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Journey back to my faith...

April 16, 2018

I went to confession for the first time in 30 years last week, allowing myself to accept one of God’s most precious gifts. Well, that’s not entirely true. Two years ago I thought I could get away with reconciliation by going to confession at the Vatican while in Rome during Holy Week. The helpful Italian Father there listened to my predicament, seemingly absolved me, but politely referred me back to my home parish for further guidance. “Uh oh”, I thought.

I was baptized and confirmed at OLA as a youngster and drifted away from the Church and its beliefs as a teenager. Like Saint Peter and the rest of the Apostles, I denied Jesus again and again throughout my life in public, unable to reconcile the religion of my childhood with the adult life that we are all thrown in to. And I dreaded the idea of going to confession, confessing to a priest who I have known since I was a young boy.

For the past few years, I’ve been on a journey, a pilgrimage, back to my faith, my Church and to God and the community of faithful who have been there all along. It’s easy enough to get back into the rhythm of going to mass but it is something else to approach a whole internal belief system that you let go undeveloped since you were a teenager. I knew the doors of the church were always open to me, but I yearned for community and I wanted help expressing my mature faith now as an adult and Landings provided the perfect, warm-hearted invitation to focus on my faith in the company of others who were in a similar situation.

As the 10 week series came to an end, perfectly timed with the end of Lent and the coming of Easter, I happened to go to Mass and notice an evening reconciliation date for Monday. With Landings under my belt, I finally felt completely at ease with the idea of going to confession and I knew I had to go and I knew exactly what I was going to confess. I felt that I had landed, that accepting God’s gift of reconciliation was like a graduation gift for my hard work of coming back to God, to the Church and to Jesus.

Posted by Joe Witherspoon

Tags: #catholicconfession, #catholicreconciliation, #returningtoconfession, #returningtoreconciliation, #returningcatholic, #returningcatholics, #Landings, #Landingsprogram, #Landingsforreturningcatholics


Your faith journey continues...

March 14, 2018

Here’s an interesting option to explore on your faith journey

Last year I helped Our Lady of Angels kick off a program for returning Catholics called Landings. Landings helps reconnect people who have left the church or are no longer inspired. Since the initial debut, we’ve had dozens go through the 10 week program. Landings is far more rewarding and enriching than I could have ever imagined.

About 10 - 15 of us meet once a week to discuss our Catholic faith. We take turns sharing our stories. Every week we also explore a different facet of the church. We talk about the Eucharist, prayer, sin and suffering among many other topics. There’s always a lively and thought-provoking discussion.

Each session is made up of a variety of people who are at different stages of their faith journey. That’s one thing that makes Landings so compelling. We’ve had some participants who haven’t stepped into a church for more than 30 years. Others faithfully attend mass their whole life -- but are feeling like something was missing. We have people who enjoy talking, and we have people who prefer to listen. There’s often a member or two well-schooled in Catholic doctrine, and then others who don’t really know that much about the church. In every session, there’s one thing that’s always a constant. Each Landings group is special - filled with interesting people who have something meaningful to contribute.

Here’s some of the feedback from past OLA Landings participants:

“If your faith is in doubt, Landings is worth your while.” -- Ling G.

“Landings biggest benefits are meeting such great people and learning other’s beliefs.” -- Linda T.

"Landings helped me to get closer to my religion and my church by going through the exercises personally and coaching me through this process. I'm on a pilgrimage and Landings is part of that and it's never ending." -- Joe W.

A new Landings session starts May 2. If you’re interested, email us today for more information at landings@olaparish.org. There’s no obligation and all are welcome. We’d love to have you join us.


Posted by Tanya Roberts

Blog Tags: #catholic, #catholicfaith, #catholicchurch, #returningcatholics, #nonpracticingcatholics, #faith, #landings


Is God giving you a nudge?

December 21, 2017

Have you or someone you care about been away from the church for a while? Perhaps you feel God’s nudge that it is time to come back. Our Lady of Angels has a wonderful opportunity for returning Catholics called Landings.

Landings is a 10 week program that helps you re-engage with your Catholic faith. You meet one night a week with a group of both practicing and non-practicing Catholics. Each evening different faith-related topics are discussed. Stories are told. You can ask questions and get answers in an open, accepting environment.

My friend Darlene Wigler and I started a Landings chapter at Our Lady of Angels because we both spent a good number of years away from the Catholic church. Coming back isn’t always easy. Landings helps make it a smoother, more rewarding journey because you are not doing it alone.

This is our second year offering Landings. Past participants ranged from people who never left the church, but didn’t feel “connected,” to others who were gone for more than 30 years.

Landings is offered by parishes across the U.S. (and other countries around the world). Developed by a Paulist priest more than 20 years ago, thousands and thousands of people like you have enjoyed the program.

The first session starts on Wednesday, January 17 at 7:00 pm. Space is limited and re-registration is required. If you would like enroll or would like more information, email landings@olaparish.org before January 10. We look forward to hearing from you.

Posted by Tanya Roberts


Blog Tags: #Catholic, #Catholicfaith, #Catholicchurch, #ReturningCatholics, #NonpracticingCatholics, #Faith, #Landings