As Catholics, we believe our life here on Earth is preparation for our afterlife with our Heavenly Father. Jesus laid the groundwork for us. He’s given us all the information we need to prepare.
But of course, it’s on us to do the work to get to heaven.
Unfortunately, all the studies indicate that fewer and fewer of us are practicing Catholicism.
Gallup surveys show that fewer than 4 in 10 Catholics attend church in any given week … and the number is on the decline. From 2014 to 2017, an average of 39% of Catholics reported attending church in the past seven days. This is down from an average of 45% from 2005 to 2008.
So odds are pretty good that someone you know and love has become a “lapsed Catholic.”
It may be a child. A godchild. A sibling. Or even a parent. It may be a close friend.
Or sadly, it may be a combination of several of these loved ones.
It’s heartbreaking to think we may not spend eternity with them. It’s a helpless feeling. But the outlook is not totally bleak.
There is something we can do.
There are numerous examples in the Bible and in the lives of our Saints.
But perhaps the most famous is Saint Monica whose tireless efforts over many years resulted in her pagan husband converting to Catholicism before his death.
And even more astonishing, St. Monica’s “playboy” son converted to Catholicism, became a priest, then a bishop, and ultimately was canonized a Saint and declared a Doctor of the Church!
It only took 17 years of his mother’s prayers and sacrifices. Of course, I’m talking about St. Augustine of Hippo.
This week’s Genuflect provides guidance on how to bring your loved ones back to the Church. We look at reasons to return, approaches you can take, types of “lapsed Catholics,” how you can help, some do’s and don’ts, and how to return to the Church.
If you fear for the salvation of a loved one, take heart … and take action. Just remember that the Lord works on His time … not ours.
Founding Editor, Genuflect
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10 Reasons to Return to The Church
There are countless reasons why Catholics may fall away from the church. And there are just as many reasons why they may feel compelled to return. Understanding the reason is the first step in helping them to return. Here are 10 reasons.
Returning Catholics | St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church
The 6 Different Kinds of Lapsed Catholics
Brandon Vogt categorizes lapsed catholics into six categories, based on why they left the faith. They range from people who switch to a prodestant faith, and those who are spiritual but not religious, to those who are skeptical. Read more about all six types.
Before Bringing Someone Back to The Church Get a Little Help
If you are interested in helping a loved one return to the Catholic faith, it’s important to lay some groundwork. First, ask him why he left … so you fully understand the reason why. Secondly, pray to the Lord for His assistance to help you find the right way to share the Good News of the Lord to touch your loved one’s heart and bring him back.
You Can Bring Someone Back to The Faith – But First … | Bulldog Catholic
7 Tips For Praying For Those Who Have Fallen Away
Prayer is such a powerful gift from our Lord. He invites us to pray with insistence and with confidence. And miracles happen when He answers our prayers. This is why one of the most powerful ways we can help our loved ones who have drifted away from their faith, is to pray for them. Here are 7 tips for praying for their return to the Church.
Prayers For The Fallen Away do Work Miracles | National Catholic Register
Do’s and Don’ts For Helping Loved Ones Come Back to Church
The Lord is constantly inviting all His children to come to Him. But someone out there may need a little nudge from you to hear the invitation. If you’re not careful, the results could backfire though. Here are some things you can do to help a loved one come back to the church … and more importantly, some things you shouldn’t do!
Do’s and Don’ts For Helping Loved Ones Come Back to Church | Focus on Campus
7 Steps to Bring Any Young Person Back to The Church
Young Catholics are abandoning their faith in droves, leaving parents and family members feeling helpless. Brandon Vogt offers encouragement with a 7-step plan to bring them back based on his years of research on the subject. Just don’t expect this to be a quick-fix. This is a long-term plan.
7 Steps to Bring Any Young Person Back to The Church | Brandon Vogt
5 Things You Can do to Help Your Parents Return to the Church
We typically hear about children drifting away from the Church. But sometimes, it’s a parent and roles are reversed. Here are 5 things a child can do to help a parent return home to the Catholic Church.
How to Return to the Church When You’ve Been Away
One of the reasons some lapsed Catholics don’t return to the Church … or delay their return … is because they don’t know how. They are unsure how they will feel, what they should do, and if there is a formality involved. But the truth is, it’s not difficult. Begin with these three simple steps.
10 Steps to Bring Non-Catholics to the Church
Sometimes we cross paths with non-Catholic family or friends who are open to considering Catholicism. But you’re not sure how to help … or if you can help. Here are 10 steps of dialogue you can use to help them come home to the Catholic Church.
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