Return: How to Draw Your Child Back to the Church
An important new book from Brandon Vogt & Word on Fire Catholic Ministries
Return: How to Draw Your Child Back to the Church
Return: How to Draw Your Child Back to the Church
By Brandon Vogt
By Brandon Vogt
PAPERBACK  |  216 Pages  | Publication Date: Feb. 9, 2021
Paperback  |  216 Pages
Publication Date: Feb. 9, 2021
Regular Retail Price: $19.95
Regular Retail Price: $19.95
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Special Launch Deal: ONLY $15.96
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About the Book
The statistics are troubling: an average of 6.5 people leave the Catholic Church for every one that joins, and 50% of young people who were raised Catholic are no longer Catholic today. The Catholic Church is hemorrhaging young people.

Behind these statistics are countless stories of wounded families. Millions of mothers and fathers are longing for their prodigal children to come home to the Church, crying: “Where did we go wrong?”

The passive wait-and-see approach is no longer an option. We need a different strategy. We need to understand the real reasons why our young people drift away, and we need a game plan to bring them home. We need Return
Watch the Word on Fire Show, Episode #271, on How to Draw Young People Back to the Church...
Return offers no magic-bullet guarantee that your child will come back. But you will find a complete game plan to create the best possible environment to reintroduce your child to Christ and his Church.

It serves as an essential resource for the Church’s evangelization efforts and a true game-changer for desperate parents everywhere.
Here’s What You’ll Learn
FOREWORD BY BISHOP ROBERT BARRON

INTRODUCTION

PART I - UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM
  • Chapter 1: Why Are They Leaving?
  • The Most Common Reasons Why People Leave the Church
  • The Church’s Sexual Teachings
  • A Warped View of God
  • The Ultimate Reason Why Anyone Leaves the Church
  • Chapter 2: Where Are They Going?
  • Where Do Former Catholics End Up?
  • Six Main Types of Fallen-Away Catholics
  • Chapter 3: The Five Big Myths About Fallen-Away Catholics?
  • Myth #1: “They’ll come back eventually once they get married or have kids.”
  • Myth #2: “I took them to Mass and sent them to Catholic schools—that should have been enough, right?”
  • Myth #3: “They left because of me. It’s all my fault!”
  • Myth #4: “They won’t listen to me; it’s just impossible to have a discussion about faith.”
  • Myth #5: “It’s hopeless. No matter what happens, my child is never coming back to the Church.”
PART II: THE GAME PLAN
  • Chapter 4: The Basics
  • Five Mistakes that Will Almost Certainly Keep Your Child Away
  • The Five Thresholds Your Child Needs to Cross
  • Help Him Find the Treasure
  • Chapter 5: Pray, Fast, and Sacrifice
  • How One Mother’s Prayer Birthed a Saint
  • The Most Important Way to Spend Your Time
  • What If I’m Too Busy to Pray?
  • Four Powerful Ways to Pray for Your Child
  • It Takes a Village to Pray for a Child
  • How and Why to Fast for Your Child
  • Offer Up Your Sufferings
  • Rely on the Holy Spirit
  • Chapter 6: Equip Yourself
  • The Two Go-To Sources
  • Read Good Catholic Books
  • Know Where to Find the Answers You Need
  • Be Able to Answer the Most Important Question
  • Know Your Story
  • Find a Partner
  • Chapter 7: Plant the Seeds
  • Share Unconditional Love
  • Plant “Seed Gifts” in His Life
  • Share Helpful Articles and Videos
  • Chapter 8: Start the Conversation
  • Create Opportunities to Chat
  • Listen First, Then Listen Some More
  • The Five Most Powerful Questions You Can Ask
  • Identify the Big Roadblocks
  • Absorb the Criticisms
  • Chapter 9: Move the Dialogue Forward
  • Clear Up Misconceptions
  • Stay Calm and Find the Positive Intention
  • Look for the Seeds of the Word
  • Introduce “Shoe Pebble” Questions
  • Speak with Positivity and Joy
  • Chapter 10: Invite and Connect
  • Invite
  • Connect
  • Don’t Move Too Fast
  • Chapter 11: Close the Loop
  • Gently Pursue a Commitment
  • Four Key Steps to Reuniting with the Church
  • Special Hurdles
PART III: THE BIG OBJECTIONS
  • Chapter 12: Personal Objections
  • “I just don’t have time for church right now. I’m too busy.”
  • “Mass is boring and irrelevant.”
  • “The Church is too focused on rules and making people feel guilty.”
  • “How could anyone remain Catholic after the sexual abuse crisis?”
  • “I’m married to a non-Catholic. Returning to the Church would really upset my spouse.”
  • “I had a bad experience with church and I can’t see myself coming back.”
  • “God can never forgive me for what I’ve done.”
  • Chapter 13: Moral Objections
  • “The Church is so judgmental. Didn’t Pope Francis say, ‘Who am I to judge?’”
  • “The Church hates gay and lesbian people.”
  • “I’m gay. How could I ever be Catholic?”
  • “Why is the Church against me living with my boyfriend/girlfriend? We love each other, so what’s the problem?”
  • “I’ll come back when the Church stops oppressing women.”
  • “The Church is behind the times on contraception and abortion.”
  • “I’m divorced. The Church doesn’t want me.”
  • Chapter 14: Theological Objections
  • “There is simply no evidence for God.”
  • “Faith and science are at odds, and I choose science.”
  • “I never found a personal relationship with Jesus in the Catholic Church.”
  • “Catholics don’t value the Bible.”
  • “I just wasn’t being fed in my parish. I’ve found another church that is more vibrant and fulfilling.”
  • “How could God possibly have let that evil thing happen to me?”
CONCLUSION - ONE STEP FORWARD

