St. Gall to hold ‘Homecoming’ events |

St. Gall to hold ‘Homecoming’ events

by Gail Davenport, Special to the R-C

Autumn is traditionally the time of year when colleges and universities welcome home their alumni and honor them with a variety of “Homecoming” events. The St. Gall Catholic community is hosting a homecoming for their non-practicing Catholic brothers and sisters with “Welcome Home Weekend” Nov. 18 and 19, at all Masses.

The Carson Valley is the home of many who were born and raised in the Catholic tradition but, for any variety of reasons, do not regularly practice their faith by attending church services.

The St. Gall Welcome Home Weekend is the brain child of a parishioner who believes God spoke to her in a special way. As the owners of a small business, she and her husband noticed an unusual phenomenon last year. Virtually all of their customers were Catholics who had left the church. Some had left since becoming divorced, some for political reasons, some shared disagreements with church doctrine and some had simply gotten out of the habit of going. It appeared that almost all of them had mixed feelings about leaving their faith. While in some cases it made their lives easier, it more often left a void that nothing else had been able to fill.

One day the parishioner awoke with an idea! What if the church community as a whole were to invite them home? She went to St. Gall’s parish priest, Father Bill Nadeau, with the Homecoming plan and it was quickly put into action. The congregation was asked to submit names of those they knew to be local non-practicing Catholics, and invitations were sent inviting them “home.”

Of the nearly 100 people invited last year, over half responded positively by attending one of the Masses on Welcome Home Weekend. “Celebrate and Rejoice because your brother has been found” was the theme of the weekend.

Music accompanied every service, and Father Bill Nadeau and the congregation welcomed all with open arms and hearts. Refreshments were served after every service and the door was left open for all to return.

The St. Gall Catholic community again opens its minds and hearts to welcome home fellow Catholics with Welcome Home Weekend. Masses on Saturday, Nov. 18, are at 5:30 p.m. in English with contemporary music and at 7 p.m. in Spanish. On Sunday, Nov. 19, Masses will be at 8 a.m. with the traditional choir and at 10:30 a.m. with the contemporary choir, complete with guitars and drums. Refreshments will be provided by the hospitality committee and will follow all services.

St. Gall welcomes all to this heartwarming occasion. Although special mention will be made of welcoming everyone “home,” nobody will be singled out or judged. The St. Gall community is filled with people who had left the church at one time and have finally found, in the warm and loving St. Gall community, a church to call “home.”

St. Gall is located at 1343 Centerville Road, Gardnerville.