12 Characteristics

of a Modern Catholic Church

By: Ariel Bartolome, Sara Duron, Yolanda Gonzalez, Madeline Klem, Carolina Martinez, Michelle Payne and Claire von Berge

1. All who enter experience welcome and hospitality

Because we are a parish that works to share and accept the talents and gifts of others, everyone who would be part of the parish would feel welcomed. They would feel welcomed because no one would judge them or make them feel less important for the talents and gifts that they have. Their gifts and talents would be celebrated and shared with love. Because they would be shared with love, no one would feel left out or embarrassed. Overall, we are a parish that accepts everyone for who they are and what their

2. Liturgy inspires full, active and conscious participation and offers an experience of God

Our liturgy provides many opportunities for the members to participate and be active in the parish. There are many positions that the members of the church can take part in. They can be a eucharistic minister, a reader, or help welcoming and accommodating those who arrive and leave the parish. These jobs help people to feel like they are involved in the parish. Sometimes when people go to mass, they sit there and only listen. The liturgy at our parish is designed so that people can participate fully and be involved.

3. Parishioners recognize their parish mission

Our parish mission is to allow the community to acknowledge their uniqueness and the amazing gifts that they each have, and to develop them in a way that will bring them closer to God. This concludes both the third and fifth characteristics, that have to do with members recognizing their gifts, and knowing their mission. Our parish is also cultivated, meaning that we will held mass in different languages based on the community. Together, we also want the community to be able to share joy with others, we want to be forgiving, and we want to develop a healthy learning environment for all. By doing campaigns, and volunteer work, we are outreaching to the body of Christ, and we are helping young adults to give back to the community and this will help them have a bright future.

4. Leadership is shared

There are different people in charge of different things. There are people in charge of the events and fundraising for the church. Teenagers will be in charge of creating the games for people to enjoy. There is going to be someone in charge of bible study groups and retreat managers. Along with this, there are leaders for the retreats, service trips, and volunteer programs at Saint Nicholas Parish.

5. Members are recognized as gifted and called forth to use their gifts

Our parish reflects the characteristics that members are recognized as gifted and called forth to use their gifts. In the Spanish mass, this topic is talked about daily. This helps people to recognize that they have talents that they should use. These talents should not be taken for granted and used to do good. Since these talents are from God, they need to be cherished and we need to be grateful for them.

6. Faith is nurtured

In our parish, faith is nurtured everyday through the liturgies and activities which the people of the parish partake in. In the parish, people are welcomed and feel that they are invited to take part in their faith. Through the liturgy people are allowed to grow in the faith and learn more about God and his plan for us. Being allowed to actively participate in the mass also allows for their faith to be nurtured. Their participation helps them to grow closer to God.

7. Outreach to the body of christ is practiced

Our parish will help anyone that might need it. If someone is facing a hard time we will never just leave them we will help them get the attention that they need. We help serve the homeless, send cards to military members so that they never feel forgotten or lonely. One of our main priorities is to help serve the young but that isn’t our only one. Everyone will need help and we are just trying to find a way where our youth as well as other are being helped and served because sometimes we can forget out the youth needing help and guidance. We try to in collaborate them in the things we do. If someone needs help or has family problems we do provide services for them. We try to serve as many people as we can like children writing letters to military members will not only be serving the members themselves we are also teaching the children to love and be kind as well as to live as Jesus did.

8. There is a plan for a sustainable and responsible future

The plan is to make sure there are fun fundraisers and events that bring the community together and also to raise money. Likewise, the Church will rely on trustworthy donors who help keep the Church afloat. Also, there is a plan to keep the church modern and up to date through constant renovations and upgrades. All of these renovations and updates help to improve the environment of the church and promote a sustainable future.

9. Communal life abounds

There are many community events in order to make the church members feel united and like a family. Some of these events include a youth group so that the teens can connect and be associated with a group of kids that have the same ideals. This can help their journey as a young Catholic in America because there are many influences and pressures as a teenager, so knowing people are there for you and going through the same things is a great way to feel united. Then, for the younger children there is CCD and daycare. They get together and learn how to deepen their relationship with God at a young age and connect with people on the same journey. Also, the church holds many events and parties for the members to keep their bonds strong and healthy.

10. A vibrant parish doesn't take itself too seriously

St. Nicholas Catholic Church does not take itself too seriously because we work to celebrate everyone's talents and gifts and to accept everyone for who they are. If we were a serious parish all the time, we wouldn't be fulfilling our duty as a parish that shares and spreads love by giving our parishioners the chance to share their talents and gift with others. Not taking ourselves too seriously is better because we are allowing the parishioners to express themselves, even if they are hesitant at first. Altogether, we are an uplifting, happy, and cheerful parish that allows others to be themselves.

11. Evangelization Happens

Parishes that truly believe they have found meaning wish to share that joy with others. Our parish reflect this by having a community that wants to be servant leaders. We teach them this in every class that they will attend. Together, the community will also be able to share joy with others, we want to be forgiving, and we want to develop a healthy learning environment for all. By doing campaigns, and volunteer work, we are outreaching to the body of Christ, and we are helping young adults to give back to the community and this will help them have a bright future. We share the joy by giving back

12. Baptism's vocational call is cultivated

Our parish calls its members to cultivate their baptismal call to be a priest, prophet, and king. St. Nicholas Parish calls its members to be a priest by having them sacrifice their time that they could have used to go shopping but use it to learn God’s Word. Our parish calls its members to be a prophet by promoting the parish members, in specific the youth, to go out, live their faith, and spread the word of Christ. Lastly, our parish calls its members to be king by having its members do works of mercy, for example serving the homeless.