|Arlene Allison V
2398 Harvest Ridge Drive
State College, PA 16803
Rev. John Byrnes
Basilica of St. Michael
P.O. Box 144
Loretto, PA 15940
Rev. George Gulash
St. Joan of Arc
692 Glendale Valley Blvd. Fallentimber, PA 16639
Mary Grace Neugebauer
150 Apple Drive
Cresson, PA 16630
Sr. Mary Parks, CSJ
741 Railroad Street
Johnstown, PA 15901
Rev. David Peles
St. Mary Church
1020 Caroline Street
Nanty Glo, PA 15943
4029 Ridge Ave
Altoona, PA 16602
Fr. Edward Sabo
St. Clare of Assisi Church
124 Maple Street
Johntown, PA 15901
Mrs. Rose Shaffer
556 Summit Ave.
300 Second Ave.
Altoona, PA 16602
Mary Frances Shedlock
1496 Penn Street
Nanty Glo, PA 15943
5379 Portage Street
Lilly, PA 15938
248 Cinema Drive
Johnstown, PA 15905
|The Come Home process actually
begins with and requires the support of the Pastor. The Pastor doesn’t
have to have “hands on,” day-to-day involvement for the
process to succeed but if he is vocal in his support the people who
serve on the Come Home team can blossom in that parish.
|The Team should consist of two to
five members and a facilitator.
It is necessary to have a priest on the Come Home team.
Training & On-going Support:
|A Diocesan Come Home Support
Committee is available to assist parishes beginning the process and
parishes needing assistance while doing the process. Contact Sr. Linda
LaMagna, CCW at Phone: 814-944-3922
Adapting Come Home to your particular parish:
|After training, meet to brainstorm:
(1) What kinds of people are we trying to reach out to?
(2) What is the best way to reach people in our part of the diocese?
Formation of subcommittees:
|Team members choose a subcommittee
on which each will feel comfortable serving.
|A multifaceted approach:
--Printed invitations which could be in the pews
--flyers, window signs, posters
Promotional materials could also be available at the church
entrances for parishioners to pick up and distribute to
people they know who are away from the church.
--plans an optional Family and Friends Gathering
--plans the logistics of the Come Home sessions
--format of the three sessions
--speakers for the workshop session
always be served
at Come Home Gatherings
COME HOME SESSIONS
COME HOME is a series of Three
information sessions which might be offered three times a year; Come
Home for Easter, Come Home for Christmas, and Come Home
for the fall.
SESSION 1: Several brief witness
talks, some prayer experiences and a brainstorming session where
participants identify what they would need in order to make a decision
to return to the Church
SESSIONS 2 and 3: are developed to meet the needs identified in
the first session. Topics might include: divorce and annulment,
how to go to Confession, dealing with doubts and mistrust, I no
longer understand the mass, how to pray, guilt, anger, healing the
pain of the past. The human side of the Church, how much do you
have to believe, who makes the rules, the Creed, etc.
During these session participants
may obtain answers to their questions. Additional sessions could
be added depending on the needs of the participants.
The Come Home process is
completely anonymous. No nametags, no sign-ins.
THE COME HOME LECTURE
The Come Home Lecture Series
is a follow-up to the Come Home process. It features lectures on
topic chosen by Come Home participants.
Changes in the Church since Vatican II
How to forgive when it still hurts
How much do I have to believe?
Who makes the rules?
Why bad things happen
Everything you wanted to ask about God and the church
How anger, guilt, shame, and fear impact our lives
How to pray
Healing the pain of the past
Mad at God and holding a grudge
What about my Conscience
THE FAMILY AND
FRIENDS PRAYER EVENING
HOW IT HAPPENS
- The Sessions begins with an ice breaker worksheet entitled
“Is it True or is it False?” (Assure participants that it
is not a test)
The answers are given during the introductory remarks
- The session opens with a prayer. The
facilitator comments on the number of people who are away from the church
and offers some statistics, i.e. an estimated 16-20 million Catholics
in the United States are away from the church.
- The facilitator indicates that everyone
is gathered for a particular reason and asks participants to identify
what they would need in terms of dealing with a loved one who is away
from the church. Responses are freely given.
- Someone who has left the church and
returned gives a brief witness talk. A guided prayer or meditation follows
- If necessary a break may be taken with
refreshments depending on the amount of time used for the above parts.
- The next portion of the evening can
be conducted in two ways depending on the group size.
With a SMALL GROUP a facilitator can address the needs identified by
With a LARGE GROUP a people can break up into smaller groups with a
facilitators and address particular topics presented such as marriage
problems, loss of faith, refusal to go to Mass, dealing with fundamentalists,
moral issues, hurts caused by the church, anger with God, etc. The small
group will be invited to come back together for the closing part of
- In the final remarks, the facilitator
is encouraged to use Scriptural examples of people falling away from
God or the community and focuses on the gift of free will and God’s
merciful love. People are urged to let go of their feeling of guilt
over family members or friends. Prayer is essential. Don’t give
They are reminded that the only person they can changes is themselves
and sometimes the best approach is concentrating on loving the family
member unconditionally. They are told that individuals might never be
successful in drawing a loved one back, but that we can work together
in the larger effort of evangelizing people in our neighborhoods and
workplace. Other suggestions for dealing with a loved one could include:
Focus on your own faith experience. Are
you a gloomy Catholic? Do you
Constantly criticize the Church? Do you project a sense of joy, peace,
love and enthusiasm?
- Make sure that you have correct
information when talking to someone who is away from the Church.
- Encourage people who are thinking
about returning to the Church to find a place where they feel
comfortable. Some like the anonymity of a large, suburban parish.
Some seek the community of a small parish. Some look for traditional
liturgies and devotions. Others look for opportunities to help
the poor or work toward social justice. We should celebrate that
we have all this---and more!---in the Catholic Church.
- The evening closes with a prayer
service in which people can ask the Priest to pray individually
with them for their family member/s or friend/s.
- The Priest or leader informs
those gathered of the “Come Home” sessions,
which will begin in the parish and encourages them to invite family
members or friends to the first session, which will be held on
BEGIN PUBLICITY FOR COME HOME
|Publicity is key to recruiting inactive
Catholic for the Come Home process. The number of attendees corresponds
with how well the sessions are advertised. Local newspapers will probably
reach the eyes of the inactive Catholics that are out there. Parish Web
sites can also be very effective. Bulletin announcements will help family
members invite family members to the sessions. Outdoor signs on parish ground
and or parishioner’s businesses and announcements in the religion
sections of the newspapers. Invitations in the pews or Gathering spaces
of churches during the Christmas and Easter Masses can also be most helpful
since this is the time that many inactive Catholics will still attend Mass.