Deacon Greg posted an interesting story of a Deacon who reconciled with the church after being hurt by some of its members. I thought about people who return to the church and their reasons for doing so and I wondered how many people must be thinking about coming back to the church as their new year's resolution?
The Paulists have a great program called Landings for people who are considering returning to the church. It provides them with a safe landing place where they aren't judged for their past but rather how they can grow into further unity with the church, heal those old wounds and recover a new sense of faith that perhaps had been lurking in their lives all along.
Many people often don't have a particular grudge against the church but rather seek an opportunity for spiritual renewal. Disciples in Mission helps parishes do that very well from the Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association.
Of course for people in their 20s and 30s in particular, BustedHalo.com® is a e-zine that promotes looking at everyday life experiences of young adults through a spiritual perspective. We also have a few plug and play programs and our retreat ministry that we run in cohort with our colleagues in Chicago at Charis Ministries which is two opportunities for more direct ministry with young adult Catholics.
Fr Dave Dwyer does his radio ministry on Sirius but we also do a weekly podcast called the Busted Halo Cast® which you can also find on iTunes.
So if you've got questions or are thinking of returning to the Catholic Church---first of all--know that you are welcome. Let us know how we can be of service to you.
Your humble blogger is Mike Hayes, a well-known expert in the world of young adult ministry (20s and 30s) in the Catholic Church. Mike is the author of Googling God (Paulist, 2007) where he explores both the chaotic world that young people live in and their religious reactions to that world. He also explores the age of instant gratification and how churches can respond to the needs of the young adult age by using technology alongside more traditional ministry methods.
Mike founded the award winning BustedHalo.com® in 2001 and continues to contribute to it as the editor of their catechetical section appropriately named Googling God.
Recently, he left BustedHalo® to focus on more direct ministry with young people at St Joseph University Parish as a Campus Minister for the South Campus at the University at Buffalo.
He has only two loves: his adorable wife, Marion and a nine pound chihuahua named Haze, who still find him amusing enough to let them live in their home.