Thank you for your interest in St. Denis Parish. Whether you’re just visiting us, looking for a new parish home, returning to the practice of your Catholic faith or are interested in finding out more about the Catholic Church, we’re happy to have you here.
A parish is a community of believers and a spiritual family that is supportive and loving. It can be a place to grow spiritually, to put your faith in action, and to use our gifts of time and talent as disciples of Christ.
We look forward to answering any questions you may have. Please introduce yourself and join in the parish socials and activities.
The following resources will help you on your journey.
CATHOLICS COMING HOME TO THE CHURCH
The Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination in the United States, accounting for about 25 percent of the country’s population. The Church continues to grow and many people have chosen to convert to Catholicism. The Church is a vibrant, active community of believers which continues to have a positive influence on the lives of many people. However, there are people who for one reason or another have stopped actively participating in the Church and attending Mass. We live in a busy culture and society. There are many demands that are placed on us. Yet people are searching for a deeper sense of meaning, for a closer relationship with God, and for a more authentic spiritual identity.
Since the Church is a family, we miss those Catholics who may have left the Church or who have stopped participating in its vibrant liturgy and sacramental life. Perhaps you or someone you know are in this situation and do not know how to come back or how to become active again. The first thing you need to know is that you are always welcome back. The Church misses you and hopes that you will choose to come home as an active member.
Catholics Come Home is a non-profit, independent charity whose purpose is to invite inactive Catholics, and others searching for a faith home, to the Catholic faith. Their informative and interactive website helps to answer questions about Church teachings and gives an overview of the Catholic faith. Some of its founders and supporters recently returned to the Catholic faith and want to share their positive experiences with others. Many never left the Church, but recently grew to understand and appreciate their Catholic faith more deeply. All feel part of a big Catholic family, who sincerely hope others will also find more peace, real answers, and true happiness through the gift of faith.
Please feel free to explore any questions you may have about the Catholic Church or how you can return to an active participation in the Church by visiting the Catholics Come Home website.
Visit Catholics Come Home Boston for valuable resources and personal witness testimonies about living a committed Christian life.
People have chosen to enter the Catholic Church for various reasons. Members of the Church have different understandings of what makes them Catholic or why they are Catholic. However, there is a common thread that binds all Catholics together. Catholics belong to a Christ-centered faith community that views Jesus Christ as the foundation. Catholics share Jesus’ vision and model their lives after Jesus’ example of love. Catholics are called to care for one another and to use their unique gifts and talents for the good of the community and the world. Below is a listing of some of the basic beliefs and values of a Catholic:
In his weekly general audiences in 2006 and 2007, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the lives of the apostles. In doing so, the Pope painted a picture of the apostles who were very much human and also very much searching for a deeper connection with God. Each one had to leave behind what was known in their lives and embark on a new journey with Jesus. This journey involved taking risks, trusting in God, and being open to change and conversion. When the journey was over, this ragtag group of individuals had become a true community of faith, hope, and charity. The Church was born.
Perhaps you find yourself in a similar situation. You are searching for meaning in life. You hear Jesus’ call to “come and follow me.” You desire closeness and intimacy with God. You want to be a part of a community of faith. You have come to the right place!
Our hearts seek the One who creates us and who seeks us as well. The God of mystery became visible when Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born into our world and lived a human life as one of us, teaching us how to live and love. His death and resurrection reconciled us to the Father and to one another and gave us the promise of eternal life. Jesus is the starting point and center of Christianity. He entrusted his apostles with the mission of continuing his presence on earth. Within the Church, life is no longer a solitary search for meaning, but rather a journey with companions in the faith. God reaches out to His Church community, the family of God, and they reach back together to the God who is love.
The Catholic Church welcomes your interest in our Church. The initiation process has been a blessing for the Church. Those in the Catholic faith community speak of the renewal of their own faith as they witness those engaged in the initiation process prepare to become fully initiated members of the Catholic Church.
Parishes welcome new members into the Catholic Church through a process of education, faith sharing, and rituals known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This process includes several stages marked by prayer, study, and discussion. Included in the process are several Rites, which take place within the context of the Mass. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) describes the RCIA as a process in which participants “undergo … conversion as they study the Gospel, profess faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church, and receive the sacraments … The RCIA process follows the ancient practice of the Church and was restored by the Second Vatican Council as the normal way adults prepare for baptism.”
The RCIA is structured over a series of ceremonial steps and periods of learning, and the timing of these may vary for each individual. One may take as much time as he or she needs in the initiation process before becoming ready for full initiation through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. Initiation within the Church is a journey of conversion that is gradual and ongoing and suited to individual needs. It is a process rather than an educational program and this process takes place within the community of the faithful, the local Church.
The RCIA process has several distinct stages. These Catholic RCIA stages are a good modelof faith development itself, so this article will fit you whether or not you're actually in the RCIA process.
Inquiry: the initial period before you decide to enter the Catholic Church. You're asking questions and checking it out, but aren't yet ready to commit.
Catechumenate: those who decide to enter the Church and are being trained for a life in Christ are called , an ancient name from the early Church. In this stage, you're developing your faith and are being "catechized" — learning catechism, or the basic points about Catholic faith and life.
Purification and preparation: The Church will help you focus and intensify your faith as you prepare you to commit your life to Christ and be received into the Church at Easter. If you're following the RCIA process, you'll go through a beautiful series of Gospel-based meditations during Lent, which is the time frame of this period.
Initiation itself, the culmination of the whole process! You're received into the Church during the Easter Vigil Mass, where you'll receive the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. (If you've already been baptized, you won't be baptized again.)
Mystagogy: after reception into the Church at Easter, this period lets you reflect and learn more about the mysteries of the Mass and the Sacraments that you now participate in fully.