July 1, 2014. The Council of Cardinals began their fifth meeting with the Pope at the Vatican. Starting today at Casa Santa Marta, it will end on Friday, July 4. The previous meetings were from 1 to 3 October 2013, 3 -5 December 2013, from 17 to 19 February 2014 and 28 to 30 April 2014.
Distanced Catholics are going back to Church and embracing their faith. Some call it the 'Francis effect' others say it's the result of the New Evangelization. Either way, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales is jumping on board with an initiative called: 'Come Home for Christmas.'
It's website www.comehomeforchristmas.co.uk encourages Catholics who never or rarely attend Mass, to go back and rediscover their faith. It includes the personal stories of Catholics who for different reasons, distanced themselves from the Church for months, years or even decades...but eventually they all decided to go back.
Every person brings a unique story. In an increasingly secular country like the UK, Bishops want to invite their flock, young and old, back to the Church. They're hoping Catholics will realize that Christianity is still relevant and it still has a lot to offer.
Even though the initiative isn't limited to the Holiday Season, Bishops say there's no better time to go back home than Christmas.