The term “Inactive Catholic” can be misleading; in reality, there are a variety of different types of “inactive Catholics,” and a variety of different reasons why persons who were baptized, raised, and/or once practiced as Catholic no longer participate in the spiritual and sacramental life of the Catholic Church.
-- Inactive Catholics, who are essentially distinterested in the church, perhaps for no apparent reason, and only vaguely aware or unhappy with their current relationship to the church.
-- Alienated Catholics, who are angry, hurt or feel estranged or rejected because of a hurtful personal experience, marital status, or because of theological differences.
-- Searching Catholics, who are re-examining what they learned about the faith as children and are trying to understand and appropriate the faith and their relationship to the Church as adults.
-- Catholic Seekers, who are exploring or participating in other faith traditions, but still consider themselves Catholic and desire to be considered Catholic.
-- Former Catholics, who have joined another faith tradition and may or may not practice regularly in that tradition.
Different types of “inactive Catholics” have different needs.
-- Some seek further spiritual formation and conversion to a deeper faith;
-- Others seek reconciliation and healing (with God, specific individuals, the Catholic community or the institutional church);
-- Some seek continuing education which clarifies, corrects, or expands their understanding about the nature of the church, its beliefs, practices and teachings;
-- Many need space, comfort and support as they re-examine their relationship to the Catholic faith community and/or explore alternative options for spiritual growth and church participation.
If you are an inactive or alienated Catholic, the Catholic Parishes in Waterloo want to acknowledge the reality of your present relationship to the Catholic Church, and to honor their spiritual needs as best we can. Our goal is to embrace, support and encourage you wherever you are on your spiritual journey, and whatever your formal relationship is to the Catholic community.
Are you ready to resume active participation in the Church? Here are some common signs which may suggest that you are ready to consider resuming active participation in the spiritual and sacramental life of the Catholic community:
__You feel personally or spiritually lost.
__You sense that something important is missing in your life.
__You feel socially or spiritually unconnected.
__You sense a need for more encouragement and support.
__You feel like you do not have the emotional or spiritual resources to
face difficult situations or problems.
__You are anticipating or experiencing major changes in your life, or are
more aware of growing older.
__You are concerned about “starting over” or “getting things in order.”
__You worry about how your non-participation in the Church is affecting
your marriage or your children.
__You feel less angry or bitter about the Church; you have a more
balanced appreciation for its strengths and weaknesses as a human
__You have more positive feelings about your past Church experiences.
__You appreciate the Church's intellectual legacy and its sacramental
__You sense a longing for the Eucharist and participation in the Catholic