This is a creative and inspiring idea, from The Leaven in Kansas City, Kansas:
“We started with the welcome-back mosaic,” said Larissa Smith, director of adult formation and evangelization at Prince of Peace here. “And we turned it into a prayer project.
“We prayed an intentional rosary for all 2,600 parish families.”
With the pandemic subsiding and the Sunday Mass dispensation being lifted last June, churches were looking for ways to welcome back their communities.
One idea presented by the archdiocese was a mosaic to be filled in by returning parishioners.
That appealed to pastor Father Greg Hammes. And so, a mosaic of the parish logo, representing Jesus the Prince of Peace, was designed by parish social media coordinator Jordan Schmitz.
“The mosaic has 2,600 tiles,” said Father Hammes. “Each represents one of our parishioner families.
“Our goal was that — as all the families returned to Mass — we were ‘piecing’ back together our parish community.”
With the help of her evangelization team, Smith put together a packet for every family or individual in the parish data base.
Each packet contained information on upcoming activities, a magnet piece with the words “renew, reunite, remember and reclaim”; and a little tile piece with instructions to glue it into the proper square on the mosaic board.
A parish event was planned for the solemnity of Corpus Christi. Following a procession, returning parishioners would position their tiles in the mosaic.
“We didn’t tell anyone what [the final design] was,” said Smith.
Parishioners were also invited to write a blessing or prayer intention to be placed in a box.
“So basically,” said Smith, “it was like their prayer being placed onto this mosaic board.
“We took all those prayers and started bringing them up during Mass and praying over them.”
Despite its empty appearance, Father Hammes wanted the mosaic hung.
“We stood it up in our gathering space and it was very bleak,” said Smith. “People came in and said, ‘Are you going to add more tiles to that?’”
The answer was “not yet.” Father Hammes understood the empty spaces in the mosaic stood for something — a big part of the parish family was still missing.
Read on to learn what happened — and to see the finished mosaic.