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

REFERENCES

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Here’s What Bishop Barron Is Saying About Return
The Church faces many challenges today, but I am convinced that the most pressing concern, at least in America, is the attrition of our own people.

Thirteen percent of Americans identify as former Catholics, and for every one convert to the Catholic faith, more than six people leave. One-third of people raised Catholic no longer identify as Catholic today, and attendance at the Mass, identified by the Second Vatican Council as “the source and summit of the Christian life,” continues to fall, with only a paltry 24% in the pews on any given Sunday. The statistics get worse among younger generations. One-third of the Millennial generation now claims no religious affiliation, and only 16% identify as Catholic.

It’s easy to gloss over these numbers and justify a false sense of security. Admittedly, the overall Catholic population has remained relatively stable, but this is mostly a result of immigration, of faithful new immigrants replacing the Catholics who leave. But obviously this is not a sustainable or desirable trend. Even among immigrants, as cultural assimilation takes hold of second and third generations, they leave the Church at rates similar to the general Catholic population. As many evangelists have observed, “God has no grandchildren.” Each generation must meet Christ and the Church for the first time, not relying on mere cultural ambience or ethnic identification.

But while God may not have grandchildren, people do. If you’re reading this excellent book by Brandon Vogt, chances are high that you’re a parent or grandparent, worrying that your child has drifted away from the faith. In the face of apparent failure and heartbreak, you’re asking yourself, What went wrong? Did I do enough? What more could I have done? Is there anything I can do now? How does one repair a broken relationship with Christ and the Church?

To these many questions, Brandon Vogt’s Return offers tremendous and desperately needed help. Every parent or grandparent with a fallen-away child needs to read this book.

You’ll find concrete advice and practical strategies. Rather than opting for despair, Brandon calls for creativity and courage, new approaches imbued with the liveliness of the New Evangelization. Return includes one of the best summations of Catholic attrition, coupled with keen insights as to why people dismiss the Church’s faith. He doesn’t cast aspersions or blame, and he avoids the scapegoating that marks some approaches to this problem. Instead he focuses on the solution, using a positive emphasis on what parents can say and do to respond to their child’s objections, rebuild relationships, and ultimately draw them back to the Church.

Return offers no magic-bullet guarantee that your child will come back. But you will find a complete game plan to create the best possible environment to reintroduce your child to Christ and his Church.

I have worked alongside Brandon Vogt for some time now in the fields of the Lord’s work. His dedication to the cause of evangelization is exemplary. He is a pioneering missionary disciple, whose sense of joy for the Gospel is contagious and reassuring. Therefore, if your son or daughter has left the faith, I encourage you not to give up hope and to learn from his advice in this book.

