Do you try to help people return to the

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Do you try to help people return to the
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 1:30pm
Church? Do you think you should?

Just curious -- and trying to get some activity started here, to be honest. If you have Catholic friends/relatives/acquaintances who aren't practicing their faith, do you try to bring them back? If so, how? What methods do you think are effective? Prayer? Inviting them to Church? Threatening eternal damnation?

Would you like to encourage them, but don't know how? Or do you think it is none of your business?

Does your answer differ if they are just beginning to distance themselves from the Church, vs. those you met after they had already been away from the faith for a long time?


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 1:49pm
Hi Polly,

All Baptized Christians have a responsibility to spread the Gospel in the world. Specifically the business, and family world. Clergy are not engaged in the activities that Lay persons are. So The Laity have a unique opportunity to invite others who no longer have an attachment to the Catholic Faith. The Scriptures say that "no one is to remain idle" in the story of those sent into the vineyard to work. Christ call every Baptized person to work in His vineyard. There are many ways to Evangelize. One must always remember that Christ teaches us the we are to be "invitational" not "confrontational".

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 11:45pm
We definitely work to return people to the church. I think there are different approaches to use for different people. It's been my experience that family is the most difficult. Certainly prayer works there, and sharing one's own experiences.

I know that when I was drifting about in a sea going nowhere, one of my co-workers in particular was most helpful to me. I'm sure there was a good measure of prayer thrown in on her part, but she would also listen to me - never condemning, but encouraging and planting seeds. Sometimes it took a while for those seeds to take root, but eventually they bore fruit.

There is another co-worker that I got into a discussion with as a result of an off-handed remark in the parking lot one day after school about going to confession. She has been away from the church for many years and has quite a few 'issues' with it. But at the same time, she was seemed to be looking for something. We had several good discussions, but then I sort of left it alone, knowing that these things can't necessarily be rushed. Lots of stress right now at school, but when things slow down this summer, I may drop her an email and see how she's doing with all of that and go from there.

My assistant at work - one of my favorite people at work - is a former Catholic, who now practices with some odd-ball fundamental religion. We generally avoid religion discussions because they would be confrontational. I feel like we have way more in common that different, but she does not see it that way. She is one of the most decent people that I know, believes heavily in the power of prayer and fasting.

Prayer, example and talking would be my 'preferred methods'. And I think the biggest variable would be the amount of hostility that the person harbors toward the CAtholic church. For some people talking and sharing will get you no where, and for others, it might be precisely what's needed. I don't think threatening eternal damnation brings very many people back.



PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-21-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 11:57am
I think the hostility is the hardest issue. I ran into this when I asked my friend to my ds's First Communion. They used to be practicing Catholics, she would even participate in novenas, but they fell away when they moved. Their new home is in a part of the diocese where there isn't a church yet. Then they became very upset over the whole scandal and they stopped going to church. Their son is just a month younger than mine and he should have made his FHC this year as well, but didn't.

I'm really sad that they've moved away from us physically and spiritually, but I don't know how to overcome the hostility they feel.

Then there are my siblings. My sister is sort of coming back. At least she is getting married in the Church. OH! The fight we had when she said she wanted to get married in a non-denom ceremony. But that was resolved and she will have a Catholic wedding. I hope her dh-to-be isn't going to have issues with the kids growing up Catholic. I was lucky that mine agreed to it, wanting our kids to have some spiritual foundation. My brother just finished his first year in college and he's slipping away. I guess that's not uncommon, but I feel upset that he is. Maybe it's all part of the revolt against our dad, we all seemed to do it.

I'va also run into people and we happen to talk about it and I try to encourage them to come back, letting them know that we have a new priest who is so full of the Holy Spirit and there is a new sense of community in the parish. Beyond that, I gues we just pray?


Mom to Brad, Ma

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 6:05pm
Speaking of about offering some to our friend Dina (her post is close to the top). Everyone, including priests, religious, active lay people, and those away from the Church, could use a lift every now and then. It's up to each one of us to present Christ to people. Here's a story:

There was a little girl trying to sleep in her room, but awakened and made afraid by thunderstorms. She came downstairs to ask her mother for help. Her mother told her that God is always with you, and He will protect you...time for bed. Minutes later, after a big thunderboom, the girl was downstairs again. Her mother said, "Honey, didn't I tell you that God is with you?" She replied, "Yes, but tonight I need a God with skin on." Please remember that You are the only Gospel some people will ever read. Let them see Christ in you.