Coming Home for Returning Catholics

Are you or someone you know a Catholic that has been away from the Church?

St. Patrick’s Parish is please to offer “Coming Home,” a program designed to help people return.

Let’s look at what “Coming Home” is, and what it is not…

“Coming Home” is an invitation and a welcome.  It is not only for people who are away from the Church.  It is also for people who come to Church, and may have questions or concerns.  “Coming Home” is a group of lay people – some who have been away, and some who have never left.  It is designed to be a conversation, and a resource to offer support and friendship.  We are not selling anything.  We are simply here for people when, and if, and however they may need us.  There are resources we can share both written and video, but our main resources is people ready to be of service.

When we come together at St. Patrick’s we are not only in Church, we are Church.  Together in God’s house we are safe and welcome. “Coming Home” wishes to extend that welcome.  Here all are welcome.  Everyone belongs.  As Catholics we believe that nothing exists that can – nor does anything exist that should – keep us from the love of God.  God wants each and all of us to know the warmth, safety and power of that love.  We pray for all to embrace God’s love, and to come home.  We ask you to pray for anyone who may need to hear this message.

If you are interested, please call us for more information, or pass this number to someone you know who might be.

Please feel free to call — with NO obligation (631) 665-4911 and leave a message for the Coming Home team.

On Converting to the Church I was born into…

I grew up loving to god to Church.  Everything about it drew me in.  There was parochial school, the altar boys and the choir.  I loved the smell of burning candles and incense.  After Benediction I would help the sacristan clean up and mop the Church floor.  What I was taught about my faith I believed with all my heart and soul.

Then came high school bringing with it questions about doubts.  My parents suddenly didn’t know what they were talking about, and my teachers weren’t doing much better.

By the time I started college piety had given way to open rebellion.  My theology and philosophy courses took me even deeper into thought and further away from the heartfelt devotion to God and the Church that I once had.

After graduation I married in the Church, and our children were baptized, but only to keep the peace in both our families.  The birth of our three children stirred my soul, and I longed to believe again.  From time to time I would attend Mass, but I would return home with my litany of doubts intact.  As the years piled up, it became harder to find my way back.

At the age of 54 I became very ill.  With my life turned upside down, desperate and alone in a hospital room in the middle of the night, I began to pray the prayers I learned and loved as a child. “Our Father…”, “Hail Mary…”, “Glory be…” Over and over I repeated the words until finally I was able to sleep.

When I woke later that morning, everything had changed though I didn’t fully realize it yet.  Over the next several months I slowly regained my health.  With the help of friends in the parish I decided to attend Mass here at St. Patrick’s to hear an elderly Monsignor preach.  It happened that it was St. Patrick’s Day that Sunday.  I don’t remember specifically what he spoke on, but that frail and holy priest knocked me back into my pew.  My life has not been the same since.  A long and winding road had brought me home at last.  It was there that I reconnected with Jesus.  As with a dear friend I hadn’t spoken to since high school, we just picked up where we had left off.

A St. Patrick Parishioner