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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  

If, for one reason or another you have been away, or, if you yourself – or someone you know – is disillusioned, longing for community, or hungry for something more, Welcome Back might be just the right place to express these concerns. 
St. James Cathedral offers a “Welcome Back” 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 community of faith.  If you desire, we’ll help you return to the sacraments, and move towards becoming an active part of the parish 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 to learn about 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?
Dr. Simpson welcomes individual appointments whether they be in-person, by Zoom or, over the phone. You may feel free to privately raise any questions or concerns you have with John and know that your questions will be taken seriously.

A Word from the Welcome Back Team

After being away from the Catholic Church for more than two decades, I found Welcome Back to be a great stop on my journey home. My time with a small group of others who, like me, were contemplating a return brought instant community. We had time to share our individual faith journeys with each other, ask questions in an open and welcoming environment, and were reminded of what it means to be Catholic. Even though we were only together a short time, by the end I truly felt I belonged, finding multiple opportunities to volunteer, including assisting with Welcome Back! It’s a privilege to walk side-by-side with others as they go through their own time in the program. This program lives up to its name. No matter how long someone has been away from the Catholic Church and no matter what questions they may have, they are welcomed back with open arms and an opportunity to find community.

Brian Hughes



Return to St. James Cathedral Parish Website

804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303