Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
‘Landings’ program comes to the Spokane Diocese – offers ‘safe place to land’ for those returning to the church
by Mary Lou Bentley, for the Inland Register
(From the December 18, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)
In March of 2013 it was reported there are 87,000 Catholic souls who need evangelization in the U.S. Thirty million who were Catholic no longer consider themselves Catholic. These are people who have received Catholic Baptism and Eucharist. The number is about four (4) times the number of strong Catholics!
According to a 2013 report from the Pew Research Center, from 1974-2012, the percentage of Catholics going to Mass weekly decreased 48.9 percent, from 47 percent to 24 percent. During the same time the percent of strong Catholics decreased 42 percent, from 12 percent to just 7 percent, a four-decade low in the U.S.
As a mom of six Catholic kids, of whom only three are practicing the faith at this time, I’m always interested in ways to help them come back to church. Landings International, a Paulist Press ministry of reconciliation, is a process for parishes to accomplish just that.
Landings is a reconciliation process that helps faith communities welcome inactive or returning Catholics who want to take another look at the Church. The process engages and trains active, compassionate, lay Catholics to welcome back those who are “wounded, searching and wondering.”
The actual ministry involves 8-10 sessions that focus on sharing faith stories and reflecting on Catholic themes. With the idea that each person’s journey is special and sacred in the eyes of God, the sessions, led by lay ministers, are planned to be informative, reflective, relaxed and community building. Landings helps each person take a look at the Church, and to celebrate their sacred moment by giving them a “safe place to land.”
Returning and inactive Catholics will find Landings a safe harbor to explore their faith and their future within the Church. In a supportive and confidential setting, they can ask questions, discuss issues and share past and present doubts and difficulties. It is an opportunity to be reintroduced to the love of Christ in a no-pressure, open and non-judgmental environment.
Participants will be welcomed home with open arms. Precious blessings are promised.
Sessions will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1104 W. Heroy Ave., Spokane. For more information, dates and times for sessions, email: Spokane.Landings@gmail.com, or call 325-1321.
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