Hospitality Grows our Parish

In the last two years, we have taken our Aloha Hospitality Ministry more seriously. When one arrives on our campus, the first thing one notices is a banner that says “Welcome to St. John’s: A Place to Feel at Home.” Hospitality helps to grow the parish. This year we have gone to a new level of hospitality and welcome to a shared responsibility of all volunteers and clergy as well. We go long ways before Mass on Sundays to greet and welcome all visitors and new parishioners. We offer them leis as a sign of our welcome and hospitality. We realize that only when people feel welcome to do they get a sense of belonging. A sense of belonging leads to being actively engaged in the life of the parish and engagement opens the door to being equipped and formed for ministry and witness in the community in terms of evangelization. In welcoming new parishioners, we prepare them for witness in their own lives, so that they may be ready to evangelize others.

One new component of Hospitality is marking areas in our church space designated for persons with disability with a clear sign. The results have been amazing. There have been very positive comments by persons with disability. One such person said that St. John’s was the only parish with reserved space for persons with disability. The person also added that they would not think of going to any other parish because of showing such care for persons with disability.

By practicing hospitality as a way of life, we have actually grown the parish. The results of hospitality have been amazing. From 2014-2018 our parish added 496 new registered households.  However, the best measure is not the number of new parishioners, but the engagement of volunteers in ministries. Our ministries have grown and so has the number of volunteers serving in these ministries. Just look at the lanai on any given Sunday and you notice volunteers engaged in ministry mainly to serve others. Our daily Mass attendance has increased. We have become a more vibrant parish community more particularly because of our vibrant weekend liturgies that engage parishioners to participate.  

Monsignor John S. Mbinda