Generous Hospitality Makes a Difference!

Sometimes it is difficult to judge how our efforts to provide Generous Hospitality in our parishes are perceived by guests and parishioners alike.  For that reason, I think it is helpful to share the feedback we do occasionally receive. Last week, the Office of Vocations hosted Girls Totus Tuus Camp for middle and high-school aged girls.  One of my responsibilities has been to manage registration for our camps.  In May, I received a registration for a young woman from the Diocese of Bismarck.  Within minutes of receiving the online registration, I also received a follow-up email from this young woman’s mother.  She was concerned that perhaps our camp was only open to those in the Diocese of Rapid City.  After assuring her that her daughter was welcome at Totus Tuus, she shared the following comment:

 “We live in and are active parishioners of the Diocese of Bismarck in North Dakota.  However, we spend a good portion of our summers and a bit of our winters in the Black Hills each year.  We attend Mass at Blessed Sacrament in Rapid City in the summers.  Everyone is so welcoming there, to the point that we have been invited to bring up gifts and my daughter has even been an Altar Server when they were short one Sunday.”

The Generous Hospitality practiced at Blessed Sacrament is the primary reason this young woman attended camp this year and has gone a long way to make this family feel welcome in our Diocese.  I have visited with some of the hospitality ministers who are responsible for asking parishioners to bring up the gifts each Sunday.  It is sometimes difficult.  Although taking up the gifts may seem to many of us a simple task, it is daunting for many and those who ask hear “no” quite often.  However, as this story illustrates, it is well worth the effort and it is making a positive difference!

The Office of Vocations extends a heartfelt “thank you” to those who practice this Generous Hospitality at Blessed Sacrament parish.  In doing so, you have also helped our office promote our camp and continue the work of creating a culture of vocations in our Diocese.

On another note, the change of assignments within our Diocese became effective this past weekend and Fr. Mark has now officially taken over his new assignments at St. Thomas More and the Newman Center in Rapid City and I will be assuming responsibility for the Office of Stewardship. I would like to continue sharing news and stories related to Stewardship with all of you on a regular basis.

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