Exploring or Returning to the Faith…..
Exploring the Faith Discussion Group
People wish to learn more about Roman Catholicism for a variety of reasons. Some are simply curious and want to get their information from a credible source. Others are searching for a deeper understanding of Christianity. Still others are thinking of becoming Catholic or have already made that decision. All are welcome.
St. Mary of the Assumption joins St. Michael the Archangel, St. Wenceslaus and St. Gertrude parishes to offer a single Exploring the Faith discussion series. We meet Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. in the Fr. Baker Hall at St. Michael the Archangel in Suttons Bay. The format is flexible with a short presentation by a different team member each week. The group usually has 7-10 members each with their own experiences, points of view and humor. (Lots of humor!) Coffee and baked goods are often available! Parish members and others who are interested in learning more about their faith and/or who are willing to support group members are encouraged to come. This is a diverse group with well educated Catholic facilitators who have experiences both deep and wide to share. You might be surprised at how rich and joyful and experience faith sharing can be. There is no charge.
Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA)
For those that are exploring the possibility of formally joining the Catholic church, there is a process, including rituals that take place in church, called the Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA). St. Mary’s RCIA program is based on the Exploring the Faith discussions. Each person’s faith journey is unique and the RCIA program is set up to be based on the individual’s needs and choices. There is no timetable. You can move forward with church membership -or not- as you feel comfortable and desire to do so. Special arrangements need to be made for children over the age of seven and youth under 18.
There are required diocesan forms based on adult or children for those formally enrolled in the RCIA who wish to join the Church. We recommend that you come in and talk to Fr. Bryan or Jude before doing the paperwork, but it is available for review here. Adult Inquirer Information Form or Child Teen Inquirer Information Form. Of course, if you are already a parishioner there is no need for paperwork. Come join the discussion when and if you can.
Welcome Home Catholics!
Over time, and for very diverse reasons, some Catholics may leave the practice of their faith and, at a later time, feel a desire to renew their relationship with Jesus and the Church and return to active participation. Sometimes, there are old wounds or issues that need to be sensitively addressed. We want to offer welcoming support to these persons and their families and, for this reason, the entire community offers special prayers in Advent and during Lent that these people might experience “the grace of return”. Father Bryan then extends a special invitation to them at the Masses on Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter when inactive Catholics are most likely to be celebrating with the parish.
If you or someone you know would like to confidentially discuss coming back to Church, you are invited to contact Jude Thompson, our DRE, to meet at your convenience and at a location of your choice.