If Your Church Isn’t Feeding You, You Need to Find Food Elsewhere

by | Aug 20, 2023 | 0 comments

            I am a cradle Catholic. This means that I was born into a family that practices Catholicism, I was baptized as a Catholic, and I have practiced Catholicism my entire life. I focused on my faith as much as I could from the time I was very young up until now. I am currently fifty-six years young. I have never strayed away from my faith. I feel that I have done the best that I could with practicing my faith. Part of one’s faith is to reach out and help others. This is exactly what Jesus Christ taught us to do. You can read about this in Matthew 25:31-46.

            From the time that I was a little kid, and all the way up until the Fall 2015, there have been myriad ways in which I have spent my time learning about Catholicism and Christianity and living out my faith. You can look at this period in my life as my faith growing linearly. Once I received the Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) retreat (currently called “Welcome.”) from a group of men from the St. Andrew Catholic Church in the Fall 2015, my time spent learning about my faith and living out my faith have been growing exponentially. Once this weekend retreat was complete, I chose to go through the formation process, which took several months, of giving the next retreat to a group of men from my church in 2016. If you would like to read the “Christian Awareness” Talk I gave at this retreat, visit YourWillBeDone.life/about-this-site/toms-talk.

            Ever since I received the CRHP retreat and gave the retreat to a different group of men, I have learned over the past seven to eight years that if you are not being fed by your church, then you must look for another church that will feed you. I am being fed with the Eucharist at every single Mass I attend each weekend. I am not referring to the Eucharist in terms of being fed. What do I mean by being fed? The areas I am referring to include Faith Formation, Discipleship, Evangelization, and Small Groups. Ask yourself if your church offers one or more of these. If your church does, then check out each one. If your church does not have one or more of these, then maybe you can begin a ministry in any of these areas. If you do not feel comfortable being a leader, this is okay. Do some research online and in person, if possible, and check out what other churches are doing in terms of faith formation, discipleship, evangelization, and small groups. Keep in mind that Jesus was the leader of His own small group, the apostles. In this group, there was faith formation, discipleship, evangelization, and fellowship.

            The list below was compiled from November 2022 to June 2023. These ideas come from several different Catholic Churches that are within a five to six-mile radius of my home. I list these, because these might interest you. If they do, maybe you can implement one or more of these at your church. If not you, maybe someone else can lead any of these at your church. This list is all about helping people grow closer to Jesus Christ, learning about Christianity and Catholicism, and living out our faith according to what Jesus taught us during His three-year ministry. I hope that some of these ideas will feed you on your journey of your faith life.


  1. Communion breakfast and a speaker for the entire parish.
  2. The digital platform FORMED was purchased for all parishioners.
  3. A “Parish Ministries, Organizations, and Programs” booklet given out to parishioners.
  4. A Lenten Fish Fry.
  5. A “Welcoming Folder” for new parishioners.
  6. The heads of the church ministries take turns throughout the year highlighting their ministries’ activities in the church bulletin.
  7. Bible Studies
  • Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother
  • Bishop Barron’s “St. Ignatius of Loyola – The Founder”
  • Presence: The Mystery of the Eucharist.
  • No Greater Love – A Biblical Walk Through Christ’s Passion
  1. Guest Speakers
  • Tom McCarthy: “The Sacraments: The Treasures of Our Faith”
  • Nasta: “The Institution of the Eucharist through the Lens of the New Testament”
  • Brant Pitre: “Lectio – The Case for Jesus”
  • Chris Walsh: “Life in The Spirit Seminar”
  • “Men of Harmony” Family Entertainment Night (a men’s choir)
  1. Support Programs
  • The New Day Journal – A Journey from Grief to Healing by Maureen O’Brien
  1. A “Monthly Activity Calendar” inserted in the church bulletin at the beginning of the month.
  2. A “Children’s Worship Bulletin” given out to children each weekend for the Mass.
  3. A Charismatic Prayer Group that meets once each week.
  4. A Catholic Charismatic Renewal Mass and Healing Service.
  5. A night of “Line Dancing” with a DJ to benefit the Legacy of Life Foundation.
  6. A “Winter Luau Dance” to benefit the parish.
  7. “Doo Wop Night” to benefit the Knights of Columbus.
  8. A Family Chili Cook-Off to benefit local food drives.
  9. Walking with Purpose is a study for girls and women to get to know Jesus Christ better.
  10. Lunch with the Pastor is a monthly gathering of parishioners to enjoy a lunch at a local sandwich shop with the pastor.
  11. A Financial Report for parishioners placed in church bulletin twice a year.
  12. Christmas Tree Lighting and Caroling Night; hot chocolate, coffee, and treats afterwards.
  13. Project Hope: a ministry devoted to transporting parishioners to Mass.
  14. Gospel Meetings during the week to prepare for Sunday’s Mass.
  15. An Advent calendar bulletin insert.
  16. “Flame of Love Cenacle” – a Catholic Marian Movement (flameoflove.us)
  17. Zoom Gatherings for the Homebound once each week – pray, share, community, fellowship.
  18. Virtual World Mission Rosary every Monday evening (phillymissions.org).
  19. Advertising of Parish Pastoral Council members contact information in church bulletin and on church website.
  20. Men’s and Women’s Prayer Groups that meet each week, in person and online.
  21. “Let’s Raise Some Dough!” are pizza kits sold during Lent to raise money for the Family Ministry (tinyurl.com/FMpizzakit).
  22. A trip to the Holy Land to “Walk in the Footsteps of Jesus.”
  23. Lenten faith sharing (Sunday Lenten Readings) on church campus and in family homes.
  24. A “Women’s Lenten Retreat” on a Saturday during Lent (tinyurl.com/jp75hax9).
  25. A “Tour of the Sanctuary and Sacristy with the Pastor” on a Saturday.
  26. “A Walk Through Our Church” is a weekly church bulletin addition that explains one or two items that are in the church every day (baptismal font, Easter candle, tabernacle, etc.)
  27. A “Lenten Book Club” once each week during Lent for group prayer and reflection.
  28. A “Card Drive Outreach” takes place at all the Masses on a given weekend. Parishioners donate gift cards from various stores. The gift cards are to be given out to the homeless and those in need.
  29. Food Truck and Family Festival in the fall for the entire parish community to enjoy many different foods and fellowship to kick off the school year.
  30. Flower planting on the church’s campus.
  31. A Discipleship & Ministry Fair at the beginning of the school year.