Welcome

Church Teaching

“Some of the Church's teachings seem just plain wrong to me. How can I deny what is perfectly obvious to me just so that I can toe the Church's party line? I could not respect myself if I said "yes" to what I see as false. Besides, a lot of things have changed over the years. Who is to say that the teaching I can't accept today won't change in the future? Why is the Catholic Church so inflexible?”

Felt Excluded

“For a long time I’ve felt I had no place in the Church. And I’ve got a lot of company, it seems. Women, people of color, gay and lesbian individuals, those of varying cultural groups—we’ve all experienced moments when the message of Christ came packaged in terms that excluded us.

Abortion/post Abortion

“I’m told I don’t belong. That message comes from both outside and inside of me. If there’s one clear thing I hear from the Church these days, it’s that having an abortion makes me an outsider. But I want to attend to what I feel and to tell someone how I feel. Is there a place to begin healing without being judged?”

Living Room

God works in so many ways. Your path to this place is special to you, and we’d like to hear it. If you don’t find the “right fit” with any of the other stories here at OnceCatholic.org, we offer you an option to tell your own story.

Meet our online companions and join a moderated online discussion—see who else has dropped in, seeking a listening ear. Look for a real-time, real-place Catholic parish to join. Ask a question or search for an answer in our database of Catholic information. Perhaps somewhere here is what you are seeking!

“After my marriage failed I felt unsupported in so many ways—by my family, people at my parish, even some of my friends. I walked away from a Church which I felt didn’t care. When I remarried, institutional religion really didn’t have much of a role in my life. But I still prayed, and I guess God answered my prayers with a loving, caring partner.

Not Fed

“I grew up in the Church. As a child, I loved the stories about great figures of the Bible and about Jesus. As I grew older, I knew they were more than stories—they embodied a way of life. I gave myself to that way for a long time, but somehow, the communities I worshiped in never seemed to “grow up” with me. I felt treated like I was part of an assembly-line religion, a “fast-food” kind of faith. I needed to be fed and nourished on “adult food,” the tough and challenging message of the gospel. So I looked elsewhere. But I still miss something. Is that message being preached in the Church today?”

Drifted Away

“I don’t know how I left the Church. There wasn’t really any one reason. Life moved on, and so did I. Career, relationships, other concerns…perhaps no one noticed I was gone. And maybe I wished someone would have come looking for me. But lately, I feel Some One has—is it God’s Spirit within, calling me home? Where can I re-connect?”

Quarrel With Staff

“They say the Church has a human face. Well, the last face I saw in the Church was all-too human! I don’t know if the person responsible for my ‘parting of the ways’ with the Catholic Church back then ever knew the damage that was done. The details of the incident are as fresh as yesterday. I was insulted, hurt and left with a bitter taste each time I drove past my parish. It was a long, long time before I could even walk back into a Catholic Church—that’s how painful that experience was. But over time, I’ve begun to wonder: Should I let one person’s action exclude me from God’s gift of faith?”