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  #1  
Old Apr 10, '12, 12:17 pm
Jacob18 Jacob18 is offline
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Unhappy What is my obligation to my niece and nephew?

I have recently moved in with my sister and she has two children who have not been raised in the Christian faith, though my sister and brother-in-law were once Baptists.

Should I be trying to teach my niece and nephew the Catholic faith, even if my sister is against it?

I just want to do the right thing.
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  #2  
Old Apr 10, '12, 12:25 pm
1ke 1ke is online now
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Default Re: What is my obligation to my niece and nephew?

You can live by example, answer questions when asked, and not alter your own personal devotions or practices.

But, no, you should not attempt to undermine your sister and her parenting with her children.

Once her children are older-- teens or adults-- you are free to discuss and debate religion with them.
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Pax, ke

ke's universal disclaimer: In my posts, when I post about marriage, canon law, or sacraments I am talking about Latin Rite only, not the Orthodox and Eastern Rites. These are exceptions that confuse the issue and I am not talking about those.
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  #3  
Old Apr 10, '12, 12:28 pm
PatriceA PatriceA is offline
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Default Re: What is my obligation to my niece and nephew?

Just because you moved in with your sister doesn't mean that you now have the right to teach or parent them, in faith issues or any other concern for that matter. You have to abide by your sister's wishes. Like 1ke said, lead by example, they'll pick up on it.
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  #4  
Old Apr 10, '12, 12:32 pm
Jacob18 Jacob18 is offline
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Default Re: What is my obligation to my niece and nephew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post
You can live by example, answer questions when asked, and not alter your own personal devotions or practices.

But, no, you should not attempt to undermine your sister and her parenting with her children.

Once her children are older-- teens or adults-- you are free to discuss and debate religion with them.
That is the plan. Just checking with people who are more knowledgable than me that that would be the right thing.
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  #5  
Old Apr 10, '12, 12:32 pm
Jacob18 Jacob18 is offline
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Default Re: What is my obligation to my niece and nephew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatriceA View Post
Just because you moved in with your sister doesn't mean that you now have the right to teach or parent them, in faith issues or any other concern for that matter. You have to abide by your sister's wishes. Like 1ke said, lead by example, they'll pick up on it.
I agree with you.
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  #6  
Old Apr 10, '12, 12:36 pm
Blue Jr Blue Jr is offline
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Default Re: What is my obligation to my niece and nephew?

My sister was catholic, then married a non catholic outside of the church. I worry for her daily, and for her kids, they are not baptised. I have only brought the subject up once or twice and she doesnt want to get them involved with the church. I want them to get to heaven, where i hope to be. If only people knew the gravity of the situation they are in. People only think of the here and now.
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  #7  
Old Apr 10, '12, 1:10 pm
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: What is my obligation to my niece and nephew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob18 View Post
I have recently moved in with my sister and she has two children who have not been raised in the Christian faith, though my sister and brother-in-law were once Baptists.

Should I be trying to teach my niece and nephew the Catholic faith, even if my sister is against it?

I just want to do the right thing.
No, you have no authority over your sister's children. Be a joyful Catholic and the children will draw closer to God through you! Do nothing that undermines your sister's authority with her children.
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  #8  
Old Apr 10, '12, 1:37 pm
drfye drfye is offline
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Default Re: What is my obligation to my niece and nephew?

I don't think you can force anything on people( especially other peoples kids ) because I think that would only be counter productive and would push people further away rather then bringing them closer. You can answers Questions about your beliefs and the church teachings if asked and perhaps spark their interest as they get older as to why you believe. The only thing I can really say is try to live your life accordingly and not be too forceful with your beliefs towards others since they ultimatly have to be the ones to decide where they themselves stand in regards to faith.

hahaha, I guess that old saying " you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink" is the just of what I'm saying.
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  #9  
Old Apr 10, '12, 1:41 pm
bearkatjen bearkatjen is offline
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Default Re: What is my obligation to my niece and nephew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post
You can live by example, answer questions when asked, and not alter your own personal devotions or practices.

