I have some friends who were born catholic but who have left for evangelical churches. I am a convert from protestantism. What are some ways I can nudge these friends to research Catholicism again? They are happy with where they are.
Do you know why they left? That might be a starting place.
I think it helps when we’re good witnesses to our faith, and show that we’re excited to be Catholic and love the Eucharist, Mary, etc. I have some friends who left for evangelical churches too, and one of their arguments is that Catholicism is “dry” and “unspiritual”… maybe it would help them to see that it’s not this way at all.
I left the Catholic Church for an Evangelical church years ago and am back now. It was a Bible study that got me to leave. I think more Bible studies at Catholic Churches would help keep some like me from leaving in the first place. They may also help bring some back.
I was a cradle catholic along with several of my college friends I am still in touch with. we all drifted away from the church a bit during college, and sadly, I am the only one who found my way “home.” when I try to reach out to them, they react like I’m the goofy one, and say things like “you actually believe that s**t?” very sad. I’d love to hear the suggestions on this thread, I have felt many times over the years that It’s somehow my responsibility to bring them back… but I have to do it in a “cool” way so they’ll go along with it. one of the above mentioned even paid for an abortion for his girlfriend and feels very little guilt. I wasn’t able to talk him out of it. I rarely speak to him now. it kills me because his mother is so devout… and doesn’t know.
there’s just nothing about going to bible study a 20 something agnostic or atheist thinks is fun or cool… they think it’s a waste of time. it’s not a selling point. I even share my experiences with them, why I believe without a doubt, (solid PROOF, IMHO) and they brush me off calling it a coincidence.
I do know a few Christians (baptists, lutherans, and weslians?) who look down on Catholicism too. they are even harder to convince than those who are too lazy or selfish to believe. seems they have a bone to pick with Catholics for no apparent reason and are deaf to our reasoning. they just keep bringing up priests and little boys or us “worshipping Mary” or calling our priest “father” or something equally irrelevent. no amount of reasoning seems to convince them. at least those non-Catholic-Christians live like christians and have morals and a conscience. and they don’t put an X in Christmas. (sorry, pet peeve!)
this shoud be an interesting thread, I hope you get some good pointers (and that I might borrow them!).
Ask them to come back.
If they belong to evangelical churches, they may or may not be happy where they are. In order to make them take a second, fresh look at the Church, you have to show them two things:
 That there is something that the Catholic Church posseses that they can’t get anywhere else. There are a number of things that fall under this: The Eucharist; the Church’s origin in Christ and her historical continuity; an authoritative, Christ given authority to interpret the Scriptures; the profundity of the liturgy; and so on.
 That they would gain these things but not be leaving anything essential if they left their church and returned to the Catholic Church. This might be a little tricky if they consider some un-essentials to Christianity itself --such as warm fellowship, good musicians, childcare during services, easy availability of Bible studies, dynamic preaching, etc – to be absolutely essential. In that case, you’d have to show them how, nice and helpful as these things are, they do not comprise the essence of being a Christian – that is, the grace found in the sacraments, being in full communion with the Church body established by Christ, the holy example of the Saints, and the fullness of truth found in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition–, which can only be found in the Catholic Church.
This, and your own example of a holy, Christian life will, with lots of prayer, their own honesty and openess to the truth and God’s grace, bring them home.
It is so exciting to talk to those who have left about Catholicism. I feel such confidence that God is going to do something, that He will bring many to the church. I have not been so zealot like this for very long. God has brought me to a point where the Catholic faith is no longer just a pretty wise choice but the only one, not just for me but for everybody in the whole planet. I do not know how people could do without it (of course, they are sustained by God’s mercy).
Catholicism is rich because it emcompasses everything a person could ever want to know about theology and life. But because it is so rich, sometimes it can seem intimidating or even contrived to those who have a very linear mind and who are not well-disposed. Only through the Holy Spirit can we discern the ways in which we could help.
Everytime we share something about the beauty of Catholicism, I think heaven rejoices.
When I talked a cradle catholic friend the other day, he mentioned that everybody he listens to believe they are the right denomination; he just doesn’t know what to think. I guess this is life: everybody will go on with their lives believing their belief is true and infallible. But for me, my faith is no longer just a belief; it is pure reality.
Can’t wait, can’t wait! Until the whole world becomes Catholic.
My fellow Catholic zealots, go go go!!!
Here’s an excellent place to start!
This pdf document might also be helpful: Resources for Evangelizing Inactive Catholics
Evangelising cradle catholics is a huge issue. Probably the greatest challenge facing the Church and Pope Benedict seems acutely aware of the reality that the majority of cradle catholics in Europe are scarcely Christian and are indeed not only poorly catechised but are frankly resistant to any effort to catechise them.
I think that 20 something lapsed catholics are almost impossible to reach barring some “black swan” event and they will have their period of rebellion. Some will return. Some won’t.