MISSION by lifemate



An Introductory Word…

       Our Redemptorist religious family was founded in Italy in 1732 by St. Alphonsus
Liguori to “preach the Good News” to the poor and most abandoned. From our
inception Redemptorists have been involved with the mission apostolate. We preach
“With Him Is Plentiful Redemption”, our Redemptorist motto. God has given us a gift
for this special ministry, and we are happy to share the gift with you, members of our
Church family.

       You and others in your parish are considering a mission because you wish to aid
and renew your fellow parishioners and Catholics in their faith journey. Likewise, you
would like as many people as possible to be a part of the experience. We share your
desire and dream!

      In this booklet we present to you from our parish mission experiences this proven
method of preparation to insure high attendance and participation by both regular
churchgoers and inactive Catholics. Should you decide to invite us to preach a mission
in your parish, we presume that you will have a mission committee in place four months
in advance of the mission as recommended in thise pages. Together we will work
toward achieving our shared dream.

     Should you have any questions or wish to secure dates for a parish mission, the
Redemptorist in contact with you will be happy to assist you.

      Thank you for inquiring about the possibility of the Redemptorists giving a
mission in your parish.

                                      The Redemptorists

Mission Facts ………………………………………………………………………………… 1

Parish Pre-Mission Preparation List ………………………………………………………. 3

Mission Committee Membership …………………………………………………………... 4

Job Descriptions for Committee Members ………………………………………………... 5

Instructions for Music Ministers …………………………………………………………... 10

Special Evangelization Efforts ……………………………………………………………..               11

     Securing the Names of Inactives …………………………………………………...            13

     Sample Postcards …………………………………………………………………...                     14

     Sample School and CCD Children’s Letter to Parents …………………………..   16

     Sample Mission Fliers/Posters ……………………………………………………..              17

     Sample Newspaper Advertisement ………………………………………………..               22

Involving the Parish ………………………………………………………………………...                    23

Sample Letter From Pastor ………………………………………………………………...                  24

Sample Telephone Message ………………………………………………………………...                   25

Sample Newspaper Article ……………………………………………………………….…                    26

Sample Parish Mission Prayer Cards ……………………………………………………..              27

Sample Mission Keepsakes (Holy Cards and Buttons) …………………………………….      28

Suggested Ideas for After the Mission/Renewal ………………………………………….        29
                                           Mission Facts

What is a mission?

       The mission is a preaching event. God’s Word is proclaimed through the Bible and Catholic
doctrine. It is also proclaimed through the life, learning, and personal experience of the preacher.

       The mission begins Sunday night and ends Thursday night.

        The services last about one hour and fifteen minutes, give or take five or ten minutes depending
on attendance and other factors. Services are in the evening at a time to be determined by the parish,
taking into account parents of young children and the elderly.

      The weekend the mission starts, the missionaries will preach at all the weekend Masses. The
weekend homily is a last invitation to the mission.

Parish Priest(s), Deacon(s), Staff, and Pastoral Council:

       Experience has taught us that it is necessary that the pastor, associates, deacons, staff, and
pastoral council be involved in the preparation, planning and promotion of the mission. We consider it
absolutely necessary that they be present during the mission.

Parish People:

        We consider it vital to the goal and purpose of the mission that lay leadership be involved in the
mission preparation and promotion. Thus, we strongly suggest a staff or parish council member NOT
chair the mission committee.

        Involving as many people as possible on the different mission committees spreads out the work
load, lessens the burdens, and increases attendance and participation in the mission event.

        These same people may cooperate with the pastor, staff, and council in any follow-up programs
that evolve from the mission experience.

       No religious education or parish activities and events should be scheduled that would conflict
with the evening mission services. Rather than tell people that there is no meeting, we suggest telling
groups “the meeting begins at [insert mission time] in the church!”
                                     Mission Facts [continued]
Pre-Mission Meeting:

       A minimum of four months prior to the agreed-upon mission dates a special meeting with the
mission committee as well as the pastor, representatives from the staff and pastoral council, the school
principal, the religious education director, and the youth minister, should the parish have one, will be
held. The meeting will be most beneficial if all the members on the mission committee are present
and know their assigned ministry together with the other key people mentioned. This will energize the
mission committee members; give the missionaries and parish the chance to familiarize themselves
with each other; and increase communication, ownership for the mission, and support for committee

       The meeting lasts about ninety minutes. The Redemptorist will chair the meeting, and the
mission should be the only item on the agenda.


