In the December 11th edition of OSV Newsweekly, I wrote an article on welcoming estranged Catholic back to the Church:
As Christmas approaches, there is one thing we can be as sure of seeing as Santa Claus and incessant ads for holiday deals: full Catholic churches. As predictable as the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano, Catholics of all stripes return to their parish every Christmas, many visiting for the first time since the previous Easter. The Catholics in attendance at a typical Christmas Mass run the gamut from daily Mass communicants to irregularly attending families to those who are estranged from the Church but come out of familial obligation.
As practicing Catholics, what can we and our parishes do to reach out to those who are estranged from or perhaps just uninterested in the Catholic Church? While this question has many possible answers, it will be helpful to review some basic principles that should form the foundation of any outreach to lapsed Catholics.
Also, be sure to read the sidebar for the article titled “The Mercy of God” – it is a great story of God’s great love for us!