I Recently Returned to the Catholic Church. Now What?

Over the years, we have heard from countless listeners who have been inspired to return to the Catholic Church after listening to Relevant Radio®. And whether they have been away for days or decades, it is always a joy to welcome them home. But many who have returned to the Church then ask themselves: now what? Returning to the sacraments is the first step, but how can they continue to grow in their faith as adults?

That was the question that a listener named Chris recently asked when he called in to Go Ask Your Father™. He told host Monsignor Stuart Swetland, “Thank you for your show. I actually just started listening last month. I’ve been listening to show to and from work, and it’s actually been quite relieving, being as I’ve been away from the faith for close to two decades now.”

Chris explained, “I grew up in a Catholic family, went to catechism, Communion, baptized, the whole nine yards. And right around 12 or 13 I kind of fell away, when my grandma passed. Now I’m 32, we opened up a business out here in Sacramento and with the stress and everything else that’s going on my personal life, I’ve actually found quite a lot of relaxation by listening to your show. And I find myself wanting more. What would be some good steps for me as I’m returning, to come back to the faith? I mean, I’ve never really lost my beliefs, but I never kept the same practices from when I was little.”

Msgr. Swetland began by welcoming Chris back to the faith, “Welcome home! We’re just so humbled and honored that we were a small part of that coming home. God’s grace is working, obviously, greatly in your heart and you’re cooperating with Him.”

As to how Chris can grow in his faith as he is returning to his Catholic roots, Msgr. Swetland advised, “I would say prayer is probably the next step for you, to to really ground yourself in prayer in a way that you know this re-found faith. Because it is a matter of relationship. And relationship requires presence and communication. So be present to the Lord, make yourself present to the Lord, open yourself to hear Him speak to your heart. Ground yourself in a prayer routine that you have for each and every day, where you get some real solid prayer time.”

Msgr. Swetland recommended that Chris download the Relevant Radio App, which has an abundance of prayer resources. He also recommended a devotional podcast that is available exclusively on the Relevant Radio App called In Conversation with God, as it can be particularly helpful for those starting out in establishing a daily prayer routine.

In addition to prayer, Msgr. Swetland encouraged Chris to study the faith as well, to learn what and why the Church teaches what it does. He pointed out, “There’s an important aspect of learning your faith at an adult level. You know, there’s a difference between how a 12-year-old understands the faith and what we know in our 30s. So there will be study that you’ll need to do to just deepen your understanding as an adult of the faith.”

Please join us in praying for Chris as he returns to the Catholic faith. The #1 prayer request we receive at Relevant Radio is from parents asking us to pray for their children who have left the faith. May Chris’ testimony be an occasion of hope for those who are still praying for their loved ones’ return.

“I’ve been listening to this beautiful station, and I was actually turned on to you by my mother,” Chris told Msgr. Swetland. “You know, she’s continually practicing and trying to pull me back in. And I’ve been hesitant before and saying, ‘When I’m ready, I’ll come back.’ And it was just the time.”

If you want to help people like Chris find their way back to the Catholic Church, you can join our mission today by supporting our Give From the Heart Pledge Drive! Your financial support allows us to provide the programming that is changing hearts and minds – and bringing them back to Christ and the Catholic Church. Every pledge matters, so make yours today!

You can listen to the full conversation with Chris below, and tune-in to Go Ask Your Father weekdays at 1:00 p.m. Eastern/10:00 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.