AST WEEK, I made a post about the Pastoral Plan of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. I covered the first two points of the Plan in that post and I am going to cover the point 3 and 4 now.
Spreading Our Faith — If the second step is done well, then this third step will follow naturally. Parishes in Atlanta will be developing outreach programs, serving the local communities, and using new technology and social media to spread the faith. Music is one of the best way to spread our faith because it is a language that speaks to everyone. Most of the church choirs sing once a week at Mass and that is one way to spread our faith to the visitors. However, many times people with different religions hesitate about coming Mass for different reasons. Some ways to reach out to these people are through concerts and other services. Concerts with beautiful Catholic music can convert people. Other services like Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharistic Adoration with beautiful music can have the same effects too. It is also important to have good liturgical music for occasions like funerals and weddings. Musicians can also work with parish staffs to catechize through parish website or Facebook page, etc.
Evolution of Our Parishes — Once the faith of a parish community is strengthened, the qualified laity can do more administrative works while the priests focus on sacraments and catechesis. Parishes in the Archdiocese are also expected to collaborate with each other. Communication and support between music directors within the diocese is very important. Catholic musicians can share ideas and help each other in developing their music programs. Bringing the whole choir or some members to participate in another parish’s Sunday Mass might be hard, but concerts and other services mentioned in the third point are great opportunities for choirs from different parishes to collaborate and learn from each other.
If you are in the Southeast region of the country, a few of us are doing exactly what the Pastoral Plan is calling for! There will be a Summer Sacred Music Workshop on Saturday, August 15, at Our Lady of the Mountains Roman Catholic Church in Jaspers, GA. This is a great opportunity to learn more about our faith, Liturgy and music. Here is a chance for you to meet and share ideas with musicians from other parishes and dioceses!