Denver Newsroom, Sep 23, 2020 / 03:00 am
Scot Landry has worked for the Catholic Church for years. So he knows that diocesan and parish offices typically hear very little about what they’re doing well, and a lot about what's not going right.
“The ratio of compliments or gratitude or praise, to complaints...that ratio was in the complaint end of things, stronger than any other time of my life,” Landry told CNA, reflecting on his years working for the Archdiocese of Boston.
For years, Landry has wanted to do something to recognize parishes doing exemplary things, but it never seemed to be the right time.
This year, however, as a global pandemic shut down public Masses in many parts of the world, Landry said he watched parishes find new and creative ways to reach their flocks, and he wanted to celebrate that. That’s why Landry, in partnership with the Parish Excellence Summit and Good Catholic Leadership Group, created the first-ever Parish Excellence Awards.
“There was immediate mission-driven innovation related to continuing the parish’s sacramental and other ministries” in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Landry said in a release announcing the awards.
Catholics can nominate their parishes for excellence awards in a variety of categories, which aim to recognize things like technological excellence to parish outreach and re-opened Mass protocols. There are three “Broadcast Mass” categories alone.
“Most parishes have now turned into broadcasters,” Landry said, because of the temporary closure of public Masses throughout the United States this past spring.
Some parishes were “excellent on the technical side of things, and the broadcast is beautiful. Others were excellent at trying to maximize the number of parishioners who were watching the livestream. Others were good at solving the complexity of doing livestreams when they have a multilingual, multicultural community.”
The Parish Excellence Awards are similar to another national effort, by Mundelein Seminary, which earlier this month accepted nominations for “hero priests” of the pandemic, who went above and beyond to reach their flock in these unprecedented times.