Brewster, Mass.: Our Lady of the Cape Parish is announcing a Catholics Come Home campaign at all masses and community activities to welcome anyone who drifted away from Catholicism for any reason, back to the Church. Our Lady of the Cape Church will host a series of four informal gatherings for inactive Catholics at its parish center located at 468 Stony Brook Road in Brewster every Thursday in July at 7 p.m. The gatherings are free and are designed to create a forum for dialogue around questions concerning matters of faith and the Catholic Church. The pastor of Our Lady of the Cape parish, Fr. William Kaliyadan says, “We invite all non-practicing Catholics, for whatever reason, to make a U-turn, no questions asked. Summer vacation on the Cape is a perfect time for personal reflection. So, an invitation to come back to the Catholic Church, during this soul-searching process, makes a lot of sense. Our church is a no-judgement zone – everyone is welcome, no pressure, no obligation.
This is the second time, Fr. William will execute a Catholics Come Home Program. In his previous parish of Sacred Heart in Lebanon, NH, it was very successful at reactivating lapsed Catholics’ faith. Fr. William said, “The most common reason cited by returning Catholics was their desire to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. I want to fulfill the La Salette mission here on Cape Cod by welcoming everyone to Our Lady of the Cape parish and to help inactive Catholics find their way back to the peaceful, comforting and caring community of the Catholic Church.” The Catholics Come Home Program is being offered to Cape Cod visitors and residents, alike.
Fr. William served at an Our Lady of the Cape parish priest from 2000 to 2005 where he was dedicated to many works of reconciliation, following the charism of Missionaries of Our Lady La Salette. When he returned to assume the role of pastor in 2015, he noticed a dip in mass attendance. According to the 2014 Pew Research Center’s Religious Landscape Study, nearly one-third of American adults (31.7%) say they were raised Catholic. Among that group, 41% no longer identify with Catholicism. “Even though Massachusetts is the third most Catholic state in the U.S., unfortunately the parish feels the impact of the national trend among American adults who no longer practice their Catholic faith.” Fr. William added, “As pastor, it is my heartfelt commitment to help them find joy again in belonging to a community of believers as they experience the healing, peace and comfort of Jesus by returning to Mass and the sacraments.”
“I often discuss this subject with my four adult children,” said Dave Kelly, a summer parishioner of Our Lady of the Cape. “Even though I raised them as Catholics and they say they believe in God, they struggle with the Church’s position on social justice issues in the U.S. I want them to express their perceptions of the Church at the Catholics Come Home program and hope it promotes their return.”
Our Lady of the Cape Parish is under the pastoral care of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, a religious community founded with the mission of reconciling people to God, and helping them to grow in their relationship with God. Its pastor, Rev. Dr. William V. Kaliyadan, M.S., the parish’s two other priests, Fr. John Dolan and Fr. Raymond Vaillancourt and hundreds of volunteers, serve a vibrant community of three-thousand families residing predominantly in Brewster, Dennis, Orleans, Harwich and Yarmouth. The parish, one of 82 parish communities of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River that comprises southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands, is committed to serve the most vulnerable populations on Cape Cod.
Fr. William continued, “Our group discussions in July will offer inactive Catholics the opportunity to examine their beliefs and consider joining our supportive community. We miss them and want to welcome them back in the heart of the Church and into the heart of Jesus.” Anyone interested in arranging a more private setting in which to reactivate their Catholic faith is encouraged to call the parish office at 508.385.3252.
The parish services two locations, Our Lady of the Cape Church on Stony Brook Road in Brewster and the Immaculate Conception Chapel, open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, located on Route 6A in East Brewster. For mass schedules or more information, please visit ourladyofthecape.org or email [email protected].