Advice for Someone Returning to the Catholic Church

A few weeks ago, a woman emailed our parish, of which I am webmaster, to say that she would like to return to the Catholic Church and asked what she should do? She had been baptized Catholic but had not attended since. This is quite a common occurrence, so I thought I would share with you what I told her, in a slightly adapted version. It would be good advice for a new Catholic as well.

How wonderful for you! I’m so happy for you to take this step!

First, I would advise you call the Religious Education Office at your chosen parish to register for RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, which is the program you will need to take to learn about the faith and to get your sacraments. This usually starts in the Fall.

Second, I would recommend for you make an appointment with one of your parish priests to have a chat to get you started in your spiritual life. I’m sure he would love to meet with you. Don’t be shy.

Third, I would start attending Mass every week, if you aren’t already. Even though you can’t take Communion, you can make a Spiritual Communion at any time, but especially during Communion time at mass. The Spiritual Communion prayer is found here:

Fourth, get a Catholic Bible (protestant bibles don’t have all the books of the bible, so you want a Catholic one) The New Catholic Answer Bible: The New American Bible is excellent. The Leather version is called The New Catholic Answer Bible – Librosario It is beautiful, and is the bible we gave our son for his Confirmation. Start reading it in the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) & Acts. Mark is a great one to read first because it is short.

In the meantime, if you haven’t already, you might want to check out these websites and books to help nourish yourself along your journey – of course, at your own pace.

Catholic Answers
A Simple Guide to Christian Meditation
How to Pray the Rosary
EWTN Faith Teachings
Envoy Read back issues & articles
New American Bible Online
Catholics Come Home

Prayer Primer : Igniting a Fire Within – Fr. Thomas Dubay
Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism An easy must-read by Scott & Kimberly Hahn
The How-To Book of the Mass: Everything You Need to Know but No One Ever Taught You Michael Dubruiel
7 Books for New Catholics

Also, see if there is a Catholic library at your parish or a neighboring one. There are also great podcasts online to help nourish you too. You can listen to them on an MP3 player or on your computer. See my list of podcasts on the left side of this website.

If you need any information or have any questions about the Faith, please don’t hesitate to contact me so I can send you in the right direction.

Congrats on this great step in your life,
God Bless,

UPDATE: You might also find helpful the Catholics Come Home website.

2 Replies to “Advice for Someone Returning to the Catholic Church”

  1. God Bless you Marcy for your service to us. Great information!

    I would also suggest that anyone who is interested in returning to the Catholic Church, or just plain interested in us Catholics, that they attend an Emmaus Retreat which is given by laypersons at the local parish. You don't have to be Catholic and you don't have to have received all your sacraments. This is a wonderful way to get love and support in the Catholic parish community. The first Emmaus Retreat I went on brought me back to church.



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