Parish Mission Ideas


I am just starting to look for a speaker and the online searches are overwhelming. Any suggestions for someone in the northeast?


Perhaps someone from Dynamic Catholic? I doubt Matt Kelly isn’t already booked, but they may n
Have someone else in their organization that can come.

I don’t know the particulars of cost involved or if you have any kind of budget allowed.


Father Larry Richards is an incredible parish mission speaker.


If you have the power and the authority to invite a speaker, please do not choose a mere “motivational speaker”, or an entertainer, or someone with the latest fad answer to getting a parish excited, or more friendly, or to make more (the latest fad, it seems) “evangelizers” or Catholic “evangelicals.”

Carefully discern your parish, to learn what is needed really - truly - at the base or foundation of it all. All parishes have “problems”, but what is THE “problem” at the root cause of it all? THAT is what is needed to be addressed, and illuminated, and dealt with. Then find the man or woman who can address, illuminate, and deal with that issue.


Look up local politicians in your area who are catholic. A Bishop is also a wonderful addition to any speaking roles. When I was helping the Holy Name Society of my first church we had politicians that came such as a mayor.


The few of us left who are still active in our parish tend to refer to it as “dying.” Volunteers and involvement have dwindled to nothing in the past 10 years. Our pastor is elderly. It’s going to be pulling teeth and exhausting for us to get a parish mission done, but it is what has been repeating in my head for months now and only got stronger when I returned to adoration.

Fr. Larry is amazing. We had him come about 20 years ago. But, he has a packet of requirements that our pastor would not do at this point. Our budget is about $2000.


See if there is a community of religious brothers and priests nearby. Perhaps they will have someone who can lead your parish mission.


The best turnout we ever had for a mission was Fr Leo

Second best turnout was Michael Cumbie

The other always good turnout is John Michael Talbot.

If I were asked to book a mission tomorrow, it would be Sherry Weddell or someone from Siena


Yes how about inquiring to retreat houses in your state?



Retreat houses. Good one. I hadn’t thought of that one!


Your parish deserves better than a priest with “requirements” - and if those “requirements” cost more than $2000 or $200, for that matter, then I say again, your parish deserves better. The work of God ought not to have a price tag, or material conditions set upon it.

What is our Church coming to?


@Littleroo I have been thinking about this though I am in the UK .

I have ended up thinking this - - - - - - - - -

  1. Don’t do this alone .

  2. A group of parishioners should be invited to meet in prayer .

  3. Ask God to put you in touch with a holy priest .

  4. Let God make the choice .

  5. Then go on from there .


There is a handful of us so far and we are hoping to get us up to 12 to organize the whole thing (12 to lead the rest of the volunteers). Somehow, I’m leading us at the moment. I’m taking this as a Moses move on God’s part because I am a worker bee, NOT a leader! We have been praying. Everyone just keeps looking to me for answers and I don’t have any. I know God will lead us to exactly who we need and I need to be patient and trust in Him. It’s just tough.


Scripture tells us that a workman is worthy of his wages. It is not somehow sinful or “undeserving” to ask for a fee. The people giving the talks have to buy plane tickets, rent cars, hotels, eat, pay the electric bill, etc.

The bottom line is if you want to attract people to come to the parish and hear the message, it needs to be someone they have heard of (or at least someone you can introduce them to through advertising, links to their talks, a topic that is interesting and engaging). We have had well known speakers and we have brought in people no one has ever heard of. We have had standing room only for missions and missions where 30 people show up every night (around 1,000 families in our parish).

Which missions have 30 people show up? Those where the speaker is completely unknown.

So, the team needs to decide, is the idea of the mission to reach out to those who are not in the pew every week, the Catholics who have walked or drifted away or is it to speak to the core who remain.


If a speaker has a fixed set of conditions, fixed before even hearing from the parish, that to me is a bad sign: “Sure I’ll come IF you pay me what I want.” Can you imagine an Apostle saying that? Jesus told them:
Mat 10:7 And preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Mat 10:8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay.
Mat 10:9 Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts,
Mat 10:10 no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the laborer deserves his food.

Food - yes. Pay - no. Holy things cannot be sold. That is simony.

Also, counting the audience is not a measure of success. The question ought to be, “What are we attracting them to?” An entertaining talk? Excitement? A big name? An ecclesial celebrity? “In the old days” a parish mission was focussed on renewal - to ignite true spiritual supernatural fervor and zeal for the Lord and His Church. I have heard too many speakers in more recent years come with a mixture of stand-up comic, dramatic story-teller, and salesman (“motivational speaker”). Such speakers can be entertaining and engaging - but is there depth there? Is the supernatural present, and not merely a well-rehearsed natural presentation?


Yes. St Paul gave specific instructions to the Church at Corinth, and refers to the same conditions he had given for his visit to Galatia,

Now in regard to the collection* for the holy ones, you also should do as I ordered the churches of Galatia.a2On the first day of the week each of you should set aside and save whatever one can afford, so that collections will not be going on when I come.3And when I arrive, I shall send those whom you have approved with letters of recommendation to take your gracious gift to Jerusalem.


You mean the gifts he was taking to the saints in Jerusalem, that is justifying the list of conditions (salary, motels acceptable, mileage costs, …) of modern-day mission-presenters?


Yes. Money to cover the costs of running the work in Jerusalem, the “headquarters” was needed in order to do the work of the Gospel. Even the religious orders with a vow of extreme poverty depend on the financial support of those who give.

Do you think that somehow mission preachers live for free?


Rom 15:25 At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem with aid for the saints.
Rom 15:26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem;
Rom 15:27 they were pleased to do it, and indeed they are in debt to them, for if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings.

I doubt that the “poor in Jerusalem” meant his mission office staff salaries.

Ministry is not a job, with salary demands or expectations. The call of Jesus is not into a business. He does not offer a career path, nor retirement and benefits - except in heaven. Jesus offers, for here and now, a cross and self-offering, not self-advancement. He calls us to self-denial, not self-enrichment, not self-actualization or self-promotion.

How about a simple, “Certainly I’ll come and preach to your parish. May I pass the basket for free-will offerings, in case any there would like to help with the expenses?” That sounds fair to me.

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