Heartache and Hope in the Aftermath of Charleston

Posted on June 30, 2015 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

Charleston CoverIn the wake of the tragic shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Church in Charleston on June 17th, LPi created a complimentary bulletin cover and prayer card to encourage prayers and reflection. The Catholic Community of St. Jude in DeWitt, MA received our email sharing the bulletin and prayer card artwork files and wanted to express their community’s prayers.

In addition to placing the bulletin cover in their June 27 Sunday bulletin, they wanted to make an eight-foot banner for all of their parishioners to sign on Sunday and send the banner to Emanuel African Methodist Church. To make this happen, the church needed a larger logo for the banner.

SC Tragedy Sticker

They reached out to LPi to ask for a larger image of the logo “Remembering Our Brothers & Sisters in Faith” to place on their banner. LPi was able to accommodate their request quickly so the Catholic Community of St Jude  was able to accomplish their project this past Sunday.

Signing

Evangelize Your Parish In All Your Communications

Posted on June 24, 2015 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

St. John Vianney Catholic Parish is a welcoming Catholic faith community with a dedication to lifelong faith formation of its parishioners. It has numerous ministries, an active school and parish community, as well asan engaging website. The goal of this makeover was to help the parish fully utilize the power of its weekly print bulletin to proclaim the Gospel of Christ.

 

Original and Redesigned Bulletin

Using the entire space for staff information prevented the parish from using its bulletin cover for the faith formation of its parishioners. The solid block of color with white type reversed out was hard to read. Moving this information to pages 2-3 opened up space to feature the church photo from its website home page and to highlight the weekend’s Gospel reading. The parish mission statement was hidden away on page 7; now featured on the cover each week, it will get more attention.

Highlights from the makeover of the interior pages

Colors drawn from the parish website tie it to the bulletin, photos and graphics make the pages pop, and background images and shading separate articles without harsh lines.

Interior Pages

Original bulletin

Mostly colorless and unformatted, these inside bulletin pages don’t use the white space effectively and leave large gaps between items.

Original Bulletin

For more inspiration and design ideas for all your parish communications, click here.

Mass: “The Heart of the Matter”

Posted on June 16, 2015 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

Celebrate MassThe Archdiocese of Milwaukee released a powerful video that follows the story of two friends, one an Atheist, who are drawn into the joy and beauty of the Catholic Mass and the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. Their story stands as a great testimony to the need for evangelization in our everyday lives and how everything can be changed in a single encounter with the Lord of Lords.

Click here to watch the video

Building a Vibrant Parish in North Dakota

Posted on June 9, 2015 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

IMG_1972Each year, LPi conducts dozens of Building a Vibrant Parish seminars across the country to help local parishes engage their members and strengthen the Church. Today our team is at Spirit of Life Catholic Church in Mandan, ND sharing our experiences, tools, and strategies to help build a more vibrant parish.

Click here to see when we’ll be in your area or contact us if your church is interested in hosting one of these free seminars.

A Fresh Look at Parish Communication

Posted on June 5, 2015 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

Prince of Peace Cover RedesignThe church bulletin is certainly the oldest and most common channel of communication used by parishes. How it is used and what is included as content varies greatly from place to place. But too often, it is seen as little less than a handout containing dates, times, and advertisements for programs. The potential of many a bulletin is left completely untapped.

You could create a dozen different ways of communicating in your parish, but the bulletin is the only way to communicate to all Mass attendees and visitors. Even as the digital world expands, that paper bulletin is gold in terms of evangelization value, because you get it right into their physical hands. Imagine the Catholic who has returned after years away, the young adult who showed up for the first time not sure whether church is even relevant in her life, and the young family that is church shopping and had a difficult time just getting all the children out the door, all at your church on a Sunday morning. What is contained in that bulletin you place in their hands that might make all of the difference? Does the ink tell of only news, or does it clearly celebrate the good news?

To read more from Communicating Kerygma, A Fresh Look at Parish Communication by Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS, Director of Parish Community & Engagement at LPi, click here.

 

What I learnt from 46 consecutive days in church

Posted on May 24, 2015 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

Adrian Chiles, BBCBroadcaster and recent Catholic convert Adrian Chiles recently set himself a challenge to go to church every day for more than a month, and never the same one twice. Most of us will never have this kind of opportunity, but Chiles’ insights, reflections, and images speak to every one of us who have ever sat in a pew.

Here’s an excerpt:

“For the Lent just gone by, I resolved to go to church every day. I’m a Catholic, so it would be Mass every day for more than a month. It felt like it would be a real struggle – a penance. It turned out to be anything but. It was a rich and enriching experience – spiritually, obviously, but I was also enraptured by the churches themselves, the communities they serve, and the people with whom I shared all those Masses.”

Click here for the full article

Pope Francis and his growing litany of modern-day martyrs

Posted on April 21, 2015 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

By Elise Harris

Vatican City, Apr 21, 2015 / 09:54 am (CNA/EWTN News). – Amid a torrent of recent news reports on persecuted Christians, Pope Francis reflected on those killed for their faith and said that these modern “Stephens” suffer as the Church’s first martyr did.

“The Church today is a Church of martyrs: they suffer, they give their lives and we receive the blessing of God for their witness,” Francis told attendees of his April 21 Mass, held in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse.

