Catholic Extension, which works with people in America’s poorest regions, defines a thriving parish as a place where its people not only feel “welcomed,” but actually feel “at home,” where they are able to express who they truly are as a people of God and are empowered to live their mission in the world. In our experience, the pillars of a thriving congregation are found in a community where its people find beauty, fellowship, and mercy in abundance. Our program focuses on helping our parishes that serve marginalized communities to thrive in two main ways. First, we create new avenues for the marginalized faith communities in our network to share their beautiful traditions, art, and wisdom that are rarely seen or heard in the wider Church. Second, we seek to provide opportunities for leaders of these diverse parishes to be included in ecclesial gatherings that they are typically absent from due to cost or other obstacles. These convening opportunities provide diverse participants with opportunities to give greater clarity to their parishes’ mission and to share their values with the leaders of the wider Church, as well as the chance to glean insights and wisdom from others with whom they come in contact.
Initiative for Parishes & Peoples on the Peripheries