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Returning to the Catholic Church:
The Welcome Back Program

Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness,
but a lamp which guides our steps in the night
and suffices for the journey.
Pope Francis  

Have you drifted away from your Catholic faith?  Are you disillusioned by what you hear about your Church?  Do you desire a life filled with faith?
St. James Cathedral offers “Welcome Back,” a ten-week parish program for Catholics out of touch with a Church that once may have been home.  It’s a safe place to ask questions, learn about changes in the Church, and begin to experience a small community of faith.  If you desire, we’ll help you return to the sacraments, and move towards becoming  an active part of the faith community.

Information, John Simpson, 206-654-4658.

Welcome Back FAQs

What is the purpose of the Welcome Back program?
Welcome Back is an invitation to take another look at the Catholic Church, and to explore changes that may have occurred since you were a practicing Catholic. There is never any pressure to return; rather, Welcome Back invites you to pray and begin to discern where God is in your life, and whether or not you might wish to become part of the Church once again.

Who comes to Welcome Back sessions?
Anyone who has been away from the Church. Some have been away for just a few years; others have stayed away for decades. Some people want updating on what they've missed. Others are not at all sure whether or not they want to come back; this is just a place to listen and see what may have changed in the Church, or in their own hearts. WB participants range in age from twenties to eighties, and include men and women. What they have in common is a desire to take another look at their Church.

Do I need to come to all eight sessions, or is this a drop-in kind of program?
There is a very logical sequence to the series we offer. We begin by listening to questions, and encouraging conversation and interchange of ideas; we move to a period of catechesis, during which the Welcome Back team offers presentations on God, Jesus, the Church, sacraments, and the Mass. In our final weeks, we move more deeply into prayer and spirituality. Commitment to the process is important; it's helpful to come to as many sessions as possible.

What if I have individual questions that I am uncomfortable bringing up in a large group?
You are encouraged to have at least one individual meeting with Rosanne Michaels, the staff person associated with Welcome Back. This is a good opportunity for you to bring up any questions you may have.

Words from the Welcome Back Team

Why am I part of the Welcome Back Team? For the Grace of it! I am blessed and privileged to share the faith story and faith journey of those going through the Welcome Back Program. It is a real time of Grace. That is why I love being involved with Welcome Back. The most important part? Giving those going through the program a welcoming, safe, non judgmental place for them to experience God's love for them. And also to help them find some of the answers they seek to so many questions, not unlike you and I. For someone who has been away from the church, it takes a lot of faith and courage just to show up and walk into that "unknown" first Welcome Back meeting. Something is calling them back and with trust in God they are opening themselves to God's grace and responding to that "something" which I believe is His invitation to them to return. I am in awe of their faith and courage!

Ron Murphy



Return to St. James Cathedral Parish Website

804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303