I Stopped Practicing My Catholic Faith. How Do I Come Back?

Maybe you were raised Catholic, but somewhere along the line stopped practicing your faith. Now you want to come back, but you don’t know how to re-engage with your faith. Or maybe you know someone who has fallen away from the Church but is looking to come back. Where should you direct them to help them reconnect and grow in their faith?

Recently a listener named Shawn called in to The Patrick Madrid Show because he was a lapsed Catholic looking to make his way back to the Church. He felt called to re-engage with his faith, but didn’t know where to start. Whether you are a lapsed Catholic or are just looking for ways to grow in your faith, Patrick offered some wonderful ways to grow in your relationship with the Lord and His Church. He told Shawn:

“Well, you came to the right place if you’re looking for encouragement. I think it’s a great thing that you’re doing that. Follow through on it, and be aware that there will be days when you’re thinking, ‘Eh, I don’t know if I really want to do this.’ Just push past that and keep your eye on the ball, keep your eyes fixed on Christ, and keep going in the direction that you’re going now. And all the while, of course, ask the Lord to give you the strength and the clarity to do what needs to be done.

So the first question I have for you is did you receive all your sacraments when you were a kid? You were baptized, you received the sacrament of Confirmation, you had gone to Confession and Holy Communion at some point?

If so, the first thing you do, if you haven’t already done it, is to go and make a good Confession. And what I would recommend is make an appointment with a priest and say, ‘Hey, I’ve been away from the Church for a year or so, I’d like to go to Confession, can I come see you and go to Confession?’

Or if that doesn’t work, just go to your local church on a Saturday, when they typically have Confessions. And let the priest know when you go in that you’ve been away from the Church for this period of time, let him know if you’re married, you can give him a general background of what your life is.

And then just do your very best, after making a good Examination of Conscience, to say all of the sins. Don’t hold anything back, don’t be embarrassed and say, ‘Well, I’m not going to tell him that sin, but I’ll tell him these.’ Don’t hold anything back, just tell him everything and do number and kind. So, the kind of sin that it was, and how many times that happened, for serious sins.

So go to Confession, make all that right with God, get back on track. Then you can receive Holy Communion and you’ll be fully re-engaged in your faith sacramentally.

At the same time, it’s important to begin letting God’s grace strengthen you. So I would encourage you to start praying the Rosary everyday. And as far as your faith is concerned, kind of getting re-ignited in your understanding of the faith.

Now, naturally I’m going to suggest that you continue listening to this program, because it’s an ongoing course in the Catholic Faith. So day after day you’ll get something, I hope and pray, from listening to this program, and all the other programs on Relevant Radio®. There’s so much to choose from everyday.

If you want to get deep in your faith, and I encourage you to do that, you might want to get in touch with Formed.org. It’s a subsidiary of The Augustine Institute, and there is some sort of a nominal fee, but then you will have access to audio, video, and text resources on all kinds of different issues. You’ll be able to almost pinpoint the things that you really want to dive deep into and they will help you.

Another variant of that would be the great materials that are available on audio via Lighthouse Catholic Media. They too, now, are part of The Augustine Institute. So you can feed your mind and your soul with all of this audio and really start immersing yourself in these truths of the faith. I think you’re going to find just a revolutionary new level of excitement, commitment, and understanding of the Catholic faith that you’re coming back to.”

Listen to the full conversation below:

The Patrick Madrid Show airs weekdays from 9:00 – noon Eastern/6:00 – 9:00 a.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio and the Relevant Radio App.

Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at relevantradio.com and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.