Returning Catholics

Returning Catholics are those who have been away from active participation in the Church for however long.

We know that many people returning to the Church have questions about its teachings and practices.

  • I am thinking of returning to the Catholic Church.  Do I have to go through some kind of program to do this?  No, if you are a Catholic who has been baptized and received First Communion.  However, there are other options besides simply coming back and sitting down in a pew.  We do offer an informal group for returning Catholics for discussion, question-and-answers, and where appropriate, explanation or teaching regarding the faith (see below).  A person returning to active participation should meet one-on-one with one of our staff members to sort through individual circumstances.
  • If I return to the Church, do I need to go to confession?  Or can I just come to mass?  You are always welcome to Mass.  Never stay away thinking you are unwelcome.  However, before receiving Holy Communion you will want to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation by making a confession.
  • I don’t remember how to go to confession?  What do I do?   Knowing the “formula” for confession is not as important as simply going to the sacrament.  We can certainly help you with form.  In addition, Fr. Jim an most priests will talk you through the process.
  • I am not married in the Church.  Does that affect my return to the Church?  If this is your first marriage, having your marriage recognized by the Church should be simple.  If either you or your spouse has been married before, the process may take more time. We have many people on staff to discuss your marital status.
  • I have been divorced.  Does that affect my return?  What if I am remarried?  Many people, Catholic and non-Catholic, believe mistakenly that divorce disqualifies a person from being part of the Catholic  faith community.  It is important to speak to Fr. Picton or a staff person about your individual circumstances so that we can address them appropriately.  Again, never stay away because you think you are unwelcome or disqualified.
  • I’m not Catholic, but am curious about the Catholic Church.  What should I do?  The Church offers a process for people who are considering entering the Catholic Church. This is called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).  This usually begins with a personal interview.  You may contact Ann Kareta at akareta@stmadsophie.org