1 TRANSMITTING THE FAITH
Be a more welcoming, engaging Church.
Evaluate the new-parishioner experience, from the first phone call to the first person they see as they enter the church to the first time they sit in the pew.
Connect to more people through the use of technology (websites, social media and CCTV).
Use multi-platform communication and enhanced catechesis to reach and resonate with all parishioners.
The continuity and consistency of the responses during the synodal process should be noted; from nearly 1,000 individuals who attended the in-person and virtual listening sessions, many expressed a need to focus on transmitting the faith through enhanced catechesis and evangelization. Almost all participants have a great desire to pass on the faith and a sincere interest to help but are not sure how they can be of assistance. Many also expressed concern about fulfilling the legacy of our faith, fearful about how we will fill our pews with the next generation of disciples. Another point conveyed by many participants was the need for pastoral care of parents and grandparents whose children have already left the Church.
Nearly 10,000 paper and electronic surveys were aggregated from across the Diocese of Greensburg, from parishioners, clergy, religious orders and young people. The surveys revealed that more than 80% of respondents feel very connected to their faith because of the communication they receive from their parishes about opportunities to engage in parish life. This is likely a positive result of COVID-19, when the shutdown necessitated a new model of communication. Many parishes began social media pages, created e-mail databases, and used video to share Mass and spiritual messages with their congregations.
More listening sessions, consistent pulse surveying, listening to the voice of parishioners and communicating to them with new and innovative evangelization and catechesis will become important tactics for transmitting the faith.