But, no, you should not attempt to undermine your sister and her parenting with her children.

Once her children are older-- teens or adults-- you are free to discuss and debate religion with them.
This 100%.
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  #10  
Old Apr 10, '12, 2:16 pm
Jacob18 Jacob18 is offline
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Default Re: What is my obligation to my niece and nephew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRealJuliane View Post
No, you have no authority over your sister's children. Be a joyful Catholic and the children will draw closer to God through you! Do nothing that undermines your sister's authority with her children.
I love our Catholic faith and I trust in our doctrine so much. Certainly I am against forcing religion on people who do not want it, including my beloved niece and nephew. I agree that you should not undermine a parent's authority and that is why I was apprehensive about this whole situation.

With so golden an oppurtunity to share our glorious faith with such young, beautiful souls I have been questioning whether it would be illicit to not at least plant the seed of faith within them, and help give them at least a basic background in Christianity.

I was not raised in the faith, but did have Christian parents, a Baptist and a Catholic. They taught me the basic idea of Christianity and by the grace and gift of God, at 18 years old I have grown into a more mature faith, embracing on my own our Catholic faith.

God is great and his mercy is infinate but I fear what may happen if they deny God because they do not know of Him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drfye View Post
I don't think you can force anything on people( especially other peoples kids ) because I think that would only be counter productive and would push people further away rather then bringing them closer. You can answers Questions about your beliefs and the church teachings if asked and perhaps spark their interest as they get older as to why you believe. The only thing I can really say is try to live your life accordingly and not be too forceful with your beliefs towards others since they ultimatly have to be the ones to decide where they themselves stand in regards to faith.

hahaha, I guess that old saying " you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink" is the just of what I'm saying.
Thank you for your reply. Do you have any more advice you could give me?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Jr View Post
My sister was catholic, then married a non catholic outside of the church. I worry for her daily, and for her kids, they are not baptised. I have only brought the subject up once or twice and she doesnt want to get them involved with the church. I want them to get to heaven, where i hope to be. If only people knew the gravity of the situation they are in. People only think of the here and now.
I know how you feel. Thank you for your reply.
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  #11  
Old Apr 10, '12, 2:31 pm
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: What is my obligation to my niece and nephew?

What you *might* do, with your sister's consent, is to buy a book of simple Bible stories and volunteer to read with them daily or every other day.

You could say, "Sis, I notice the kids don't have a book of Bible studies, how about if I get them one so I can read to them?"

I don't know how anti-religion your sister is, or if she's just negligent in general where spiritual matters are concerned.

It also depends upon how old you are, how old the children are, and how old your sister is. And, what sort of relationship you have with her.

My advice is still to be the best, most joyful observant Catholic you can be. Participate in activities at your parish, and invite the whole family to come along. Just be as nice a person as you can be, knowing that you are representing all of Catholicism to this family.

Pretty crushing responsibility, huh?

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  #12  
Old Apr 10, '12, 2:56 pm
Jacob18 Jacob18 is offline
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Default Re: What is my obligation to my niece and nephew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRealJuliane View Post
What you *might* do, with your sister's consent, is to buy a book of simple Bible stories and volunteer to read with them daily or every other day.

You could say, "Sis, I notice the kids don't have a book of Bible studies, how about if I get them one so I can read to them?"

I don't know how anti-religion your sister is, or if she's just negligent in general where spiritual matters are concerned.

It also depends upon how old you are, how old the children are, and how old your sister is. And, what sort of relationship you have with her.

My advice is still to be the best, most joyful observant Catholic you can be. Participate in activities at your parish, and invite the whole family to come along. Just be as nice a person as you can be, knowing that you are representing all of Catholicism to this family.

Pretty crushing responsibility, huh?

I love your reply and I am not quite sure why.

