The ABC’s of Catholic Doctrine
By Lianne Tiu
Coming Home to Rome
There is a saying, “Once a Catholic, always a Catholic.” When we are baptized in the
Catholic Church, we receive a permanent and distinctive character (or mark) of baptism.
Even if we commit mortal sin after baptism, even if we leave the Church for another
faith…we may lose sanctifying grace but we do not lose the baptismal character in our
We hear of our brothers and sisters who have left the Catholic faith because of the
hurt they have experienced from fellow Christians; or because they prefer the liveliness
and entertainment that other churches provide; or because they object to some of the
Church teachings and practices. Many of our fallen-away brothers and sisters do love
our Lord; however, they know little about our faith; they “hate what they wrongly believe
to be the Catholic Church,” as Venerable Fulton Sheen would say.
If we have been away from the Church or we have not been going to Mass for some
time, we may feel a tug. It is Father God who is eagerly calling us to come home.
How do we return to the Catholic Church? There is no “formal” way to go back, no
liturgical fanfare. We have always been a Catholic because of our baptismal character.
Through Confession, which is one of the most unique and beautiful aspects of our faith,
we regain the grace that we have lost. We may want to discuss with a priest any
concerns about our return. We start attending Mass again and get to know more about
the beautiful and timeless teachings of the Church. This way, we will experience an
immense joy of a renewed relationship with Father God, who loves us and accepts us
unconditionally. Indeed, there is no place like home in the Catholic Church.
(Reference: “The Faith Explained” by Leo Trese, “Choosing to be Catholic: Converts,
Reverts and Renewed Catholics” By Deacon Keith Fournier; Catholics Come Home.org