       Although the message of the Gospel is God’s free gift to us (see ICorinthians 9:18), there are
expenses. The mission team, together with the parish, will strive for good stewardship in this area.

       We ask the parish to pay the missionaries’ actual travel and lodging expenses for both the pre-
mission and mission. We use the most economical form of transportation that time and schedule
permit. Driving costs are ______ cents per mile and subject to change. A statement of travel
expenses will be given to the pastor during the mission.

        Expenses will not be a barrier for a parish wanting a mission but unable to afford the above
costs. If you are such a parish, please contact us to make appropriate arrangements.

        There is no set fee or stipend for the mission. Instead, a free will offering is requested. This
offering takes the form of a collection at Thursday night’s Mass. The missionaries will announce this
collection and distribute envelopes on Wednesday night. There should be no other collections during
the mission. Since the missionaries are not salaried and receive no other standard diocesan benefits
such as car allowance or health and retirement benefits, this collection is the sole means of their
ministerial and personal support.

        The parish is responsible for all other expenses related to the mission.
                          Parish Pre-Mission Preparation List

Things the Parish Community Should Do:

       Secure a mission committee chairperson(s) and committee members.

       Prayer and fasting:

                     Petition at all weekend Masses for the success of the mission.

                     Parish meetings include the mission in their opening prayers.

                     Individual and group prayer

                          o Formal or informal holy hours.

                          o Set aside a special day each week for fasting.

                          o Develop and circulate a mission prayer for people to use at home.

All parish meetings and activities (including Bingo, games, and practices) that would conflict with the
mission time should be rescheduled. Invite the people to the mission!
                            Mission Committee Membership

             [this is an example of the positions needed on your parish mission committee]

Chairperson(s):                      Pat and Irene Belen                         627-5895

Transportation:                      Fern Frisbee                                627-4532

Childcare:                           Pat Tyke                                    627-5884

Promotion:                           Carolyn and John Goergen                    627-5378

Mailings:                            Kay Starr                                   627-5387

Phone Calling:                       Florence Voice                              627-0007

Refreshments (morning)               Betty Crocker                               627-3824

Refreshments (evening)               July Pilsbury                               627-3626

Liturgy and Music:                   Joyce Soprano                               627-9640
                                     Sue Emblem                                  627-0469
                                     Roberta Flack                               627-7662

        As you gather people for your mission committee, keep in mind that you want to involve as
many parishioners in the mission preparations and experience as possible. The key to good attendance
is involvement, involvement, involvement.
                     Job Descriptions for Committee Members

        To coordinate and oversee committee efforts and preparations as well as determine a theme or
name for the mission with the assistance of the committee, the pastor, the pastoral council, and the
parish council. To coordinate the securement of volunteers to serve on each of the committees (see
page 23). Finally, to be in regular contact with the missionary who did the pre-mission meeting in
order to give him updates on your progress and discuss committee decisions.

      To arrange transportation for those needing rides to and from the mission.


          Include on and/or consult “Time and Talent Sheets” for assistance.
          With the rest of the committee, review, adapt, and make use of page 23.
          Be sure to communicate to those working on promotion, mailing, and phone calling the
           name and phone number of the person who should be contacted if such assistance is

      To provide childcare during the evening mission sessions.


          Consult with Liturgy and Music committee heads to determine if there will be a Liturgy of
           the Word for Children during the mission. Recruit ministers accordingly.
          Consult “Time and Talent Sheets” for assistance.
          With the rest of the committee, review, adapt, and make use of page 23.
          Consult and work with present Sunday mass sitters.
          Secure enough childcare providers for each night as well as enough providers to allow each
           adult to miss only one night of the mission.
          To ease parents’ concerns, secure a nurse or a licensed childcare provider to be present each
           evening. People from neighboring parishes or other Christian communities might be
           willing to volunteer their time for an evening or more, freeing your own people to attend
           the mission. Should a nurse or licensed childcare provider be available, include this
           information in your publicity and share it with those who call to invite parishioners to the
          Do not use as a service project for Confirmation candidates. We want the candidates at the
   Sign up available and needed spaces.
   Secure VCR, DVD player, videos, DVDs, toys, and cribs.
   Seek to provide quiet places for kids to do their homework.
                              Job Descriptions [continued]

       To coordinate and publicize the mission to the parish and broader local community.
(We strongly recommend this individual have advertising and/or sales experience.)

