Lord. By being there, we are one community and a part of the body of Christ.

That should be enough to talk to them; you have at least one thing in common! Jesus.

Thus so, I should be able to consciously turn to my neighbour and say, ” Hi, my name is Ben, what is yours? How long have you attended this parish?” Heck I may even go as far as seeing if they want to go for a coffee. It may seem weird, but it shouldn’t.

I know when it's at an apartment or a Catholic event, I am more willing to talk to a person. So why not at Mass? Why not meet new people?

Have you ever felt this way? Well, why not step out of your comfort zone, reach out your hand and say hi to your neighbour at Mass, this week at daily mass or next week. After, all you are a part of the same family, right?

Maybe you are meant to be a gift to that person or vice-versa. When I have reached out to people at Mass I have met some very encouraging and interesting individuals.

Maybe, it’s a prompting of the Holy Spirit that you are meant to talk to the person beside you.

I dare you, try it. I plan to.

You may also like: Wanted: A Different Kind of Parish

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