Nothing Compares to Being There
“I have greatly desired to eat this Supper with you.” cf. Luke 22:15
All of us know instinctively that nothing compares to “being there” in person. Whether it’s being at a friend’s wedding, sitting down to have a heart-to-heart conversation, comforting a family member while she is grieving or watching as your baby takes his first steps, we all know that being physically present makes all the difference. The same logic applies to our life as Catholics. Especially when it comes to the Mass, truly, nothing compares to being there.
The Nothing Compares initiative is an opportunity for parishes to issue a heartfelt invitation to parishioners to return to the in-person celebration of the Mass after the many long months of the pandemic. It draws upon the central truth of our Christian faith that Jesus Christ encounters and saves us in the flesh, through in-person presence. Please find below resources and guidance to assist you in inviting your community back to the fullness of Catholic life!
- Sunday, November 28, 2021: Official Launch of the Nothing Compares Initiative
Preparing Your Invitation - Summer 2021
Assemble Your Planning Team
- Who should be on the team? Consider assembling a small group of people who have a gift for communicating effectively with warmth, joy and a Christ-centered mindset. Include someone who is adept at social media and e-communcations as well as someone who has a well-developed understanding of evangelization.
- Suggested resources to assist with your planning and brainstorming:
- Watch the August 18 Nothing Compares webinar, Making an Effective Invitation with Dan Cellucci
- Watch the “What if they don’t come back?” video by Dan Cellucci, CEO of the Catholic Leadership Institute
- Watch the Revive Parishes course “The Foundations of Great Parish Communication” by Dan Rogers: Click here to sign up for Revive Parishes Training Courses (free)
Identify Your Audience
- This invitation is for everyone in the parish, with a special emphasis on those who, pre-covid, were attending Mass but who are no longer attending and may not return.
Plan Your Invitation
Make a plan to “saturate the soil,” using all communication outlets available to you with a special emphasis on personal invitations. The hard launch for this invitation will be Sunday, November 28, 2021 and invitations will continue throughout that week. Here are some recommended avenues to use in issuing your invitation:
- Personal Invitation
- A mailed hard copy letter from the pastor
- Phone calls
- Electronic Communications
- Mass emails
- Social Media
- Include messaging in your current livestreaming
- Examples from parishes: Click the link below to see a few examples of how some parishes are communicating the invitation to their community.
In your communications, consider making these points:
- Acknowledge the difficulty of the pandemic
- Affirm the person’s relationship with the parish, that they are known, loved and cared for
- Address the possible obstacles that prevent them from returning: fear, they got out of the habit, the convenience of livestreaming, their lack of awareness that anything is missing by not attending Mass
- Speak to the supreme good of attending Mass in person, how it enriches their lives, brings peace, etc…
- Click here for an example
Making Your Invitation - First Week of Advent 2021
“Nothing Compares” Graphics
- Nothing Compares to Being There (English): Email or Letter header / Facebook / Twitter (16:9)/ Instagram
- Nada se compara con estar ahí (Español): Email or Letter header / Facebook / Twitter (16:9) / Instagram
Sample Letter from the Pastor
To request any of the texts below in a Word document for editing, please click here to send us an email.
These short videos can be used as part of your invitation to parishioners to return to the in person celebration of Mass.
- Part 1, The Holy Mass (with Fr. Matthew Biedrzycki): English / Español
- Part 2, The Sunday Obligation (with Fr. Thomas Viviano): English / Español
Social Media Posts
Supplementary Resources: Graphics, Quotes and More
- Article (Español): Comprender la importancia de asistir a la Santa Misa
- Article (Español): La Misa es el acto más importante
Bulletin articles by Rev. Matthew Biedrzycki, Parochial Vicar, Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Philadelphia – Note: It is permissible to edit the first line of these reflections to reflect the timeline in which you are using them.
- The Holy Mass – The Lord’s Day – Part 1 of 4
Español: La Santa Misa – El Día del Señor – Parte 1 de 4
The Holy Mass – A Joyful Duty – Part 2 of 4
Español: La Santa Misa – Un deber gozoso – Parte 2 de 4
- The Holy Mass – Assisting at Mass vs. Going to Church – Part 3 of 4
- Español: La Santa Misa – Asistir a la Misa versus Ir a la Iglesia – Parte 3 de 4
- The Holy Mass – Making a Holy Communion – Part 4 of 4
- Español: La Santa Misa – Haciendo una Sagrada Comunión – Parte 4 de 4
Videos and Faith Formation Series
- From Ascension Press: A Biblical Walk Through the Mass series (newly revised, filmed at our own Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul)
- Also available in Spanish: Un Paseo Bíblico a través de la Misa
- On Formed.org: Presence: The Mystery of the Eucharist
- Also available in Spanish: Presencia: El Misterio de la Eucaristía
- Video: Eucharist Miracle of Lanciano, Italy
- Video: Eucharistic Miracle of Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Website: Blessed Carlo Acutis’ Website on Eucharistic Miracles
- Article: Eucharistic Miracle of Buenos Aires, Argentina
Video en español: El Milagro Eucarístico de las Sagradas Formas incorruptas de Silla
Quotes from Scripture and the Saints
Use these inspiring quotes as you invite people back to the in person celebration of Mass. You can use them in letters, text messages, on your website and as social media posts. Social media graphics of each quote have also been provided below. Many thanks to Meigan Kelley of GrowingCatholics.com for creating these graphics for this project.
“For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them.” – Matthew 18:20
- Social Media: Click here
“I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.” – John 6:48-50
- Social Media: Click here
“It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do so without the Holy Mass.” – Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
“If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion.” – Saint Maximillian Kolbe
“The greatest love story of all time is contained in a tiny white host.” – Archbishop Fulton Sheen
“Jesus has made Himself the Bread of Life to give us life. Night and day, He is there. If you really want to grow in love, come back to the Eucharist, come back to that Adoration.” – Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta
“If Christ did not want to dismiss the Jews without food in the desert for fear that they would collapse on the way, it was to teach us that it is dangerous to try to get to heaven without the Bread of Heaven.” – Saint Jerome
“When we work hard, we must eat well. What a joy, that you can receive Holy Communion often! It’s our life and support in this life — Receive Communion often, and Jesus will change you into himself.” – Saint Peter Julian Eymard
Information about Archdiocesan guidelines for COVID19 can be found at archphila.org/arise.