St. Joseph in Columbia has new way to reach out

COLUMBIA—Members of St. Joseph Church have a new way to stay connected and aware of parish events.

In early June, the parish started using the Alertify notification system to let people know about event cancellations and schedule changes because of bad weather, funerals, holy day Masses or special church events.

Alertify,, is based in Florida and has already been in use for several years at St. Joseph, Cardinal Newman and St. John Neumann schools to let parents know about closings and other events.

Msgr. Richard D. Harris, pastor of St. Joseph and diocesan vicar general, said using the system for parish and not just school news is a new approach, and a good way to reach people who might be out of town or who don’t pick up a copy of the weekly bulletin at Mass.

St. Joseph, like many other parishes, already features the weekly bulletin on its website and also offers it through e-mail.

The system sends out automated notifications through phone calls, e-mail and text message. Participation is voluntary.

Parish members can specify how they want to be notified, and their contact information is kept confidential. About 70 households have signed up for the service.