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  #1  
Old Jul 10, '13, 7:49 am
Convert2013 Convert2013 is offline
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Default Allowing my child to attend Protestant church with Grandparents

I wasn't sure where to post this, so please forgive me if its not the right place. I am having trouble with whether or not to allow my daughter to spend the night at my parent's (mother & stepfather) house on a Saturday night. It is the only night this could happen. They would end up going to church and taking my daughter. I know in the past they have taken her and I later found out they handed her off to some lady that took her and some other children into a separate part of the church for a "sunday school" type thing. I was not happy about this! My daughter is asking when she can spend the night at their house because she wants to stay over night with them. I'm not intentionally keeping them from visiting or anything. I don't want my daughter confused about church. My daughter's comment was that she doesn't like sitting there in their church because the "man" talks too much and too long. She's 6 going on 7. I don't want to keep her from visiting her G-parents but I'm not liking this whole church thing. They have changed churches a few times over the past several years ...the typical buffet religion!


Anyone experience this or have any advice?
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  #2  
Old Jul 10, '13, 7:59 am
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: Allowing my child to attend Protestant church with Grandparents

You will have to establish ground rules for Saturday overnights with grandma and grandpa and part of that will be attendance at Mass and not their service or Sunday school.

If they cannot agree to that and to arranging schedules so that she comes home Sunday morning for Mass or otherwise attends Mass then Saturday just won't be a night that she can stay over. Perhaps they could stay at your house.

In one more year she will receive FHC and have an obligation to attend Mass weekly. This year, she needs to be preparing for it and for first reconciliation. You are correct in not wanting to confuse her.

Not what they will want to hear, but what you will have to negotiate with them.
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  #3  
Old Jul 10, '13, 8:43 am
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nickybr38 nickybr38 is offline
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Default Re: Allowing my child to attend Protestant church with Grandparents

I'm not sure if this is helpful...

But when my sister sends her kids to my mother's the agreement is that I take the kids to Mass in the morning then return them to my mother. Aren't children under the Sunday obligation as well?

Is there some way you can work out an arrangement where the children still get to Mass despite being at grandparents over night?

I would not encourage having the children go to a Protestant service. It will sow confusion and perhaps bad feelings. When my niece and nephew are around Protestant children they tend to say really offensive things... LOL. Kids. They're great but have no censor button!
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  #4  
Old Jul 10, '13, 8:46 am
theyoungmonk theyoungmonk is offline
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Default Re: Allowing my child to attend Protestant church with Grandparents

1ke seems to have hit the nail on the head. This would be a very bad time to let any confusion seep in just as she begins prep for the Sacraments and comes under the Obligation to attend Mass.

You will just need to negotiate things and make it clear you do not appreciate your daughter being taken to events held by other religions as it is confusing for her and makes it difficult for you.
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  #5  
Old Jul 10, '13, 9:46 am
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ccmcmg ccmcmg is offline
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Default Re: Allowing my child to attend Protestant church with Grandparents

I understand the above posts, as well as why we all, children included, should attend Sunday Mass (or Saturday vigil).

But I do want to set your mind at ease on something. My wonderful, saintly, holy grandparents belonged to a Presbyterian Church (my dad converted from it when my parents got married). My grandfather taught Sunday School. While I didn't spend the night often (they lived across the street), I did attend their service with them on occasion. Many times after Sunday Mass at 8 AM, I would go across town (4 blocks!) to attend their service with them, then go to Grandpa's Sunday School class for us young ones; sometimes I was the only one there.

I know this meant a lot to my grandparents, but looking back, I treasure it even more. I wasn't taught anything contradictory to the Catholic Faith; we didn't have regular (or even semi-regular) CCD, so other than Mass, this was at times my only religious formation. I never considered joining Presbyterian or Protestantism; I was not confused. I attended off and on from ages 10-14. They weren't trying to 'convert' me. I knew the difference between their service and beliefs, and our Mass and beliefs.

As a small child, I probably spent the night with them or other family members on occasion, and I don't ever recall being confused. In fact, I believe it taught me tolerance and love for others even when we have different beliefs.

God bless my loving grandparents Ralph and Margaret. May they rest in Eternal Peace with our Lord and Savior.

For the record, my mom was a cradle Catholic, raised in pre-Vatican II days, and attended strict Catholic school all her life in a larger far away town.
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  #6  
Old Jul 10, '13, 10:10 am
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KendraDZ1902 KendraDZ1902 is offline
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Default Re: Allowing my child to attend Protestant church with Grandparents

I'm not going to tell you if you should send your kiddos or not. I will try to explain Sunday School, though. I grew up protestant and I have to say that Sunday School isn't the time when adults tell their kids how horrible Catholics are. They usually talk about a story in the Bible. You know, Noah's Ark, Jonah and the Whale, etc. They will usually do a craft that has to do with the story. They may sing songs. That is what a young child will do. When I was older like a teenager, we would talk about more grown up things. Um, one unit was about dating. We were taught that your potential spouse will be someone you date, so you shouldn't date someone you don't see yourself marrying. Basically how to act on a date. It is ok to hold hands, but don't ever get yourself in a situation where you will be uncomfortable. Sex isn't ok until after you are married...that kind of thing. I was never told anything about the Catholic Church, good or bad, in Sunday School.
The church services may go against Catholic teaching, but I don't see how singing childhood songs like Jesus Loves Me and learning about Noah goes against The Church.
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  #7  
Old Jul 10, '13, 10:29 am
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Default Re: Allowing my child to attend Protestant church with Grandparents

I'm sure that Sunday school in many Protestant denominations for children that young would simply consist of teaching Bible stories and not indoctrinating children against Catholicism. But I would not let my kids go there to find out. My daughter is 6, too, and there's no way I'd sign off on that.

