Karen Dill wanted to return to her Catholic faith, but she was carrying around too much anger toward the church after her divorce.
That was nearly 20 years ago, long before the clergy sexual-abuse scandal or the church closings that have alienated even more Catholics in recent years.
Now, Dill, 60, of Manchester, N.H., is not only back, she’s helping other Catholics find their way through a program called “Welcome Home.” She runs it with the Rev. Gary J. Belliveau, pastor of St. Kathryn Church in Hudson, N.H.
The seven-week program offers counseling, speakers and perhaps most importantly, Belliveau and Dill say, a chance to be heard.
And other local churches, like St. Mary’s in Chelmsford, for one, see it as a ray of hope to drawing others back to their faith.
Divorced and away from the church for 15 years, Dill felt “let down” by the faith that was once an important part of her life.
“I was very angry at what I perceived was a lack of compassion” from a church that does not allow remarried Catholics to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion or to remarry in the church, she says.
Also, Dill says she was angry with the church’s stand against abortion and birth control.
In 1985, while Dill was exploring other faith communities, a friend suggested she revisit the Catholic Church, saying, “the church had changed.”
On a whim, Dill walked into a church in Manchester, where Belliveau was the newly ordained associate pastor. She sought guidance for an annulment.
“And I liked what I saw,” says Dill. [Source]
What this article totally lacks is any hint of conversion. A conversion story without a conversion. No hint about how she overcame her objections or whether she still had them. It just seems like such an obvious question in a story like this even in Massachusetts, especially for someone running a ministry for fallen away Catholics.