Home/Stay Informed/All Diocesan Articles

All Diocesan Articles



Faith Sparks: Welcome Back…Love, God

Posted on August 26, 2021 in: FaithSparks

Faith Sparks: Welcome Back…Love, God

“Welcome back” is a common, familiar phrase we use in our daily lives all the time. We welcome people back from vacation, sick leave, summer break, holidays – the list goes on and on. It’s an innocent salutation that makes us feel like we were missed. However, in 2021, this simple phrase has taken on a whole new meaning for all of us. We are welcoming people back to work, to shopping, to restaurants, and to normal life activities after a year and a half of unprecedented sickness, death, quarantine and gathering restrictions. “Welcome back” is not so simple a phrase anymore. For many, it includes fear and trepidation surrounding health, financial and mental and emotional concerns.

As compassionate people, we need to be mindful of the stress and anxiety that is caused by welcoming people back to Church and Faith Formation specifically. We need to use Jesus as our role model in meeting people where they are and loving them as they are. Once Jesus established personal relationships with people, they wanted to know more about Him and His message. They were comfortable around Him because a level of mutual respect and trust had been built that served as the very foundation upon which Christ built His Church. We, too, are being called to do that with our fellow parishioners, families and children. We need to reach out to one another with open arms and open hearts. Compassion and understanding should pour forth from our worshipping communities in endless supply. We must be willing and able to offer religious experiences in new and creative ways that will help people feel safe and welcomed. 

It is not enough to say, “Welcome back,” we must first examine what we are welcoming everyone back to. What is it that we are doing to make people feel welcomed and show them that they were missed?  How have we changed – what have we learned throughout this pandemic that makes us a better, stronger worshipping community and better Christians/Catholics? How has the ability to return to Church and receive the Eucharist made us more faith-filled? 

We learned firsthand that God accompanies us through every messy, sad and scary event we experience. We learned our faith was the rock upon which we began to rebuild our lives. We learned that we long to be fed through sacramental experiences that give us grace. We learned that we are better and stronger when we unite ourselves in faith for a common cause or purpose. 

God welcomes us all back to our respective houses of worship not because we were separated from Him but rather because we were separated from each other. We now know that we are stronger when we are united. We know with certainty that we need one another in ways we never ever imagined. We know we are each called to make the world and our Church a better place.

None of us can predict the future so all we have to work with is the here and now. And now is definitely the time to show others what “Welcome back” really means. 

By Andrea Hoisl

Bookmark and Share  

Most Viewed Articles of the Last 30 Days

Virtual Rosary Prayed Live Online Every Tuesday in October
October is the month of the Most Holy Rosary so the Office of Faith Events has put together a simple program to do a Group Rosary Virtually on Every Tuesday at 3pm.  It is a great opportunity for children and youth to learn the Rosary as a Community Online!  The first week will kick off on Tuesday, October 5th at 3pm.  We will do the first mystery of the Rosary and then the next mystery the following week.  By the end of the month, we will complete the 4 mysteries. In honor of 40 Days for Life, we will be offering a special Project Rachel Rosa...

Read More

The Gospel of Mark 6 Week Virtual Scripture Seminar
Join the Office of Faith Events for a Virtual Scripture Seminar  Discipleship and the Gospel of Saint Mark A Bible Study with Dr. Lisa M. Gulino  Dr. Gulino will guide participants through the pages of the Gospel of St. Mark.  The Gospel of Mark unfolds, within the context of Jesus' journey to Jerusalem, key characteristics of living as a disciple of Jesus. You will learn key tools to reading the Gospel of Mark.  The study of the Word of God is not enough, how do we pray with God's Word as well?  Each session will pre...

Read More

Video: Learn About the St. Joseph Churches in the Diocese
Celebrating the Year of St. Joseph Learn more about the Churches named St. Joseph in the Diocese of Norwich during the Year of St. Joseph. This week the Office of Faith Events visits Fr. Tadeusz Zadorozny at St. Joseph, Rockville.   View Additional Churches with the honor of being named Saint Joseph

Read More

 Called to Remember to 'Work Like Christ' - Sept. 22 Hope and Faith Video
This week on the Hope and Faith Series, Kathy D'Amelio - Director of the Office for Safe Environments, speaks about getting back to work.   View previous videos or more articles on Faith by visiting NorwichDiocese.org/FaithSparks    

Read More

Welcome Back to Life - Sept. 29 Hope & Faith Video
This week on the Hope and Faith Series, Andrea Hoisl- Director of the Office of Faith Events, speaks about what it is like to get back to life in the midst of a pandemic.   View previous videos or more articles on Faith by visiting NorwichDiocese.org/FaithSparks    

Read More

Change Can Bring Both Challenge and Beauty

Posted on October 05, 2021 in: FaithSparks


Change Can Bring Both Challenge and Beauty
Fall is here, and the beauty of the season is all around us. From the crisp chill that floats in the air to the vibrant colors of the leaves, we know that a new season is coming when these changes begin. Change is one of the most challenging things for humans to do. If you are like me, the first thing you do when you need to make a change is avoid doing it. I think avoiding what needs to be done will produce the results I want, so I just keep doing what I know is comfortable. Yet, as we have often heard, the definition of insanity is, “Doing the same thing over and...

Read More

Our Advertisers Support Our Ministries

Please Support Our Advertisers

Annual Catholic Appeal

Signup for Weekly Newsletter

    Recently Added Galleries
    Click to view album: Palm Sunday
    Click to view album: Blessing of the Fleet
    Click to view album: Mass of Ordination for Father Michael Bovino
    Click to view album: Rite of Election 2020
    Latest Articles
    O Tannenbaum - Help Us Decorate a Tree
    Praying Your Goodbyes ~ Bereavement Day of Prayer
    Permanent Diaconate Candidates Complete Summer Pastoral Ministries
    40 Days For Life Campaign Director - Hope & Faith Video Series
    Former Chairperson’s Presence Felt at Catholic Charities Golf Tournament
    Take a Look at October Events Around the Diocese
    An Autumn Journey
    Virtual Rosary Prayed Live Online Every Tuesday in October

    Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich
    201 Broadway
    Norwich, CT 06360-4328
    Phone: 860-887-9294