        Brainstorm about how you can make use of
             o TV and radio public service announcements;
             o Newspaper advertisements and news releases (see pages 22 and 26);
             o Bank marquees;
             o Bulletin fliers, especially between now and the mission should Christmas or
                Easter be celebrated (see pages 17-19);
             o Bulletin announcements on a regular basis;
             o Buttons, poster (see pages 20-21), a banner for the church;
             o An insert for the school and religious education programs at the start of their
                school year;
             o Involvement of the school and CCD kids in making posters and displaying
                them in the church, around the school, and in local stores;
             o Helium balloons printed with the mission theme and dates to be given to the
                kids or sold at the parish picnic, carnival, or whatever.

          Divide up the parish by blocks, and ask parishioners to walk their street placing
           fliers on doors inviting people to attend the mission starting the following Sunday.
          Arrange to show the mission overview videotape at all the weekend Masses prior to
           the mission. The missionary will bring and show the videotape at the pre-mission
          Include on and/or consult “Time and Talent Sheets” for assistance.
          With the rest of the committee, review, adapt, and make use of page 23.
          Remember that inactive Catholics will not hear Sunday announcements and prayers
           for the success of the mission, nor will they read the weekly bulletin. Mailings and
           phone calls are essential for inactive and indifferent Catholics to find out about the
           mission and know they are invited.
                                     Job Descriptions [continued]

      To prepare letters and fliers to be sent to neighboring Catholic parishes and churches of other
denominations in your area as well as a letter to be sent to parishioners.


          Assist pastor in preparing letters to other Catholic parishes and churches of other
           denominations as well as to parishioners (see page 24).
          Consult the “Time and Talent Sheets” for assistance or invite others in the parish to assist
          With the rest of the committee, review, adapt, and make use of page 23.
          Check with the parish secretary for necessary supplies, use of equipment, and information.
          Duplicate, stuff, label, and sort letters for mailing.

Phone Calling:
      To reach out and personally invite parishioners to the mission.


          Obtain a current list of parishioners and their phone numbers.
          Consult “Time and Talent Sheets” for assistance or secure people via bulletin
           announcements as well as personal invitation. Consider new parishioners. This could be a
           means of incorporating them more in the parish community.
          With the rest of the committee, review, adapt, and make use of page 23.
          Get one caller for each 10 families in the parish.
          Adapt “Sample Telephone Message” (page 25) to meet your needs.
          Plan a training session for phone callers.
          Hold training session to review your telephone message and determine when calls will be
          Make calls. Be sure to keep trying until you talk to each family/unit.
                                    Job Descriptions [continued]

Refreshments – mornings:
      To provide coffee, juice, and goodies (coffee cake, donuts, breads) after morning Mass.


          Consult “Time and Talent Sheets” for assistance. Invite others, especially those who
           usually attend the Mass designated as the “Mission Mass”, and gather people.
          With the rest of the committee, review, adapt, and make us of page 23.
          Organize volunteers and be sure to explain responsibilities.
          Secure other amenities that will be needed such as napkins, cups, and utensils.

Refreshments – evenings:
      To provide refreshments after each evening service and create a comfortable, informal, and
      inviting atmosphere for people to gather.


          Decide what you would like to have each evening (what would folks find inviting?),
           keeping in mind that Thursday evening’s goodies should be extra special.
          With the rest of the committee, review, adapt, and make use of page 23.
          Secure volunteers to serve refreshments, trying to get different people for each night.
          Seek people to bring goodies. Ask groups such as the Altar and Rosary Society, the Nifty-
           Fifties group, the Men’s Society, the Holy Name Society, the Parents-Teachers Association,
           and parish council commissions to volunteer.
          Arrange refreshments to avoid food lines. For example, put drinks (regular coffee, decaf
           coffee, iced tea, lemonade) in the room’s corners. Place popcorn on a table against one
           wall, pretzels on another along a different wall, and chips and dips on the third wall.
          Make sure chairs are available, if not already set up. Consider decorating and playing
           music so people will be inclined to come.
                                      Job Descriptions [continued]
Liturgy and Music:
      To review and prepare for the mission and each evening service. To work with the rest of the
      mission committee to determine and ready a “mission keepsake”.


