Returning to the Church

9 Feb, 2012

Come home to the Catholic Church! Have you been away for a while? Do you feel the pull to come back? We are always prepared to welcome you!

Thank you for looking up this page.
If you have done so because you are thinking about reconnecting with the Church please know that we have been thinking about you and we know how difficult it can sometimes be to take this step.
Our desire at St. Therese of Lisieux Parish is to offer you whatever assistance you need to help you feel welcome and comfortable within the Church once more.
There are many reasons, some very painful, why people give up their connection with the Church, but whatever your reasons Canon Alan would be very pleased to meet you, to talk to you and to assist you.
It may be only for a chat to introduce yourself or you may wish absolution or have other matters you wish to resolve.

What does Jesus say?

Jesus is a good story teller and his stories always have a point. In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 15, he tells the story of a young man returning home. The point of the story is the welcome he receives from his father which takes him completely by surprise. Jesus is telling us a truth we all need to know about God our Father:

While the young man was still a long way off his father saw him and his heart was filled with compassion for him. He ran to meet his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him tenderly. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I am not worthy to be called your son.’ But his father wasn’t listening to him. He said to the servants, ‘Quick, get the best robe and put it on him, put a ring on his finger to let everyone know he is my son, put new sandals on his feet and kill the calf we have been fattening. We are going to have a feast to celebrate his homecoming.’

We all fall short. We are all unworthy but, nevertheless, we are all beloved children. Maybe the story invites you to trust.

Do you recognise yourself here? Perhaps you were baptised as a Catholic, even made your First Communion, but you were never much part of the family of the Church. Your parents rarely came to Mass, so you didn’t either. Perhaps you stopped coming as a teenager, even after being confirmed. You found it boring. It wasn’t ‘cool’ to come to Church. It was so easy just to drift away quietly. Perhaps you were hurt by something said or done by someone at Church. You may still feel angry about it. We want you to know we are very sorry.

Perhaps you felt unworthy because of something you did. You felt uncomfortable being there because you knew deep in your heart that you were doing wrong. Perhaps your marriage broke down. You are now in a new relationship, even married again. Perhaps you cannot receive Communion, so you don’t see the point of coming. Whatever the reason you left, remember that you are a vital part of God’s family and we would love to welcome you back. Incidentally, If you have been away for a long time, you may find the Church today is quite different from the way you remember it.

Canon Alan’s contact information is below. We would be more than happy to discuss your particular situation and give guidance and support.

Very Rev. Canon Alan Sheridan

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