How to Write a Parish Bulletin Announcement

Parish bulletins on a table

Have you ever wondered where parish bulletin blurbs come from?

The Diocese of Youngstown sends out a monthly publication called The Communique, which includes announcements from diocesan offices. Some of them are marked “(Bulletin Materials)” and this is one approved source for bulletin editors. Announcements in the Communique promote diocesan values and priorities, such as creating a safe environment, praying for the living and the dead, supporting Catholic Charities and other spiritual and corporal Works of Mercy.

As editor of the Communique, I have given the following advice when someone asks how to write for parish bulletins. This advice can also apply to developing content for social media, email newsletters, blog posts and other publicity.

You can write blurbs of any length, but shorter is often better. Here is the most essential content:

  • Title
  • Couple sentences with your ask/info/reflection
  • Dates/deadlines (if any)
  • “For more info…” (ex. website, phone number and/or email)
  • Note in italics (optional): Tell editors recommended date(s) to run the bulletin blurb. 
  • Image: Encourage parishes to use a logo or small image to go with the blurb.
Next level: 

Offices such as Stewardship and Vocations write a different suggested blurb each week that connects to the lectionary readings. Offices such as Faith Formation and Lay Ecclesial Ministry edit their blurbs each month. Bulletin editors ask for those weekly/monthly blurbs before I even get the Communique out! If you want to promote a topic (such as vocations) or an ongoing resource (such as the diocesan library), and you get in the habit of updating your blurb(s) each month, then both bulletin editors and parishioners will look for it. This anticipation increases the likelihood your blurb gets in the bulletin and receives responses. Also, send all announcements as a Word Document so bulletin editors can copy and paste the content easily, and send any images (flyer, logos) as a separate file.


Bulletins are sent to the printer anywhere from Monday to Wednesday the week before, and two weeks in advance for major holidays. So it’s smart to give at least two weeks’ notice, and make sure your blurb is approved by a diocesan office, pastor or appropriate supervisor before submitting to bulletin editors.

If you work for a diocesan office and want to submit an announcement for the Communique, the deadline is the 15th of the previous month. For example, you would submit announcements for the month of July by June 15. If I could grant an indulgence to those who submit their announcements early, I would, but for now they have to settle for my gratitude.

If you are a parish, school or approved Catholic lay organization in the diocese, you can add bulletin blurbs or flyers to our Shared Publicity Folders at any time. Anyone with an at youngstowndiocese dot org email can download or upload files such as flyers, logos and bulletin announcements. Organizational representatives with other emails can request access. For security purposes, you need a free Google account to access the folders so we can track where files come from.

Questions about bulletin blurbs or other publicity? Contact me at or 330.744.8451 x375.

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Meagen Farrell

Meagen Farrell is an author, trainer, and woodworker who lives with her husband and boys in Northeast Ohio. She serves as the Communications Manager for the Diocese of Youngstown to help Catholics of all ages to grow in faith, love and charity. Her personal hobbies include reading, swimming and supporting local businesses. Before transitioning to religious education, she spent most of her career in the field of adult basic education, helping fellow educators find a balance between face-to-face and digital instruction. Her best known publication is "Teaching Adults: A GED Test Resource Book" by New Readers Press. She is currently certified in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) levels I, II & III. Meagen earned her BA in Religion from Oberlin College, Certificate in Distance Education from Penn State University, MA in Theology and Religious Studies from John Carroll University, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Educational Technology at Kent State University.
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