Return will serve as an essential resource for the Church’s evangelization efforts and a true game-changer for desperate parents everywhere.
About the Author
Brandon Vogt
Brandon Vogt is the Senior Content Director at Bishop Robert Barron’s Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. He’s the author of ten books, several of which have been #1 Amazon bestsellers and have earned First Place awards from both the Catholic Press Association and the Association of Catholic Publishers.

Brandon hosts the weekly Word on Fire Show podcast with Bishop Barron, as well as The Burrowshire Podcast with Fr. Blake Britton. He also runs several websites, including StrangeNotions.com and ChurchFathers.org. Brandon’s work has been featured by NPR, Fox News, CBS, EWTN, Vatican Radio, Our Sunday Visitor, National Review, and Christianity Today. He is on the board of the Society of G.K. Chesterton and serves as President of the Central Florida Chesterton Society. Brandon lives with his wife and seven children on Burrowshire, a small farm outside Orlando, Florida, with chickens, goats, pigs, rabbits, ducks, and a garden.
Here’s What People Are Saying About Return

Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries

“If your son or daughter has left the faith, I encourage you not to give up hope and to learn from the advice in this book. Return will serve as an essential resource for the Church’s evangelization efforts and a true game-changer for desperate parents everywhere.”

Trent Horn, staff apologist at Catholic Answers

“Every Catholic parent needs this book. It demolishes the myths about why young people leave the Church and lays out a wonderful (and very practical) step-by-step plan for helping them come back to the faith.”

Jennifer Fulwiler, blogger and author of Something Other Than God

Return is the resource that parents of fallen-away children have been waiting for: it combines powerful spiritual insights with practical tips that you can begin applying right now. It’s like a bootcamp for spiritual warriors who are about to go out on a great search-and-rescue mission.”

Leah Darrow, Catholic speaker, author, and founder of Lux University

“Brandon Vogt’s Return offers practical and realistic ways to bring lost souls home. And I should know: I was one of those kids who left the Church for over ten years. Return hits home for me. It reveals not just why people are drifting from the Church but how to get them back into the fold of Christ. It’s a true treasure for our times.”

Matthew Kelly, founder of Dynamic Catholic

“Everywhere I go I meet parents who are troubled because their children no longer practice the faith. Finally, here is a practical guide to doing something about that. It’s time we took this problem seriously, and Return can help with that.”

Lisa M. Hendey, author of The Grace of Yes

Return is a resource that is desperately needed by today’s Catholic families. This terrific new resource is full of practical, supportive, and affirming answers. A ‘must have’ for every Catholic home, parish, and library!”

Tom Peterson, founder of Catholics Come Home

“The number one question I am asked frequently is, ‘How can we get our son or daughter back to the Catholic Church?’ This grieves the hearts of millions of parents. Finally, someone has given us sound tools, prayers, and wisdom on this vital issue. Brandon has once again created an inspirational book to help us bring loved ones home to Jesus and his holy Church!”

Marcel LeJeune, author and founder of Catholic Missionary Disciples

“What greater gift could any parent want for their fallen-away Catholic child than to help them get back in touch with God’s grace? Brandon Vogt’s new book, Return, offers more than just practical wisdom and timeless advice, it is a roadmap of evangelization for Catholic parents of fallen-away Catholics. Buy this book. Read this book. Do what this book says. Then see what great gift God has for your family!”

Dr. Stephen Bullivant, Director of the Benedict XVI Centre
for Religion and Society at St. Mary’s University

“Well-researched and realistic, Brandon Vogt’s Return is not just hope-filled, but superbly hope-filling. A resounding answer to many Catholic parents’ most ardent prayers.”

Steve Dawson, founder of St. Paul Street Evangelization

“One of the most common questions I get as the director of St. Paul Street Evangelization is, ‘How can I bring my son or daughter back to the Church?’ I hear it all the time. Every Catholic I know has at least one close family member who has drifted away from the Church. Brandon Vogt’s Return is an excellent answer to that question. He does a great job laying the foundation and sharing the best tips and practical strategies. Buy this book if you want to help your child come back.”
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