Ask your students: What factors help them to feel at home in a parish community? Put the students into small groups in order to help them identify more specifically what helps them feel at home or would help them feel at home in a parish. Write these prompts on the board for them to think about. (Not every group needs to address every question.)

  • How would you prefer to be invited into the parish?
  • How would like to be greeted when you arrive at church?
  • Whom would you like to see at church each week?
  • How would you like to participate?
  • Describe the ideal atmosphere of the building you worship in?
  • What type of music do you prefer at Mass?
  • What type of homily would you like?
  • What kind of activity or gathering after Mass would you like to attend?
  • What else do you suggest for making your parish more welcoming?

After students have spent time in small groups, ask them to identify welcoming attributes for a parish, and see how much the groups have in common. Challenge the students to bring some of these ideas to a staff member at their parish and to report back in writing on what happened in response.