We’re glad to hear that you’re thinking of coming home to the Catholic Church. There are many ways to reacquaint yourself with Catholicism and with the changes the Church has undergone in recent years. It all depends on how you prefer to begin.
If you want to learn with others, an excellent way to begin is to go through your parish’s RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) process. You may find you’re not the only returning Catholic who feels lost, and you will also meet and learn from new Catholics. Contact the pastor, pastoral associate, deacon or director of religious education (DRE) at your local parish for more information. See our “Help Room” with links to local parishes and programs, elsewhere on this site.
If you prefer to do some reading on your own at first, there are several books that may be helpful. Faith Rediscovered: Coming Home to Catholicism, by Lawrence S. Cunningham (Paulist Press), has an appendix listing basic readings. Another is While You Were Gone: A Handbook for Returning Catholics, by William J. Bausch (Twenty-Third Publications). Another book from Paulist Press, by John J. Kenny, is Now That You Are a Catholic: An Informal Guide to Catholic Customs, Traditions and Practices. (You can order these books in any bookstore or online bookseller.) We also recommend Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk’s book, Practicing Catholic (St. Anthony Messenger Press).
Another excellent resource is our sister site, www.AmericanCatholic.org. The list of Catholic Updates is especially helpful, as is the catalog of all our publications. Finally, please make use of the conversation corners (message boards) on this site to ask specific questions or seek general guidance. We’re here to help. Once again, welcome home.