Starting February 2nd, Midtown Catholic will host the Return Program on Wednesdays from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in the St. Thomas More cafeteria. This 7-night course offers Catholics coaching in the skills necessary to bring back their loved ones who have left the Catholic Faith. Registration is required. You can learn about the program by contacting me or at Return’s website, returnfaith.org. Monday, January 24th, is the last day to register for the program.
I was encouraged by the number of you who initially took registration forms. That affirms that this direction is relevant and could be transformative for our parishes. Not just because of the content but because of your willingness to grow. We will see our exterior numbers grow when we are willing to grow internally. The last two letters from Frs. Jeff and Frank about the reduction of Mass times highlight some harsh realities, but our future is not set in stone. If we seek the God of our fathers, He will rejuvenate and restore us. It was as true in ancient Israel as it is today.
Unfortunately, we have had very few actual sign-ups thus far. I must admit that I will be sad if Return flops without a chance to be attempted. Please join me in prayer to build a culture that will lead to our growth. If we do not seek God, we cannot expect others to join us in an experience that is purely academic or nostalgic.
What are we inviting our loved ones back to? If it’s just Mass one hour a week where no one says “boo” to them, then we can’t blame them for not wanting to come. Imagine a parish with a culture of welcoming and greeting new faces when we didn’t recognize them. Imagine small groups meeting and growing in fellowship and faith together. Imagine those groups working with the homeless, imprisoned, and destitute. We must become a culture of welcome and encounter if we wish to be a growing parish. Once we have that, we can ace the invitation.
There is another opportunity coming up. The Archdiocese is training individuals to lead small group bible studies. If you are not getting involved with Return, I encourage you to consider seeking out a bible study or leading one on your own. This would help us grow in our sense of encounter. I implore you to consider finding some way to give your time and talent to this community. Quality time is as much a gift as money, if not more. This is as true for our loved ones who have left as it is for the life of the Church.
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”Acts 2:46-47
Director of Evangelization
402.556.1456 ext. 203