“In these days how many Stephens there are in the world!” he said, referring to the first apostle who was killed for proclaiming Jesus Christ, and is hailed as the Church’s first martyr.

“Let us think of our brothers whose throats were slit on the beach in Libya; let’s think of the young boy who was burnt alive by his companions because he was a Christian,” Francis said.

He also brought to mind “those migrants thrown from their boat into the open sea by other migrants because they were Christians; let us think – just the day before yesterday – of those Ethiopians assassinated because they were Christians…and of many others.”

The Pope also called attention to the many Christians suffering silently inside jail cells just because of their faith in Jesus Christ.

Among them is Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi, who in 2010 was convicted of violating Pakistan’s strict blasphemy laws, an allegation she denies. Her husband and daughter traveled to Rome last week, where they met with Pope Francis and received his blessing during his Wednesday general audience.

In February the Islamic State released a video depicting the decapitation of 20 Coptic Christians after they had gone missing near the coastal city of Surt, also known as Sirte, in Libya.

On Sunday another video was released by social media accounts associated with the ISIS showing the mass executions of Ethiopian Christians in Libya.

In an April 20 message sent to Abuna Matthias, patriarch of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church, Francis offered condolences and said that “It makes no difference whether the victims are Catholic, Copt, Orthodox or Protestant…Their blood is one and the same in their confession of Christ!”

The Pope’s comment on the Christian boy burned alive referred to a 14-year-old Pakistani named Nouman Masih, who passed away April 15 after being set on fire by two unknown men. After inquiring about his religion, the men doused Masih in kerosene and set him alight.

April 16 marks the day that another tragedy on Francis’ list took place when 12 passengers on a migrant boat traveling from Libya to Italy were thrown overboard by fellow migrants for being Christians.

Reports indicate that a disagreement sparked among passengers on a rubber boat bound for Italy and carrying 105 people, during which 15 Muslim passengers threatened to abandon at sea the Christians, who came from Nigeria and Ghana, based on their faith.

After a fight broke out 12 of the Christians were thrown overboard to their deaths, while others survived the attack by resisting the drowning attempt and forming a human chain. The Italian coast guard has arrested 15 people in association with the attack.

In his homily Tuesday, Pope Francis said that “the true history of the Church is that of the Saints and the martyrs.”

He recalled how the Apostle Stephan had to deal with false witnesses and the anger of those accusing him.

Stephan, the Pope noted, reminded the elders and scribes how their ancestors had persecuted other prophets, and when he described his vision of the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God they didn’t want to hear it, so they threw him out of the city and stoned him.

“God’s Word is always rejected by some. God’s Word is inconvenient when you have a stone heart, when you have a pagan heart,” he said.

Francis noted how the whole history of Revelation is marked by the many martyrs who have been killed “for their faith and loyalty towards God’s Word, God’s Truth.”

He closed his homily by pointing out that there are also many “hidden martyrs,” who are the faithful men and women that listen to the voice of God and look for new ways to help their brothers and sisters love the Lord.

These people, the Pope said, are often viewed with suspicion, vilified and persecuted by the modern “Sanhedrin’s” who think they possess the truth.

Francis Cardinal George

Posted on April 18, 2015 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop Emeritus of Chicago, born to eternal life April 17, 2015. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

Francis Cardinal George

How to Use a Style Sheet

Posted on October 1, 2014 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

Style sheet? What’s a style sheet?

A style sheet is a set of criteria defining the layout and appearance of a publication. Style sheets impose margins, fonts, point sizes, alignments, and other criteria to give text a uniform appearance. It includes rules for using artwork and conventions for specifying names, titles, places, numbers, dates, times, etc. Anyone responsible for your organization’s internal and external communications and anyone who contributes to your publication should receive a copy of your style sheet.

What follows is a sample style sheet for a fictitious organization:


The Community of Like-minded People

Please follow these guidelines when creating your publication. We are trying to create a uniform, professional look with all our printed materials.

Approved fonts:

  • Main headings, Times New Roman, 22 point
  • Sub headings, Arial Bold, 14 point
  • Body copy, Times New Roman, 10 point
  • The alternative font for styled headings or body copy is Verdana. Use it for text with our approved logo. Verdana should be used very sparingly. It can be any point size

Clip art:

  • Our approved logo
  • Please contact the main office for a camera-ready or a digitized copy of the logo
  • Please obtain reprint rights for any copyrighted materials
  • Please obtain release…

Usage:

  • Main headings, left aligned, ragged right
  • Sub headings, left aligned, ragged right
  • Body copy, left aligned, ragged right
  • Times should be specified in the following format: 9:00 am, 10:00 pm, 1:30-2:00 pm
  • No abbreviations may be used anywhere in the publication
  • Acronyms are permitted

Other issues:

  • The formal name of the organization is “The Community of Like-minded People.” In the first reference the full name is preferred. In subsequent references, the name may be shortened to “The Community” or alternatively “Our Community”
  • Do NOT underline or use ALL CAPS
  • Always use the area code when specifying telephone numbers. Telephone numbers should be specified in the following format: 999-999-9999
  • Spell-check and proofread all copy before submission

These guidelines are subject to periodic review and change. Please contact the main office for the most current style sheet.

Date published or revised


Using a style sheet ensures that all your publications conform to your organization’s custom identity.