During the pandemic, Catholics have pursued new ways to stay engaged with their faith, but as human beings, we still need to experience life in person and feel part of a community that shares common beliefs.
At the height of the pandemic, and during the national lockdowns, many attended Mass through live-streaming and engaged with Spiritual Communion. Our parishes also embraced the digital world in a variety of new ways in order to provide spiritual support and sustenance.
Many people found themselves unexpectedly wishing for normal routines, and Catholics felt a sense of longing for the physical Eucharist - the heart of our faith - and to be with others in their parish. Some described this as experiencing a sense of 'homesickness'. However, after nearly 21 months of living through a pandemic, new routines have evolved and is natural to feel nervous about going back to church after so much uncertainty and change.
COME HOME is an initiative currently being promoted by the Agency for Evangelisation and Catechesis which seeks to welcome people back to Church this Christmas and to extend a warm invitation and greeting to those interested in attending church for the first time.
This Advent a new booklet, entitled 'The Ultimate Relationship', alongside a range of additional resources, will be distributed to parishes to share with those wishing to draw closer to Jesus by attending church at this special time of year.
May we all experience the joy of being with Jesus, and of sharing our faith with one another this Christmas
Watch Archbishop Wilson's video invitation below