Returning to the Church after years away can be complicated but we warmly encourage you to continue exploring it. You are also not alone, as many have left the Church or the practice of their faith in recent years.
It is well reported that many people have left the Church in recent decades but also that some return. For some, this return was prompted by the ‘great pause’ of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns, which caused many to consider what really matters in life.
Reconnecting with your faith can be complex, particularly for those who have been mistreated by the Church.
Depending on where you are at, there are a few ways in which you can return to church.
A return to church should mean a return to prayer. Prayer is at the heart of our relationship with God, so this would be the best place to start. You do not even need to attend a church to do this, in fact, Jesus encourages us to pray in the quiet of our rooms, but sacred spaces like churches can help to focus our minds.
‘But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’ Matthew 6:6
Another option is to join your local church for Mass. It may have changed a little since you last attended due to a new translation of the Mass, but it should be very familiar to you.
This is a great way to connect with a local Catholic community and with your local priest who should be able to help you to navigate your spiritual journey back. Through the Eucharist, you can also experience communion again, the tangible sign that you are in union with God and His Church again.
Confession is another powerful moment for those returning to their faith. If you have been away for some time, you may likely have sins that you wish to confess and be forgiven for. Confession is always a powerful experience of God’s love and mercy, but this can be particularly so if it is the releasing of many years of the sins and mistakes that burden our hearts.
No matter what we have done, everyone is welcome in the Catholic Church, as we are all sinners in need of grace.
If you want to talk to someone about your return to the Church, give us a call or check out the ‘Returning to church’ page.