Have you drifted away from the Catholic Church and God? Are you thinking about returning to the church and need some guidance? The church wants you back and to help you on your journey home!
There are a number of reasons why people leave. People get busy or distracted by family responsibilities or they just drift away. Others are angry or hurt. And there are those who think they can do better somewhere else. And for some, well, it’s complicated.
But lapsed or inactive Catholics can come home and re-establish their relationship with the church. For some, it’s as simple as making a good confession. But Catholics who have been inactive a long time or have issues with the church may want a slower re-entry process.
The church does have programs available to help Catholics return to the church such as Landings, Awakening Faith and Catholics Returning Home. These parish-based programs are staffed by people who are sensitive to many of the issues and questions of returning Catholics.
OnceCatholic.org, a ministry of the Franciscan Friars, reports that lapsed Catholics typically leave for one of these reasons:
- Marriage and remarriage issues
- Not spiritually fed at Mass
- Just drifted away
- Quarreled with parish staff
- Felt excluded
- Church teaching
And Catholics return for similar reasons. They want their marriage blessed by the church or their children reared in the church. They have rediscovered the spiritual richness of the Catholic tradition and realize their sins can be forgiven. Or, they have developed a new appreciation for church teaching. A difficult life situation or the prospect of death also draws people back.
To obtain more information about returning home to the church, and to have more specific questions answered – click on “Find a Parish” on the homepage of this site. There you can locate a parish near you, who will help answer any additional questions you may have.
The following resources may help with your journey home.
- Coming Home by Lilla Ross (St. Augustine Catholic magazine, April 2010 issue)
- Faith Rediscovered: Coming Home to Catholicism by Lawrence S. Cunningham (Paulist Press)
- Handbook for Today’s Catholic (Liguori Publications)
- Practicing Catholic by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk (St. Anthony Messenger Press)
- Returning Home to Your Catholic Faith: An Invitation by Sally Mews (Liguori Publications)
- While You Were Gone: A Handbook for Returning Catholics by William J. Bausch (Twenty-Third Publications)
- Yes, I Can Believe by Frank DeSiano, CSP (Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association)
- 101 Questions & Answers on the Bible by R. E. Brown (Paulist Press)
- Catholic Q & A: Answers to the Most Common Questions about Catholicism by J.J.Dietzen (Crossroad Publishing)
- Remaining Catholic: Six Good Reasons for Staying in an Imperfect Church by M. Pable (ACTA Publications)
- Why be Catholic? Understanding our Experience and Tradition byR. Rohr & J. Martos, (St. Anthony Messenger Press)
- Catholicism: Now I Get It! by F.S. Smith (Our Sunday Visitor)