Kristan and I have elected to have our wedding at Old Cathedral. The bureau-theo-cratic process for reserving the church assumed we were formally associated with a parish, which I haven’t been for many, many years. (My last one wasn’t really a “parish”, and the politics around my father’s turned me off from formal parish recognition.)
There are a few Catholic churches in walking distance from home, so we had to ask the archdiocese to learn we fall into the area of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist. The parish is one of the first in St. Louis, and the present church was built in 1869 by John B. Bannon. We’ve been attending there for a few weeks now, and the atmosphere is quite warm.
Most important for my continued attendance, pastor Msgr. Delaney is a sharp, authentic, and thoughtful speaker. It’s almost jarring to hear him use a conversational style when reciting the Nicene Creed, and a storyteller’s tone for the Gospel. His homilies keep the congregation engaged with relevant commentary and analogies, none of the usual atmosphere of “break time” permeates the audience.
It struck me this morning that the attributes that make his celebration of Mass engaging are the same that define “cluetrain” conversational marketing. This made me wonder where the Church is, as an organization, in modern marketing? Why doesn’t every parish have a blog, with every homily posted for moderated discussion? Where’s the social network for members? Do they even have a CRM database beyond individual parishes keeping simple records?