What Landings Is


That's where the real story is told...

...in the lives of people returning to the Church. These are the ones who show up for Christmas and Easter, for weddings and funerals, and one day are prompted to respond to an invitation like the one outside Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Marin County, California: "Inactive Catholics, Call Home." 

Landings reaches out to inactive Catholics and empowers laity to welcome them home. "In parishes, groups of active Catholics join together with those who are returning. Over the course of 8-10 weeks, group members listen to one another tell their faith stories."

"The key to Landings is compassionate listening," Father Moran says. And more than just words, Landings offers the example of lived faith. The welcoming Catholics are there in the pews on Sunday, keeping company with those returning.

"It's a simple, gentle process," Joan Horn says. It proves as valuable for the welcoming Catholics as for those returning. Pat Buckley, a Landings trainer in Seattle, says,"Parishioners look at it as one of the best things they ever did. One man called Landings the 'best foot-washing experience' of his life." Pauline Gilbertson, Landings coordinator in England, reports, "One active Catholic said of her Landings group, 'The community feeling amongst us is fantastic. For the first time, I feel truly part of the Body of Christ.'"  Horn says, "I am surprised over and over again at how much people love their faith and want to talk about it."

Landings IS:

  • A safe harbor or landing place for returning Catholics to explore their faith and future with the Church.
  • A group of six to eight active Catholics join together to welcome two or three returning Catholics to share and explore faith together.
  • People in solidarity with the returning, who in their own lives have "returned," and continue to "return."
  • Founded on the belief that we do not have to be trained theologians to share what we believe and to speak honestly about our faith, trusting in the Holy Spirit.

Landings IS NOT:

  • The "saved" welcoming the "sinners."
  • People pressuring others to return.
  • Full of answers to teach the unenlightened.
  • Blind to the hurt the Church may have caused someone...

Landings offers Returning Catholics:

  • A supportive community within which he/she can ask questions, discuss issues, deal with difficulties.
  • An opportunity to be with ordinary Catholics who are trying to live their faith.
  • A safe environment to come to terms with recent changes within the Church and themselves.

Landings offers Active Catholics:

  • A participation in the Church's evangelization mission by opening their hearts to those who've been away.
  • An opportunity to share their time and faith.
  • A chance to grow and learn from the spiritual journeys of one another.