Starting a Catholic Mom's Group: Steps to Consider
Lori Ann Williams
SS. Peter & Paul MOM's Group
CatholicMom.com would like to thank Lori Ann Williams for
sharing this helpful information. If you have experience with Catholic
Mom groups in your parish to share, please email
[email protected] and we will
share your story or announcement here.
Listed below are some
steps that you might consider when forming a Catholic Mom’s Group at your
own parish. Subsequently, there is a list suggestions for meeting topics
and group activities.
with your Pastor about forming the group. Let him know that you would like
to reserve a room in the church basement, social hall, or ministry center
one evening per month. Also ask permission to advertise your new ministry
in the church bulletin. Find out when the Parish Council meets to discuss a
possible budget request. If your parish is fairly small and does not have
the funds to support you group, don’t despair, the cost to get started is
very small. Many groups are financially supported by their members.
the time and place for your monthly meetings. It is beneficial to keep them
the same day of the month, every month. For example, our group meets the
second Monday night of each month at 7:15.
an announcement in your church bulletin letting people know that you are
forming a new organization in your parish for Catholic Mothers. Include the
date, time and location of the meeting. In our bulletin announcement we
always list what we will be discussing at the meeting, any activities that
will be taking place in the following week and the following blurb just to
let people know who we are: The MOM’s Group (Meet Other Mothers) is an
organization of Catholic Mothers committed to family, motherhood and service
to our community. We meet monthly for support, friendship and the
affirmation of our role as Catholic Mothers. Our fellowship opportunities
include: Weekly Playgroups, couples activities, meals for mom’s, Rosary’s,
Mom’s Night Out and Children’s Activities. Please Contact Lori Ann Williams
at (630)-555-1212 for more information.
people call you (from your church bulletin announcement) to get more
information about the group, explain to them that it is a really fun group
and what your plans are for the group’s activities. Take down their name,
address, phone number, husband’s name, children’s names and dates of birth,
the member’s birthday and their e-mail address. Our group at SS. Peter &
Paul has 87 members and 77 of them are e-mail accessible. This makes life
much simpler in terms of communication and saves a lot in the cost of
postage when it is necessary to communicate to the group.
the day of your first meeting arrives, gather the following supplies to make
the evening a success: refreshments (cookies, soda, or what ever you would
like to serve, but keep it simple), a membership sign up list to for “walk
in – New Members” to sign up, name tags (I bought these at a Dollar Store 30
for 1.00.) Also, make a sign up sheet for members who would like to take a
leadership roll on one of the committees.
members socialize for about 30 minutes just to warm up the room, then begin
the meeting by introducing yourself as the Chairwoman of the MOM’s Group and
start your meeting with a prayer.
to the group that the group’s activities will revolve around many different
aspects of being a Catholic Mother. There will be a Children’s Committee, a
Social Committee, Spirituality Committee, Service Committee which will each
require a Chairwoman and you will also need a volunteer to organize
playgroups and be in charge of the bulletin announcements each week. If you
only have 7 or 8 members show up the first month, try to get each of them to
agree to one of these jobs. Your group will grow continually as people read
your bulletin announcements and find out what fun and interesting things
your group does each month.
to the group that there are no dues for this organization, however, each
month you will pass around a basket and ask everyone if they could donate
one dollar to help offset costs of supplies (i.e. name tags, copies, speaker
fees if applicable). Do try to always keep costs down so that anyone in
your parish can afford to participate in your group.
soon as you have your list of women who have agreed to be Committee
Chairwomen, organize your first planning meeting. At the planning meeting
you will determine the schedule for the year of what will be done at each of
your monthly meetings. You can find local professional people, clergy, and
business people to assist your group as a speaker for your meetings, many
times at no cost. At the end of this document I will include a list of
possible activities for monthly meeting and each committee.
Make sure that each chairperson knows that they
will be responsible for getting information to the volunteer from your group
who is in charge of bulletin announcements. (Tip – find out from the parish
office who is in charge of preparing the church bulletin and how far in
advance of publication they need your information. Our church needs
bulletin information ten days in advance.)
Once you have your meeting calendar set, each
Committee Chair determines what additional activities that their committee
will offer each month. Each Committee Chairperson will not only be
responsible for forwarding their plan to the Bulletin Volunteer but also to
the MOM’s Group Chairwoman. The MOM’s Group Chairwoman will then use this
information to publish a monthly newsletter. In addition to listing the
activities for the group each month in the newsletter, I try to fill it with
creative ideas or information that I think will be helpful to our members.
Use the internet to find craft projects for children, holiday ideas, prayers
or what ever you think will be of interest to your group.
12. Our group usually starts off the year with a New
Member Social. This is just a social activity so that we can welcome the
new members to our group. We reserve the Ministry Center basement, have
each member bring either an appetizer, dessert or beverage (we usually do
this by last name…if your last name starts with the letter A – D bring
appetizers, E – J bring dessert, K – Z bring beverages.) If you have no
budget from your parish, use the funds from the dollar basket to purchase
paper plates and plastic cups. It also helps to have a sign and/or
brochures in the back of church, or request a pulpit announcement from your
priest to announce the New Member Social. Try to get to know the new
members and make them feel welcome. The more members involved in your group
the better. Each new member adds something to the group in the way of
expertise, contacts for speakers, volunteers for projects and fundraisers.
The friendship, education and support that we receive from our group at SS.
Peter & Paul has been deeply enriched by each additional member.
13. At the end of each year it is
beneficial to pass out a survey to each of your members. You can give them
this form at the last meeting. The survey asks what activities they liked
or disliked. Ask about the meeting, time and level of convenience. I like
to include a sentence at the end of the survey to be completed by the member
“If I were in charge of this group I would _________.” This survey will
help the planning committee when determining the schedule for the following
14. Each year we end our calendar with a Year-End Social in
May (we don’t meet through the summer months except for play dates in the
park…summer is too busy for some families). We use any money left over from
the dollar basket to offset the cost of dinner at a local restaurant and all
go out to dinner. (It might be wise to save a few dollars from the dollar
basket to purchase name tags, supplies for New Member Notebooks for the
List of Possible Meeting Topics
School Meeting – Have two mothers from Catholic School, two
mothers from Public School and two mothers who have home schooled sit on a
discussion panel to speak about their experiences in each of the different
Raising a Catholic Child – Contact your religious education
office and ask someone in charge to come to a meeting and speak to your
group about good ways to teach your child about God. You can usually get
someone to speak about this for free.
Ask the Pediatrician Night – Contact a local Pediatrician
to speak to the group about general child rearing questions. Hint: ask
your group to give you a list of their questions the month before your
Pediatrician speaks so he or she can be well prepared for the discussion.
Find a local Psychologist to volunteer to discuss topics
such as dealing with sibling rivalry, stress management techniques or
setting limits for your children.
Additional Resources for
Starting Your Group