Becoming a CatholicRestingNext Steps    August 23, 2017


Moving on


So what practical steps can you take? The most obvious is to come to Mass. Normally it is best to go to your parish church, but you are welcome to attend any church where you feel at home.
We hope that you will find our parish friendly and welcoming, but if you prefer to be left very much to yourself then that is alright as well. You may feel that the style of worship varies at each of our three Masses at the weekend, and we hope that you will feel at home at one of them.
Sooner or later you will want to speak to a priest about your situation. Again, you are welcome to speak to our parish priest; the important thing is that you feel he understands and accepts you. You will find the he greets the people at the Church door after the two Sunday Masses and the Saturday Vigil Mass, this is a good time to introduce yourself briefly, but not perhaps to have a long conversation, as he may be distracted. Phone him up during the week and make an appointment to talk things over. Alternatively, there is a set time for confessions on a Saturday, when you can speak to him at greater length in the church, or by appointment. If you are not ready to speak to a priest, then maybe you know a parishioner who may be able to answer some of your questions, or if you are not ready for that kind of approach maybe the following websites will help you till you feel more ready to speak to someone.
One way or the other, celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is the key step to taking up your faith again. Do not think of Confession as a list of sins but as an opportunity to tell Jesus Christ your story through the priest. Of course there will be particular sins you will want to mention, but they will make more sense in the context of your story. Do not be afraid if you have been away for a long time: priests are always very moved when someone begins, “Father, it is 20 years since my last Confession…” The sense of joy and healing that this sacrament gives is hard to describe, and it brings with it the great blessing that you can begin receiving communion again.
If you do not feel comfortable asking someone locally to help you think these things through, then please consider approaching the Catholic Enquiry Office of England and Wales which is also there to help (020 7901 4863; enquiries@life4seekers.co.uk).


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God our Father, Shepherd and Guide, look with love on Francis, your servant, the pastor of your church. May his word and example continue to inspire and guide the Church and may he and all those entrusted to his care come to the joy of everlasting life. Amen.




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