As a parent rejoices when a child who has distanced himself or herself from the family returns home, it is one of our greatest joys when any one of our church members, who has been away for whatever reason, returns to us. “Catholics Come Home” and other such endeavors are not marketing schemes.
Rather, they are expressions of who it is that we are as a church. In order to be authentic, we must not be exclusionary, for Jesus was not. Jesus sought out the stranger and the estranged. We must do as did Jesus. We must be actively welcoming, setting our doors wide and our walls low while holding to the vigor of our faith.
We seek not simply that those who no longer gather with us would return to church services, but that they would return, in a fuller sense, into the community of the church as the Body of Christ.