          Include intercessions for the success of the mission at all weekend Masses.
          Determine a way to invite members of the parish to pray for the success of the mission at
           home as well as at church with informal holy hours (see page 3) and mission prayer cards
           (see page 27).
          Encourage all parish meetings to begin with prayer and to include the success of themission
           in their intentions.
          Consult with Childcare committee heads to determine whether there will be a Liturgy of the
           Word for Children during the mission. Recruit ministers accordingly.
          Review each evening’s service (see Mission Services booklet) and the placement and type
           of songs/music needed.
          Secure people to fill all ministerial roles for each service (a list of ministers needed for each
           evening service is located in the Mission Services booklet for each individual service.) Try
           not to use the same people twice, and seek out people who may or may not attend the
           mission otherwise.
          With the rest of the committee, review, adapt, and make use of page 23.
          Inform ministers that they must be in the sacristy a half hour before the start of the service
           to rehearse.
          Contact musicians and choirs to arrange what nights each will play and sing.
          Work with musicians and choirs to determine music in light of the theme for each night of
           the mission and the parish’s knowledge of music.
          Read “Instructions for Music Ministers” (page 10)
          Each day of the mission check in with the missionaries to review needs and to go over the
           service itself.
          Recruit people to prepare enough loaves for the Wednesday night service. Each loaf should
           be fist sized. Everyone at the service gets a loaf of bread. This applies only to the
           Conversion Themes format. There is no bread night in the Sacramental Themes format.
          Secure symbols for each night’s service and determine where in the sanctuary these
           symbols will be enthroned. Also prepare such things as lectern stands and cloth and
           flowers that you may wish to use to adorn the places of enthronement.
          Make sure additional confessors are secured for reconciliation on Tuesday night.
          Normally, no Thursday morning Mass should be scheduled since the closing service of the
           mission is a Eucharistic celebration.
          Give a list of ministers and music for each evening mission service to the missionary(ries)
           by noon of the Sunday the mission starts.

                             Instructions for Music Ministers

       Music greatly enhances worship. Your ministry contribures to the overall success of the
mission experience. Know that we count on your assistance as well as your knowledge and familiarity
with the mission services.

        A key element of each evening service is involving the people. This includes involving them in
the singing wherever such participation is mentioned and requested. In the spirit of evangelization (see
page 12), consider forming a choir of school kids and a choir of CCD kids to sing during the mission.

        Please review the services for each night (see Mission Services booklet). Wherever music is
desired, please choose music that fits the service’s symbol and them (see Mission Services booklet) and
that people know and sing well.

        Soft music starting fifteen to ten minutes before the service is desirable. This will help to
create a prayerful atmosphere for people as they arrive.

        Because of the length of the entrance procession and the enthronement of symbols, please
continue the congregational singing or music until the celebrant is in place to begin the service.
Likewise, there are times throughout services when the celebrant will pass through the assembly, the
people will come forward, or members of the congregation will receive something. At these times,
please make sure there is music as instructed and outlined in each service until all ministers are in
position to continue the service.

       We need some meditative music after each night’s sermon. Rather than congregational, this
music should be either instrumental or a solo. However, the soloist should not distract from the
community’s reflection on the sermon.

     The Thursday evening Eucharistic celebration should compare musically to what the
community is accustomed to at Sunday mass. Unless it is a feast day, there is no Gloria.

       Weekday morning Eucharistic liturgies should be what the parish normally celebrates

        Should you have any questions, please contact the mission committee chairperson, who will be
in regular communication with one of the missionaries.

       Thank you for all your assistance. We look forward to ministering with you.
                               Special Evangelization Efforts

        According to Gallup, Catholicism is the largest Christian denomination in the United States.
Inactive Catholics comprise the second largest group of Christians.

        Pope Paul VI spoke about the Church’s need to first evangelize our fellow Catholics. Pope
John Paul II spoke about this being the age of “new evangelization.” The American National
Conference of Catholic Bishops in their pastor letter “Go and Make Disciples” (1992) offer a stategy
for reaching out to both inactives and unchurched. In the spirit of the Holy Fahter and the U.S.
bishops, we Redemptorists invite pastors and parishioners to join us in efforst to reach out to the
inactives and invite them to the extraordinary preaching event we call the mission.

       Statistics make evident the need to reach out. Forty-four people out of every one hundred in
the United States is unchurched. There are sixty million Catholics in the United States. Of these sixty
million, 25% celebrate Eucharist weekly; 50%, or thirty million Catholics, celebrate Eucharist
occasionally; and 25% never go to church at all.