My sister, who is actually my half-sister and I have not had much of a relationship most of my life, and only recently, these past couple years or so have I gotten to know her. I am 18 years old, her much older, and her children are three and 9. My sister and her husband have been really kind to me and I really love her children.

My sister really is not anti-religion per se, and she even has been looking for a church to go to but it seems that she, like many seekers, wants a church where there are literally angels singing with the pastor so holy he does not walk, but rather floats around on a cloud.

I like your idea about reading the children Bible stories. It could be a nice way to both spend more time with them and share our faith and taking the family to parish functions could be an excuse for me to make more time for them.

I certainly would say that me being the representation of Catholicism, and maybe religion to this family is a big responsibility and I pray that it will be found favorable.
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  #13  
Old Apr 10, '12, 2:59 pm
Jacob18 Jacob18 is offline
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Join Date: March 23, 2012
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Default Re: What is my obligation to my niece and nephew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob18 View Post
I love your reply and I am not quite sure why.

My sister, who is actually my half-sister and I have not had much of a relationship most of my life, and only recently, these past couple years or so have I gotten to know her. I am 18 years old, her much older, and her children are three and 9. My sister and her husband have been really kind to me and I really love her children.

My sister really is not anti-religion per se, and she even has been looking for a church to go to but it seems that she, like many seekers, wants a church where there are literally angels singing with the pastor so holy he does not walk, but rather floats around on a cloud.

I like your idea about reading the children Bible stories. It could be a nice way to both spend more time with them and share our faith and taking the family to parish functions could be an excuse for me to make more time for them.

I certainly would say that me being the representation of Catholicism, and maybe religion to this family is a big responsibility and I pray that it will be found favorable.
Sorry if this sounds strange, I am in a hurry to get out the door. Peace, all. Thank you all for your advice and I hope to see more when I return.
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  #14  
Old Apr 10, '12, 3:09 pm
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: What is my obligation to my niece and nephew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob18 View Post
I love your reply and I am not quite sure why.

My sister, who is actually my half-sister and I have not had much of a relationship most of my life, and only recently, these past couple years or so have I gotten to know her. I am 18 years old, her much older, and her children are three and 9. My sister and her husband have been really kind to me and I really love her children.

My sister really is not anti-religion per se, and she even has been looking for a church to go to but it seems that she, like many seekers, wants a church where there are literally angels singing with the pastor so holy he does not walk, but rather floats around on a cloud.

I like your idea about reading the children Bible stories. It could be a nice way to both spend more time with them and share our faith and taking the family to parish functions could be an excuse for me to make more time for them.

I certainly would say that me being the representation of Catholicism, and maybe religion to this family is a big responsibility and I pray that it will be found favorable.
Well, I have to say I love it that a young man of 18 is so concerned about the condition of his niece and nephew's souls...A lot of young people your age are totally self-centered and focused on nothing more spiritual than who is throwing the next party. God bless you, Jacob!

Is there a cathedral nearby? Your sister may get that holy experience if it's a pretty one filled with stained glass and statues... Or if there's a really good homilist...Our Cardinal is really good at Mass - he just IS, you can tell it's what he loves so much. He's holy but also approachable.

Didn't mean to intimidate you about you carrying the whole responsibility. Do the best that you can, and love them to pieces (which is sounds like you already do). That alone will touch their hearts in a positive way.

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  #15  
Old Apr 10, '12, 4:49 pm
Lokabrenna Lokabrenna is offline
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Default Re: What is my obligation to my niece and nephew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post
You can live by example, answer questions when asked, and not alter your own personal devotions or practices.

But, no, you should not attempt to undermine your sister and her parenting with her children.

Once her children are older-- teens or adults-- you are free to discuss and debate religion with them.
I agree with this. I doubt anyone here would appreciate my sharing my Paganism with my brand new nephew--his parents are Catholic. There's no way I'd do that to my brother's new family. My job as an auntie is to spoil him with books and toys, not push religion.
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