January 2014 Evangelization Exchange – Door to Door

Door-to-Door Evangelization Notes

St Mark Parish, Cleveland, OH

About 3 years ago our pastor, Fr. John Miceli, wanted to reach out to all homes within parish boundaries – not just Catholics (as pastor, he’s responsible for all). So we came up with the idea of a door-to-door campaign – he enlisted the aid of our Evangelization Commission. Here are some of our thoughts on planning door-to-door evangelization and reflections on our efforts:

  • Didn’t want to ‘bible thump’ or hit people over the head – just wanted to reach out to all and let them know where St. Mark Parish was and where to turn if they need help (St. Mark is not on a main street but hidden away in a quiet neighborhood so a lot of people do not know about us)
  • He decided we should make up parish pamphlets – to include a sampling of some of our activities, letter from the pastor and include a school pamphlet to be delivered to all within parish boundaries (the first year we, also, had 5 x 7″ colored postcards included from when we had our Parish directories done; we listed parish name, address, phone number, mass times, school address, phone #, etc.)
  • We started by dividing our parish boundaries in half – since we are split down the middle by I-90;
  • Phase I – south of I-90, would be done the first year
  • Phase II – north of I-90 would be done the second year
    • PHASE I — From Oct. 2011 we started with 1,000 bags and added 250 more (1250) by Oct. 2012
    • PHASE II – From Oct. 2012 we started with another 750 bags and added 500, then 100 more (1350) by Oct. 2013;  ran a total of 2600 bags and have approx. 50 left; we used approx…2550. NOTE: We have approx. 1280 registered families (approx. 4,000 people) in our parish currently—St. Mark Parish, Cleveland, Ohio
  • As far as volunteers—we have approx. 10 people on our Evangelization commission; the chairman of the commission put articles in our weekly bulletin requesting help in going door-to-door and we picked up a few volunteers from the bulletin; we, also, picked up more volunteers by word of mouth and asking relatives, friends and other parishioners; we probably had a total of 20 people helping with the campaign; people delivered bags always with a buddy and at any time day or night—at their convenience
  • One fear we had to overcome with the volunteers was to let them know that we weren’t expecting them to preach to people
  • One fear we had to overcome with the those whose homes we approached was to let the people know we were not recruiting them to join St. Mark—only to let them know 1) where we were and 2) to call us if they needed anything
  • As we rang doorbells, we simply mentioned ‘we were from St. Mark Parish on Montrose’ and ‘if we could be of any help, please call us’; if no one answered, we simply hung a bag on their door knob
  • If you would like me to email you the Word document of the parish pamphlet we used, I would be glad to do that. Feel free to use it, tweak it or whatever. Please call me at the number on the card in the bag and I can do that.
  • Cost: approx.. $470 for printing (Staples), plastic bags, ink cartridge for 2,000 bags for 2011-2013; balance of 600 bags was done in-house at no cost to Evangelization (Campaign took 2 years to complete; we only went Door-to-door from March to November, when weather permitted)

After thoughts:

  • We don’t know the exact number of people who registered due to the nature of door-to-door evangelization, so we would recommend to anyone doing this to add note on new parishioner registration form in parish office “how did you hear about us”.