Tips For Door-to-Door Visitation
1. In the very first moment of contact, it is important to smile. Other important qualities: sincerity, genuineness, humility, friendliness, cheerfulness, sense of humor. Our manners must be impeccable, we must show absolute respect for property, and we should maintain a neat appearance and confident posture.
2. Mention "Catholic" as soon as possible in your introduction.
3. Tell people about Mary as their Mother - She is the key to conversions.
4. Evangelization is Mary's work, she already knows their needs and she incorporates us into Her motherhood of souls as she seeks to sanctify.
5. Leave a good impression. Talk 30%; Listen 70%.
6. It is important to recollect before each home.
7. Send your Guardian Angels ahead to help prepare the way.
8. Pray to St. Joseph who was used to bringing Christ to doorsteps. Take heart when you are turned away and move on.
9. Pray to St. John the Baptist so that by his powerful intercession we may have hearts of evangelizers, and that he may continue to prepare the way for Jesus Christ.
10. If possible, visit the Blessed Sacrament before and after assignments.
11. While one Legionary is speaking, the other should be praying -invoke Mary's name.
12. As you are walking up to homes, consecrate them to the Holy Family.
13. Offer up difficult assignments. Show extra kindness.
14. Don't argue. Allow people to vent their feelings.
15. End by saying, "God bless you, please pray for us."
16. Do not ask if people have a few minutes, because they will most likely say, "NO."
17. It might be good to alternate who approaches. Know what you're going to say, but don't make it sound memorized.
18. A helpful question is, "Do you have any questions about the Catholic Faith?"
19. Seek to establish a friendship and a personal rapport.
20. Ask questions in a non-threatening way.
21. Don't discuss the neighbors - *listen for clues.
22. Be observant for clues as you walk up to each door. If you are invited in, be observant for clues in the home as well.
23. Mention that you are visiting all homes in the area, that you are visiting "our neighbors."
24. It is good to ask if anything can be done to help them today -- "Can we be of service to you today?"
25. Find out if they attend a certain church, or are active in a certain church in the area. Invite them to come and visit our Church. A mention of RCIA might be appropriate.
26. During the visit, find out their state of life, state of mind, and state of soul. You have to know where they are so you can help bring them a step closer.
27. It is better to be asked in than to ask to come in. Accept a drink and "milk it."
28. Pray with them before you leave, maybe for a particular intention of theirs.
29.If you see someone in the yard, skip to that house and back-track.
30. Make a Sign of the Cross on the door, and consecrate the home to the Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart.
31. Take a step back when the person comes to the door - this is a non-threatening gesture.
32. Pick up on accents to "break the ice."
33. At a certain point in the conversation, it might be appropriate to exchange names. First names could be an opening for a discussion about the Saints.
34. You might also bring up famous Catholics like Bishop Sheen, Mother Teresa; also famous landmarks such as the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
35. Take an interest in the children - "Do you know your prayers?" You can say volumes to people through their children.
36. Don't talk too loudly as you are leaving, or laugh.
37. To prevent confusion regarding street addresses, be mindful of mailboxes and front doors.
38. Talk to whomever answers the door.
39. Legion aims for quality over quantity of visits.
40. If no one is home, leave a bulletin in a thoughtful place (in case the family is on vacation) with a note: "Hello! Sorry we missed you. God bless you. "
41. Present a Miraculous Medal as a gift to all we meet, and explain the MM in relation to Christ. Christ is the center of our lives, and Mary is Mother of Christ so she is our Mother also. We honor her, we do not worship her. Since Christ is our Brother, this family needs a Mother.
42. It is good to have something in hand already as you approach each house, for example some of the prayer material that we have in our bag that is appropriate for Catholics and non-Catholics. As you walk up, try to imagine how Mary would approach each home.
43. Explain the Rosary as a meditation on the life of Jesus and Mary together, a Biblical meditation.
44. Talk about the Eucharist as the Bread of Life; Bethlehem meaning the "House of Bread;" Eucharist as the True Presence; Mass and the Eucharist as Life!
For further study, it is vital to read Frank Duff's, "The Spirit of Home Visitation. " Also, there are helpful pages in the Legion Handbook: pp. 120-121; 128-129; 202-204; 221-222; 224-231; 233-239; 240-250; 259-261.
Just a few other small points
1. Determine the "lead" person before each home. It is a good idea for Legionaries to share this.
2. An example of a good introduction is, "Hello, we are members of St. Andrew's Catholic Church, and on behalf of our priests, we are visiting our neighbors in the parish today. " (slight pause) Next could be a question like, "Are you actively involved in a Church in the area?" for example.
3. It is important to take notes on each visit, discreetly, before you visit the next home. Keep these notes in an appropriate notebook. Also one of the team needs to fill out our little white slips, so these can be turned in to up-date the general cards in our file. Visits that need "follow up" should be written out fully on large index cards provided, after the assignment is completed for the day.
4. One of the Legionaries should carry a serviceable bag for the following items: Catholic Packets, Bulletins, EWTN schedules, Rosaries and Miraculous Medals (helpful to have these in separate small bags to prevent so much tangling!), "Speak, Lord," "This We Believe," "Arlington Catholic Heralds," Legion of Mary literature like Tesseras, Auxiliary Membership cards, and also important to have a few Parish Registration forms.