The Archdiocese of New York has launched a Come Home to Mass campaign to encourage Catholics to return for weekend Mass in parish churches as the Covid-19 crisis recedes.
The campaign has a homepage with links on the Archdiocese of New York website, and is using archdiocesan social media sites on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote the campaign.
Rachel Sheehan, director of marketing for the archdiocese, told CNY the campaign is off to a good start and hopes for continued growth.
“The overall goal is to have people come back into the parish environment,” she said. “This is another area very important to us where we want them to re-engage in person.
“We’ve all read how it’s a transition. It’s a transition for people to be back in the work environment. It’s a transition for people to be back in social situations. This is another item where we’re hoping people know it’s important to come back.”
Joseph Zwilling, archdiocesan director of communications, said, “Since the pandemic has ended, Cardinal Dolan and the archdiocese have made it a priority to have people return to a weekly celebration of Mass in their parish church.
“I can attest to the fact in my parish church, which is not in the archdiocese, and at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, crowds are increasing every week. That’s a very positive sign.”
A homepage for the Come Home to Mass campaign features the hopeful greeting: “We’ve missed you and welcome you with open arms.” An English and Spanish message from Cardinal Dolan is on the homepage.
“We recognize Jesus at Mass and Holy Communion,” Cardinal Dolan said. “We enter again the eternal, infinite mystery of His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. Every Sunday Mass is a renewal of the Last Supper, Good Friday, and Easter. It’s time to get back to Sunday Mass!”
The homepage for Come Home to Mass includes links to additional resources such as finding a parish and a “Why I’m Going Back to Mass Blog Series” with entries from parishioners and individuals employed in archdiocesan ministries.
“With all the difficulties of this pandemic, my faith is the foundation that has helped me weather the storms,” said Elizabeth Guevara de Gonzalez, director of the archdiocesan Office of Adult Faith Formation, in her blog post that includes a video.
“When Mass was available again, I was there because I wanted to receive more of God’s grace in Holy Communion. I am thankful for the Eucharist and my Catholic faith.”