Pope Francis has been very adamant about maintaining that the Catholic Church is a hospital for sinners. We are all sinners in need of God's mercy. We are all in need of repentance. We all have room for improvement.
All too often the Catholic Church has been seen as unwelcoming, and so those in need of spiritual nourishment seek it elsewhere. We need to change that impression. The Catholic Church is for everyone. No, you might not be able to receive Communion without some additional education/sacraments and/or life changes, but you are always welcome to come sit in the pews and to participate in the liturgy. You are welcome to come and pray and bring your needs to God. You are welcome to speak with a priest or pastoral minister and receive some spiritual guidance and support. We in the Church are a family and all are welcome.
My parish published this in the bulletin this week. It is a message I wish more Catholic Churches (and Catholics) would take to heart:
No matter what your present status in the Catholic Church,
No matter what your current family or marital situation,
No matter what your current personal history, age, background, or race,
No matter what your own self-image,
You are invited, welcomed, accepted, loved and respected here at Holy Name Parish.
We are here to welcome and serve you.
Together we are called to conversion in Christ.