Catholics Returning Home is a parish based programme of compassion and reconciliation designed to reach-out and invite non-practising or inactive Catholics to “return home” to the Catholic Church. If you feel called to resume active practice of your faith, here’s how to start.

This short, simple four-week course is held each year in different parishes around the Christchurch Diocese, as below.

“I invite all Christians everywhere at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letter him encounter them.”
– Pope Francis

When is it being held?

The 2017 programme of Catholics Returning Home continues with programmes to be held in Christchurch and Timaru in September.

Check out the venue and date information here.

To discuss any details call

(0508 466 366)

To register or for more information then please contact us.

Denise Holling shares her experience

Ann Cunningham describes her joy about returning to the Church…

What’s involved:

There are four sessions including an optional supper.

Sessions are free.  Each session is self contained, so you may start after session one, or miss one out and catch up later on.

Attendance is always voluntary and completely confidential.
There is no compulsion to continue after any session.

It is largely run by lay members of parishes, many of whom have returned to practising their faith themselves, with support from their priests towards the end of the programme.

Catholics Returning Home team members are open and welcoming and willing to journey with you.  They are open to sharing with you about difficult subjects and the many beautiful and wonderful aspects of the Catholic Church.

For more information:

Phone 0508  HOME NOW  (0508 466 366)

Catholics Returning Home is one of twelve model programs listed in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) directory “A Time to Listen…A Time to Heal.” The program is used throughout the US and other countries.

We hope to help you in your journey.

Our faith is a treasure which it takes a lifetime to truly appreciate.

Many good people have been baptised Catholic, but for a myriad of reasons find themselves following a path which has led them away from God’s family.

Some people were baptised but received no formal education in the faith, others have participated in the sacraments during their primary school years, but for various reasons fell away from the practice of their faith in adolescence.

Others again have relied on the faith of their parents, but leaving home to make their way in the world, or upon passing away of parents, have found it difficult to carry their faith with them.

One thing is true in every age – God seeks out his beloved people.  Through God’s Church, the Lord searches for the lost, the despondent, the poor and offers them solace in his family.


Prayers for Catholics Returning Home Programme

a) Before Catholics Returning Home programme starts

Prayer for returning Catholics

Gracious God,
You are full of compassion and mercy for your people.
Give us a heart of welcome for those who feel alienated and cut off from your love.  Amen.

Jesus, loving shepherd,
You search out and gather those who are lost and carry them home again.
Give the courage and faith to reach out and invite home Catholics
who have lost touch with the Christian community.  Amen.

Holy Spirit, source of unity,
You drive out all fear and prejudice through the light of your presence.
Give us a spirit of gently listening that will conquer the fear of rejection and
encourage returning Catholics to rejoin the worshipping community.   Amen

b) During Catholics Returning Home programme

Prayer for returning Catholics

God of compassion, we pray for those who accepted our invitation to return home to the Church, that they may be blessed with a renewal of faith and a closer walk with you.   Amen.

Prayers of the faithful

These are offered as suggestions for inclusion in the Prayers of the Faithful…

Jesus said “there is so much more joy at one returning home”.  We pray for our Catholics Returning Home city-wide courses next month.   Response

Our city unites in prayer, that Catholics may come home to the Church this May, in our city-wide initiative.   Response

For our combined Catholics Returning Home programmes in May.  We pray many will come home to Mother Church.   Response.

May those who have been away from Church for some time, know it is always the right time to come home.   Response.

We ask your Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of those you want to return home to our Church, this May, through the Catholics Returning Home programmes.   Response

We pray for us all to have welcoming hearts, for those returning to their Catholic faith, during the Catholics Returning Home programmes.  Response.

We ask for your blessing and guidance for all those involved in the Catholics Returning Home May initiative.   Response.

May we be inspired by your Holy Spirit to invite people to the Catholics Returning Home programmes.     Response. 


We pray for the upcoming Catholics Returning Home Programme; that we would be courageous in inviting friends and family to join this programme to assist people to come home to the Church, and that resting Catholics might be prompted by your Holy Spirit to begin this journey of faith.   Response.

We pray for those who have accepted the invitation to return home to the Church, in the Catholics Returning Home programme currently running; that they may be blessed with a renewal of faith and a closer walk with you.   Response.


A4 poster

Active Particpation in the Sacred Mysteries.pdf Catholics Returning Home Poster.pdf

A5 flyers

Active Particpation in the Sacred Mysteries.pdf Catholics Returning Home Flyer.pdf

Catholics Returning Home runs in Christchurch and Timaru. The 2017 programme continues with a programme to be held in Timaru in September.  Please contact us for further information and see below for dates and venue information.


Tuesdays – 7:00pm
October 24th – November 21st

St Gregory’s Parish Centre
30 Cotswald Ave

To Register:

We would love to know that you are going to join us so please send an email, or phone 0508 HOME NOW (0508 466 366)
Have an enquiry?  Then contact us.


Mondays – 7:30pm
September 4th – September 25th

St Thomas Church Parish Centre
12 Mountainview Road

To Register:

Have an enquiry?  Then please contact Mary on or phone 03-686 2384

Contact Us

Call 0508 HOME NOW (0508 466 366)

or use the form below

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