       Since the inactives are not at weekly Mass, they will not read or hear about the mission. We
must look for other ways to announce the mission and invite them to attend.

       A study of a sales force found that

           48% pf the force quit on a potential customer after one phone call.
           25% quit after two calls.
           15% quit after three calls.
           12% of the sales force called a potential customer four, five, and six times.

       In summary,

       #1      88% of the sales force quit on a potential customer after making only one, two or three
       #2      12% of the sales force did 80% of the business!!! 88% of the sales force did 20% of the

       What can we learn about evangelization from this study? If we want to be successful in selling
the mission to inactives, we need to all our “customers” at least four, if not more, times.

       We suggest the following stategy in the weeks preceding your mission:

       Week 10:        Every household gets a letter from the pastor about the mission (see page
       Week 9:        A select phone committee (see page 13) follows up the pastor’s letter with a
                      phone call to inactives inviting them to the mission.

       Week 6:        A postcard about the mission is sent to inactives (see pages 14-15).
       Week 5:        The phone committee follows up with the inactives about receiving the postcard
                      and the mission.
       Week 2:        Inactives get another postcard or flier (see pages 14-15 and 17-19).
       Week 1:        Everyone in the parish is called and invited to the mission. The phone
                      committee calls the inactives again to invite and confirm their coming to the

        Chances are there are people on the staff who can help secure the names and addresses of the
inactives (some of the people who don’t use or want envelopes and some of the parents of recently
baptized children, first communicants and Confirmandi). Consider announcing after Communion at all
the weekend Masses your intentions of reaching out to inactives. Invite parishioners to submit the
names, addresses, and phone numbers of neighbors, coworkers, and friends they know who aren’t
going to Sunday Mass on provided forms (see page 13) and to return the completed forms the
following weekend, placing them in the collection basket along with their contributions. When
securing this information, also inform parishioners that it is a proven fact that people return to a more
active practice of the faith via the relationship they have with someone who is active. Ask parishioners
whether they would be willing to follow p mailings with a phone call to the people whose names they
submit. Finally, place the completed forms people submit on the altar or another suitable place in the
sanctuary, and include in your weekend petitions God’s blessings on your efforts to evangelize.

        An additional way to reach out and invite inactives as well as active Catholics to the mission is
through the school and religious education. Encourage school and CCD teachers to attend the mission,
even if they are not members of the parish, and promote the mission (show the videotape) with the
kids. Create a choir of CCD kids (anyone can join) and a choir of school kids (anyone can join) and
have them sing on different nights of the mission, hopefully early on in the mission rather than later.
Teachers can adapt the sample note (see page 16) to parents from their son or daughter asking their
parents to bring them to the mission.

       As you evangelize, let Jesus’ words stating the joy in heaven over the finding of one lost sheep
be your inspiration and strength. That lost sheep may be your spouse, your son or daughter, your
brother or sister, a friend, a neighbor, or a coworker. These people are worth the effort.
                              Evangelization Efforts Continued
                                Securing the Names of Inactives

         Three months prior to the mission, for two successive weekends, invite parishioners during the
weekend Masses announcements to take home the form below to write the names, addresses, and
phone numbers of any inactive parishioners, neighbors, friends, and coworkers they know. Include
within the announcement the fact that people who became active in the Faith once again did so through
their relationship with a friend or neighbor. Ask people whether they would be willing to follow up
mailings with phone calls to the people whose names they submit, inviting them to the mission. Ask
people to return the forms the following Sunday. The, place the completed forms on the altar or
another appropriate place in the sanctuary, and each weekend include in petitions prayer for the
success of your evangelization efforts.

                           All Souls Catholic Church Mission
                                          February 2-6
                                         7PM Each Night

       Do you know someone who is inactive in our Catholic faith that we may
invite to our mission?

Name: ______________________________                  Name: ______________________________

Address: ____________________________                 Address: ____________________________

____________________________________                  ____________________________________

Phone: _____________________________                  Phone: _____________________________

       People who become active in the Catholic Church again state that it was the invitation of
someone they knew and respected that greatly influenced them. If you receive a copy of all the
planned mailings to the people you name above, would you be willing to follow up each mailing
with a phone call inviting the people to our mission? If so, please give us your name, address, and
phone number.

       Your Name: ________________________________________________________

       Your Address: ______________________________________________________
Your Phone Number: ________________________________________________


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