Bring Landings to Your Parish
So there is clearly a need to attract distanced Catholics back to the Church, but why do we need a program like Landings to help them return? After all, as long as there is no obstacle to them receiving the Sacraments, they could come straight back to the Eucharist via Reconciliation, right?
However, many seem to feel a real need for support and friendship within a small, friendly group before venturing into the wider parish community. Landings does not compete with existing evangelization or catechetical programs for people who wish to become Catholics or for practicing Catholics who wish to deepen their faith. Instead it provides a simple way for returning Catholics to be supported in an environment that fosters adult conversation and community for those discerning a return to the Church. Through its format of story telling and dialogue, Landings seeks to take advantage of this sacred moment of re-entry to foster a true re-conversion to Christ and his Church.
How do we begin?
This unique ministry helps parishioners along with the parish staff to welcome back returning or inactive Catholics.
The group training process teaches parishioners to provide a safe, gentle "landing spot".
Steps to follow:
- A parish makes a decision to begin a ministry to inactive Catholics
- A process of investigation begins
- ** As a parish, make a decision to implement Landings
- Watch the 7-minute DVD
- Read the introduction letter
- Review the 6-7 articles on Landings
- Review the materials and cost of Landings
- Contact the staff with questions
- Form a Landings committee to organize and promote the ministry
- Choose a Landings Coordinator to be the public face of the ministry
- Review the Landings Coordinator Kit.
- Beginning to Organize your Landings Team (welcomers)
- Set a date for your first session of Landings and begin your publicity and outreach to inactive and returning Catholics.
- Contact Landings International to schedule a Landings training workshop usually from 10am to 3pm Saturday
- Following the workshop, a parish has the materials, knowledge and enthusiasm to begin this ministry . Your parish will be certified/licensed to offer the LANDINGS program
- To inquire into a training session for your parish or for more information, contact:
Director: Anna LaNave
Office Manager: Kristin Murray
Administrative Assistant: Pat Watson
St. Paul's College
3015 4th Street NE
Washington DC 20017
Who is the Training Workshop For?
Ideally, a parish would train at least 8 Landings welcomers, plus the pastor and parish staff. The more welcomers you train, the better. Only a few are needed for the first session, but you will want to have the option of rotating your team members for each Landings session going forward.
Parishioners return not only with their training and materials, but full of enthusiasm to immediately begin a ministry of Welcome and Reconciliation. This has helped ensure the success for Landings across the globe for over 20 years.
The Process for the Returning Catholic
After an initial interview with a priest, or the Landings Coordinator, the returning Catholic is directed to the Landings group. The group will meet for approximately ten weeks in 90 minute – 2 hour sessions. Because of the small group format, where the returnees share their own personal spiritual journey stories, it is important that every participant (returnees and welcomers) try to make a commitment to the entire series. The program will conclude with a celebration, either a weekend retreat or a Mass/Potluck supper.