Does your parish have a school? If so, it’s likely that a lot of families are only showing up during the week for Mass — meaning that both your parish community and the school families themselves are missing out on Sunday morning.
Here are five ready-to-use template letters to send to parish families that will invite them into deeper communion with Christ through regular attendance at Sunday Mass.
Walking the walk of faith
“Who do you say that I am?”
Although this question was posed by Christ over two thousand years ago, it echoes through the centuries and is heard in every time and place. We hear it today, and every day, at (SCHOOL NAME).
Of course, we want to answer as Simon Peter did: “You are the Christ, the son of the living God!” And we hope that we do that here in our parish, not just in our spoken words and our promotional material, but in our actions every day. We seek to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
In our classrooms, we teach that it is necessary for the health of our souls to give time to God in worship each Sunday. This action of worship is our best way to answer the call of Christ. I invite you and your family to examine your own commitment to this crucial practice. Are we “walking the walk” of faith, instead of just talking the talk, for our children and for our communities?
Let us answer him together in a resounding and united voice: “You are the Christ, the son of the living God!”
A blessed inconvenience
I know it is never easy for a busy family to make time for Sunday Mass. After the grind of the work and school week comes the whirlwind of the weekend, usually packed with non-stop homework and extracurricular obligations. Finding an hour on Saturday evening or Sunday to attend Mass can often feel like an inconvenience.
But if it is an inconvenience, friends, then it is a blessed one. Children, in particular, respond to action over preaching (believe me — I know!). That’s why at (SCHOOL NAME), we sacrifice some of our classroom time each week to make sure that we gather together as a school community to worship.
I encourage you to ensure that you are taking that same time from your own busy family schedule to attend Mass, whether it is at the Saturday vigil or Mass on Sunday itself. I know it is a lot to ask, friends — and so does God. That’s why He would never ask unless it was deeply important.
Decades from now, will it not be the case that our children remember the things we did because they were important, not because they were easy?
Sunday isn’t just any day
Gathering in worship and community at Mass is the best and most important part of our week here at (SCHOOL NAME). We make it a priority to see that each student regularly attends Mass with his or her classmates and teachers, taking a break from the normal routine to set aside some time to be with God.
But as important as our weekday Masses are, they are no replacement for Sunday Mass. On Sundays, it is not just a privilege for us to attend Mass, it is a duty. Sundays are when we commemorate Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and His victory over death, and take time from our busy normal lives to find “rest” in worship, sacrifice and prayer.
Can I count on you to make sure our schoolchildren are receiving the benefit of regular attendance at Sunday Mass? Here at (SCHOOL NAME), we seek to nourish the minds and bodies of our students — but their souls are our first concern, and we can’t do it without your help! As their parents, you are their primary educators in the Christian life. Let’s work together to ensure they understand the beauty and grace of a Sunday morning spent in worship.
No virtual sacraments
Like so many other faith communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, our parish and school family has benefited greatly from the availability of “virtual Mass.” Thanks to technology, during times of mandated social distancing, illness or quarantine, we have still been able to gather as one in spirit, huddled around our computer screens or televisions to hear the good news of the Gospel.
But as wonderful as these virtual Masses are in times of crisis, we must remember that they are meant to be a temporary solution for extraordinary times. Sadly, pastors of all religions throughout the country report that their in-person attendance rates have not recovered since the virus’ outbreak last year.
In the same way that a “virtual hug” or a Facetime conversation cannot possibly replicate the real interaction, there is no such thing as a virtual sacrament. To benefit truly and fully from the sacrifice of the Mass, we should be present in person, if at all possible.
Thankfully, in contrast to the pandemic’s beginning, we know more about the necessary safety precautions that can allow our congregation to once again gather in person. We have been able to safely resume our in-person classroom instruction, just as we are able to safely celebrate weekly Sunday Mass.
Won’t you and your family consider joining us?
Jesus is waiting for you!
Just imagine, for a moment, the commotion that would take place in our little school community if we were to suddenly receive a visit from a king. Think of the extra effort we would put into our appearances on that day. Think of the excitement that would permeate our whole parish and school campus. I am sure many of you would even take time off of work to be present for such an occasion.
Well, we do receive a visit from a King — every single day. Whenever I consecrate the wine and the bread, Jesus Christ himself becomes truly present in the small white Host and the ordinary-looking wine, and the King of Kings dwells here at (PARISH NAME) just as surely as he dwells in Heaven.
This belief is the cornerstone of our Catholic faith, and we do our best to teach it in the classrooms at (SCHOOL NAME) and to model it in our weekly attendance at school Mass. But we need the help of parents like you to model it at home. Are you and your family making the effort to welcome the King at weekly Sunday Mass?