2. Hospitality by Fr. James Mallon

The difference between a club and a church is that a club exists for the members and the church exists “mainly for the sake of those who do not belong.” As the pastor of a church, Father Mallon points out that his role is principally to lead an army of missionaries. To reach out to those who are not a part of the church, not to just meet the needs of his parishioners. (p. 101)

This missional orientation is the identity that needs to be embraced. Again, this is a question of fundamental values. This is the “difference between what we say we value and what we value deep down. Hospitality, therefore, does not mean being friendly with our friends and all the people who look, think and talk like us, but reaching out to the stranger.” (p. 101)

What is the Sunday morning experience like for the person who does not yet belong?

Hospitality team:

  • Find people who enjoy welcoming people.
  • Start outside the church.
  • Have a team of emergency 1st responders.
  • Have clean buildings, especially the bathrooms.
  • But keep in mind = It’s a responsibility of the entire community.
  • Smile!
  • We exist for the marginalized. How welcome do they feel when entering our churches?

The Liturgy:

  •  Because it is the worship of the initiated, by its very nature, the liturgy is not hospitable to the outsider.

Inhospitable practices:

  • Assuming that everyone knows what to do.
  • Pretending that guests are not really present.


  • Acknowledge guests. Welcome them. Invite them to enter into our worship as they are able.
  • Presume nothing.
  • Give brief descriptions during Mass.

The ultimate goal of hospitality is to welcome guests so well that they themselves decide to join the parish and help welcome other guests. (p. 107)


  • Mobile welcome booth = with computer & big-screen TV.
  • “Communication card” (109).
  • New Parishioner Event = 20 new parishioners at most. 1 hour wine and cheese RSVP. Welcome. Mingling. Formal registration card @ end.
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