Procedures for Hospitality at Mass



Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish and Catholic Student Center

November 1, 2021 (reviewed 10/2023)

Hospitality Ministers serve on behalf of the parish community.  They make people feel welcome and comfortable.  It is a service to the community undertaken by those whose faith calls them beyond themselves to “be for others.” 

Always smile and be inviting, as if you are hosting guests at your own home.

  • Arrive at the church at least 30 minutes before the scheduled liturgy.  Wear your nametag or a generic “hospitality” nametag from the hospitality closet.
  • Make sure that the Story Wall light (switch in east balcony), the light under the balcony (pillar near the stairwell) in the Gathering Space and under the north catwalk and south balcony are turned on.
  • Place the collection baskets before the liturgy begins (as many as needed) under the pew/chair closest to the main aisle nearest the altar.
  • Position yourselves at all locations where people are entering the worship space.  You may be outside when the weather permits.  Remain in your greeting area until after the “Glory to God” is sung or until the First Reading is proclaimed.
  • Help people find seating when necessary.
  • You may need to help move a chair, so that a person in a wheelchair can sit among the assembly.  Be familiar with routes that are handicap accessible.
  • Be ready at the conclusion of the Prayers of the Faithful (General Intercessions) to begin the collection.  Hand-out the collection baskets from the center aisle, beginning with the rows closest to the altar.  Assist the movement of the baskets as needed.  A hospitality minister needs to go to the balcony immediately to begin collection up there when people are present.  If needed, you may use the long-handled baskets to reach individuals in the balcony.

Note – on the north side, please assist the collection basket from the main worship space to the area that was the chapel.

  • Once the baskets have reached the back on both sides (the south side needs to wait for the collection from the balcony to come down), quickly combine the contents into one basket.  A minister then brings that one basket to the sanctuary and places it underneath the altar.
  • The other ministers return the empty baskets to their place under the front seating.
  • As the song of sending begins, move to the Gathering Space and position yourselves at the exits.  Prepare the carts for the song books.
  • Take a stack of bulletins from the hospitality closet and hand them out as people are leaving.

After most people have gone, walk around the worship space, especially the pew area, and collect any items that do not belong and are left behind.  Anything of value should be taken to the sacristy or given to the liturgist or the priest.

  • Return the collection baskets to the hospitality closet.
  • Turn off the lights after 4:45 Saturday, 10:30 and 7:00 Sunday liturgies.
  • Before Mass begins and you are waiting for people to arrive, you can kindly put any loose music supplements back into any song book that may need one in the inside back cover.


  • A first-aid kit is in the sacristy.  Also in the sacristy is Narcan for possible opioid overdose.
  • A defibrillator is mounted on the wall near the hospitality closet.  Opening the device will alert the 911 system.
  • There are two fire extinguishers – one in the hospitality closet and another in the prayer garden pathway, near the dumpster door.


If you are unable to serve on your scheduled time, please request a substitute as soon as possible on the scheduling program.  If it is an emergency, please contact the Director of Worship at or call/text at 816-500-6131.




            Additional Policies:

1. Children of any appropriate age may serve with parents or in an adult-supervised peer group. Young people age 14 and older may serve independently of their families.

2. Please wear appropriate clothing for Mass. Avoid anything the draws undue attention, including political statements or rival schools.

3. If you need a nametag, please contact Shari at the parish office.


ADDENDUM to Hospitality Procedures

Health Emergency Response

If someone feels faint, assist them with water and fresh air. The student lounge is a good place for them to sit to regain their strength. Use a trash can or get them to a restroom if they are feeling nauseous. Water is available from the water fountains near the bathrooms, and from the Bethany room and/or nursery.

If someone passes out, use your judgement about calling 911. When in doubt, do so. Check for pulse and respiration and retrieve the AED from its cabinet, knowing that the alarm will sound when you open the door. This should catch the attention of medical professionals since it is a loud alarm. Use the nearest microphone to ask for medical help from the assembly if no one has noticed the need and responded automatically, and if you or someone helping you cannot identify a medical professional by sight.

In the event that someone throws up, emergency cleaning supplies, including fluid/odor absorbent powder, are in a red bucket in the hospitality closet. Please be as expedient as possible clearing areas in which people need to walk, such as aisles. Usher people around an area if a mess can be contained and finish cleaning up after mass when possible to allow mass to continue as uninterrupted as possible.


Active Shooter Event Response

In the event that someone pulls a gun, yell “Gun! run, hide, fight!” and follow the Run, Hide, Fight protocol for your own safety. Run if you can do so safely. Hide if you are unable to run and can take shelter out of sight of the potential shooter; fight only if it becomes the only option.

Once you are safely out of range of the potential shooter, please help guide others to safety by sending them on foot as far away from the building in as orderly a fashion as possible. Try to clear entrances to allow emergency response vehicles to get as close as possible. Assist anyone who needs assistance to the best of your ability while remaining safe yourself. Pray as you work for those who are in harm’s way.

If you must hide, try to lock and/or block doors, turn off lights and hunker down out of sight of the door. Encourage everyone with you to be silent and pray silently for those who are in immediate danger.

If you must fight, try to coordinate your attack with others so the shooter becomes confused and is unable to respond to all the threats. Once a shooter is disarmed, attempt to neutralize danger without causing further harm to anyone including the shooter.

Downloadable Version of Hospitality Guidelines