One pastor told his parish that a mission "was a time for special grace as we come together in a more structured way and make ourselves available to the graces God gives among us as we celebrate and reflect on our shared lives and faith in God." So, a mission is as much about a parish being together for a little longer-than-normal period of time as it is about a guest speaker and their message.
Parish missions (or any other name) can be times for:
- Reflection and prayer
- Renewal and recommitment
- Catechesis or formation
- Outreach and growth
Mike focuses his speaking ministry around the values of affirmation, challenge and encouragement:
Affirmation: that Christ IS risen; that God is now (still) here; that holiness is approachable
Challenge: to keep faith alive and active in a busy culture through everyday practices
Encouragement: to keep being a “practicing” Catholic.
- Advance planning resources, including “best practices” from other parishes in regards to publicity, liturgy/prayer, hospitality, follow-through, etc.
- Speaking at weekend masses prior to the mission’s start on the scriptures with an invitation to parishioners to attend the mission.
- Usually three evening services with scripture, presentation/message, music, and one optional (daytime) presentation each day of the mission.
Examples of daytime presentations include:
- Staff presentation/morning of reflection (motivation)
- Junior high or high school assembly
- A shorter morning re-cap of the mission content for those unable to attend in the evening
- A catechist workshop
- Meeting with youth group or confirmandi