Utilizing all means of communication matters. Back in 2006, I lived in southeastern North Carolina–not a place with a large Catholic population, universities, or obvious resources to grow more in one’s faith. But, I started searching online for podcasts of good Catholic preaching, and I stumbled upon the podcast of homilies given by Msgr. Charles Pope of Holy Comforter St. Cyprian Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. His preaching was perfect for an independent Baptist formed, Catholic believer, and has remained a fixture in my podcast feed ever since.
For years, I’ve wanted to attend Mass at Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian and this Christmas, we happened to be near Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian for the Vigil Mass, hooray!
The worship aid/program for Mass included this excellent example of a kerygma-filled invitation:
On this feast of Christmas, we celebrate the fact that the eternal Son of God came forth in greatest love to save his people from their sins.
Our Lord Jesus Christ came not only to live among us, teach us, and to die on the cross but also to gather unto himself a people, who would love, support, and encourage one another in the ways of holiness.
He then sent his apostles forth to gather his people into the community of the Church by baptism and the proclamation of the Good News, the Gospel. This work continues today as it has down through the centuries.
Kerygma without the Church can be a problem–but this example incorporates that fullness in plain language, without context-less theological jargon.
The invitation goes on to address individuals–showing that it’s not simply that “we” have “stuff to teach you,” but that we are meant to be a bigger we in God’s plan.
At Christmas, many people find their way to church who are not otherwise very connected to church. There are many reasons for this. Some have simply drifted away, others have experienced some hurt or disagreement related to the Church or her members. Still others have never been formally related to any church. Whatever the reason may be, know that you are wanted and needed in this community of faith. We need your experience, support, encouragement, and love. You also need these same things from the Church. We need each other. The doors of this church are open if you seek a spiritual home…We are grateful for your interest in our parish and are here to serve you in whatever way we can. May you have a blessed Christmas and joyous New Year.