Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph encourages return to full participation in parish life with new campaign, “Come Home to Communion”
Some remain excused from in person participation, while many are called back to a real presence at Sunday Mass and holy days of obligation
Kansas City, Mo. – The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has launched a new effort aimed at encouraging Catholics to return to a full participation in their parish communities on June 1, as Bishop James Johnston lifts the general dispensation. The general dispensation, which began in March 2020, excused all Catholics from in person participation at Sunday Mass and holy days of obligation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This past year was unprecedented in many ways and I am grateful for the resilient faith, determination, and cooperation of so many who have ensured that our churches, schools, ministries, and institutions of faith continued in service, while taking prudential steps toward promoting safety,” said Bishop Johnston. “Our full, conscious, and active participation in the Sacred Liturgy requires our physical presence at Mass. The Sunday celebration of Mass is also the source of our communion and community life together in all our parishes.”
The campaign officially launches today with billboards, social media, a website and online tool kits for the diocese’s 98 parishes and missions to use in sharing the message with parishioners. Materials are available in English and Spanish, and some items will also be translated into Vietnamese in the coming weeks. Visit www.kcsjcatholic.org/comehome for details.
Father Andres Moreno, pastor at St. Anthony and Our Lady of Peace Parishes in Kansas City, Mo., shared, “I invite all those who stopped coming to Mass, to return to the house of the Father who awaits us all … friends, family members and neighbors.”
Invitation cards and conversation starters are available to assist those in inviting friends, family members, neighbors and fellow parishioners back to Church. The diocese’s upcoming summer issue of its magazine, Catholic Key, will arrive in mid-June highlighting the message of the campaign.
“Church is family, and we need to gather again in person. While we may speak in terms of ‘Sunday obligation,’ I prefer to see this as our tremendous opportunity to come together and worship as a family united in Christ. Televised or livestreamed Mass is not the same, and we look forward to welcoming you home,” said Fr. Joseph Totton, pastor of Saint James Parish in Saint Joseph.
Due to greatly improved conditions, Bishop Johnston has removed all diocesan restrictions put in place during the pandemic. Since the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph spans 27 counties in north and western Missouri, encompassing urban, suburban and rural communities, parishes have been impacted by COVID-19 in different ways. The emergence from pandemic restrictions reflects the specific locations and needs of each parish community and will differ from parish to parish. Those with questions about individual parish guidelines are encouraged to contact the Parish Office. A map of parishes in the diocese and contact information for each can be found at www.kcsjcatholic.org/locator.
“We are excited to kick off the Come Home to Communion campaign and eagerly look forward to welcoming all who wish to experience the Catholic faith through our doors,” said Heather Solis, director of stewardship and development, St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Kansas City, Mo.
A particular dispensation will remain for those who are symptomatic, or who have been advised by medical doctors to avoid public gatherings, or who are otherwise ill or homebound, as well as their caregivers. A formal decree with more details is available on the diocesan website.
To learn more about the Come Home to Communion campaign, visit www.kcsjcatholic.org.
About the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph spans 27 counties across north and western Missouri and is home to approximately 124,000 Catholics at 98 parishes or missions. Under the guidance of Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr., the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph continues its mission to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and incorporate people into his Kingdom and put them on the path to heaven. The Church serves the community by providing social services, education, faith communities and comfort for the faithful of the region. kcsjcatholic.org