Raising the Identity and Profile of Courage in your Diocese
Posted by: encourageny on July 6, 2017 previous - next
Over the next few issues of the Courage newsletter, we will be addressing a number of issues relating to working with your Diocese and raising the profile of Courage in your community. Two of the most basic steps in this process are establishing regular communication with a contact in the appropriate Diocesan office, and developing a channel of communication with the parishes that comprise your Diocese.
As an apostolate of the Church, it is vital for any Courage chapter to have a contact person in the Diocesan office – this can help with everything from communications with parishes, to obtaining invitations to exhibit or to present at events, and obtaining funds and other support for brochures, website presence, and other means of spreading the message of Courage. All dioceses have an office of Life, Evangelization or Family that has responsibility for groups like Courage, and this is one of the most important contacts you can make to assist you in building your chapters presence. Without being intrusive, it is vital to keep this Office aware of meeting schedules and activities – additionally, chapter leaders should arrange to meet annually with representatives of this Office.
Another important resource is the development of a directory of parishes in your diocese, with contact information (names, email addresses and phone numbers) for pastors, business office staff and Directors of Religious Education or Directors of Adult Faith Formation. Generally, a diocesan contact can be great for getting a Courage “blurb” out to parishes for inclusion in weekly bulletins – but it is very beneficial for the local chapter to do semi-annual mailings to parishes, which would include chapter brochures, business cards with contact information for priests and deacons to distribute to interested parishioners, small posters to hang on church/social hall bulletin boards, and (where appropriate, and where a member may be willing), a personal 1 page typed testimonial and contact information, with an offer to organize or assist with a parish educational night on the Church’s response to the SSA issue.
We will continue this discussion in next month’s newsletter, and we invite anyone who will be attending this month’s Courage Annual Conference to join Deacon John and Annie T. and I for a workshop devoted to Fostering Good Relations with your Diocese as part of Saturday’s breakout sessions.
If anyone has any specific questions about chapter growth and promotion, or would like assistance with ideas for brochures, websites or parish programs, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.