A few years ago, not long after my husband and I had moved from the city where we raised our children, I found myself standing in the back of church after Mass, anxious to leave, waiting for my husband who was talking with a new acquaintance. In the midst of the move, I had become disconnected from the community of faith. The following week, I called the choir director of our new parish, explained that my schedule is very haphazard, and wondered if I might help with the choir in some way. The director, Yvonne, welcomed me to sing, whenever I was in town, for rehearsals even if I was not going to be at the parish on Sunday, or on Sunday, even if I had been gone during rehearsal. Occasionally, after a long time away, I would pray as part of the assembly at Sunday Mass, and Yvonne would find me afterwards, asking why I had not joined the choir for the day. She built a bridge for me, connecting me to the community and more deeply to Christ, through her warm and welcoming ministry, and for that, I am deeply grateful.
Pope Francis has called on all of us to become what he calls “spirit-filled evangelizers.” In other words, he wants us to invite others and welcome them, to live convincingly and to speak up about our faith when the right moment presents itself. The starting point for such a mission is in the home. We tend toward a parish-centered approach, one in which we tend to see the church and the parish as one and the same. But in fact, the church is the people of God living their everyday, ordinary lives. It’s precisely in this “everydayness” that the invitation and welcome to faith must be given. This means we must develop household-centered catechesis - and this will require us to change.