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Fatherly Advice: Talking to a Friend About Coming Back to Church


A listener asks for Fatherly Advice about talking to his friend about coming back to church. The listener knows that his friend has gone to some church events revolving around her son and that the son has received First Communion. The listener and his wife, who have a son the same age, would like to bring up coming back to church with their friend.

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Father Dave says the first place to start is by listening to his friend and hearing her story. “I think an approach with anybody, on any topic, is to start with, as Pope Francis reminds us, listening. Accompanying somebody. Knowing what’s going on in her life.”

Father Dave suggests that an easy “in” to the conversation is that their sons are the same age and it might be easy to bring up how the listener is raising his own son or things he’s doing with him at church.

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Above all, Father Dave emphasizes the idea of accompanying someone on their journey — through life and hopefully back to church: “Making sure that you wanting to express your love, solidarity, friendship, and wanting to know what’s going on in her life instead of … ‘How do we bring up that fact that she needs to go back to church.’ … If you want to know her, listen to her, and accompany her, as Pope Francis says, then that approach is likely to bear more fruit in terms of where the conversation might go down the line.”

Father Dave also mentions that the listener shouldn’t stop himself from showing concern or bringing up the subject of church because he feels like he’s not prepared. “…You don’t need to be equipped. You don’t need to be a theologian. You don’t need to know any methods. You just need to be her friend.” (Original Air 10-17-17)