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A Meaningful Connection After a Local Tragedy

Uno with candles

St. Mary Catholic Church in Newton, Kansas had just rolled out Flocknote to their entire church, kicking it off at the beginning of Lent with their first Fish Fry. Less than two weeks later the unthinkable happened in their community, the Hesston Shooting.

Although they had just begun to utilize Flocknote in their church, over 400 members had already added their cell phone numbers. Through Flocknote, St. Mary’s was able to send a last-minute text to these members, organizing a Rosary to pray for the victims of the shooting and their community before the School Mass that next morning. These members passed on the word, and it spread to members throughout the community, including news reporters and those outside the church.

Rob Tierney

“It was thanks to Flocknote that we were able to get the word out that fast,” said Rob Tierney of St. Mary’s. “We had two news channels present and people gathered from the entire community.”

Sending a text to gather volunteers

The Friday after the shooting they used Flocknote to text their members again, this time asking for food donations to feed the law enforcement responding to the tragedy.

“We sent out a text and had three truckloads of goodies (including fried chicken!) to send to the law enforcement,” said Rob.

All of this is made more remarkable by the fact that just two weeks prior, St. Mary’s had no way of reaching out to their members at a moment’s notice. Flocknote allowed them to bring the community together to pray and give in a very needed time.

St. Mary Catholic Church in Newton, KS

Rob said that the tragedy hit very close to home for their entire church. Several members worked at the Excel building where the shooting occurred. The church is also located directly across from the prison the shooter escaped from that morning.

“Everyone in our community was affected and shocked. This really helped bring people together.”

Have you or your church done something really creative through Flocknote? If so, send us an email at and tell us more! You might just be the subject of our next Flocknotable!