1ke is right, you need to set boundaries and lay down the ground rules. It's not always a pleasant proposition, but it's necessary.
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  #8  
Old Jul 10, '13, 10:34 am
NSFrame NSFrame is offline
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Default Re: Allowing my child to attend Protestant church with Grandparents

I don't see a problem with allowing children to attend their grandparents' church and Sunday School unless you have concerns that this particular church might teach anti-Catholic things (which I doubt). It's a *Christian* place, I can't see what sort of harm you think might befall her. If you want to require Mass attendance on top of the Sunday School, you could do that, but frankly I think that's being persnickety.
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  #9  
Old Jul 10, '13, 10:42 am
MJJean MJJean is online now
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Default Re: Allowing my child to attend Protestant church with Grandparents

Echoing what Kendra said, I was raised Protestant. Sunday School was going into a kids room with tables and chairs and crafts. We'd hear a bible story. Jonah, Naoh, some key moments in Jesus life like healing the sick. Do some related coloring or macaroni craft, sing a bit and get picked up by the adults. Literally nothing was ever mentioned about any faith other than faith in God.

That said, it's your child and you know her best. Do you think she would be somehow confused? Do you think this might be a good time to help her learn about faith and tolerance and her family's differing Christian beliefs? Would it be possible for you to take your lil one to a later Mass on Sunday so she could spend that time with her grandparents while they are still here on Earth so she can get to know them and that side of her family history and heritage?


I got a laugh out of her opinion of the "man" who talks too much. Services at Protestant churches do tend to be long winded! I remember being impatient with them, myself.
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  #10  
Old Jul 10, '13, 11:04 am
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Default Re: Allowing my child to attend Protestant church with Grandparents

Quote:
Originally Posted by Convert2013 View Post
I wasn't sure where to post this, so please forgive me if its not the right place. I am having trouble with whether or not to allow my daughter to spend the night at my parent's (mother & stepfather) house on a Saturday night. It is the only night this could happen. They would end up going to church and taking my daughter. I know in the past they have taken her and I later found out they handed her off to some lady that took her and some other children into a separate part of the church for a "sunday school" type thing. I was not happy about this! My daughter is asking when she can spend the night at their house because she wants to stay over night with them. I'm not intentionally keeping them from visiting or anything. I don't want my daughter confused about church. My daughter's comment was that she doesn't like sitting there in their church because the "man" talks too much and too long. She's 6 going on 7. I don't want to keep her from visiting her G-parents but I'm not liking this whole church thing. They have changed churches a few times over the past several years ...the typical buffet religion!


Anyone experience this or have any advice?
as a Catholic who comes from the Protestant tradition who is Married to a Protestant I can say not to worry too much about your daughter going to the church or even going to "Sunday school". Typically Sunday school doesn't get too much into theology but stick to bible stories, all stuff we would not object to. I would inform your daughter that she is not take communion in this church, or get baptized. Assure her that she is baptized and has no need of being "saved".
My opinion is that I would rather they be exposed to protestantism while they are young and I still can counter the protestant arguments with my children rather then them being sideswipped in college by being invited to a Protestant church by a boyfriend or girlfriend when I'm not around.
I would set your daughter down and explain the differences between Catholics and Protestants in terms she can understand and tell her that protestants are good people and love Jesus but they are wrong on a few things, and for her to come to you with anything she might hear at that church so you can explain it to her.

Also make sure to go to mass at another time with your child that weekend
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Old Jul 10, '13, 11:05 am
SpeSalvi SpeSalvi is offline
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Default Re: Allowing my child to attend Protestant church with Grandparents

Why don't you just let her spend the night on Friday night instead of Saturday? That'd solve the whole dilemma right there!

Otherwise, I think it'd be smart to do your best to arrange an alternative for her going to Church with them- maybe you pick her up before they go?

If nothing else, just make sure you explain to your daughter that she can go to church with them, but they do not believe the same things. Make sure you repeat that often.
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  #12  
Old Jul 10, '13, 11:14 am
BlueEyedLady BlueEyedLady is offline
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Default Re: Allowing my child to attend Protestant church with Grandparents

Lots to be said on this topic, that's for sure. I do think that it would be appropriate to take your daughter to Saturday night mass the night before she'll be going to a protestant service. I also think that if you were an atheist, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, etc that Sunday School would be questionable, but as a Christian, Catholic or not I don't see a problem. If it's anything like the Sunday School I went to and later taught its just a fun, back to basics time where kids are taught bible stories in a way that is more on their level than a sermon is. I don't know why you think this would be against Catholic teaching, they aren't going to discuss Mary, the saints, the Eucharist, etc. Most protestants are too busy being protestants to waste time knocking down Catholicism to children, most of whom wouldn't even be able to say exactly what a catholic is. As kids get older Sunday School usually involves learning how to incorporate Christianity into your daily life at school and with friends. Things like sharing, being a friend to someone who is lonely or picked on, honesty, and standing up for what is right are covered. It really is just an hour of fun, basic religion. Theology isn't really covered. As a note: I'm an atheist and I can rattle off the 12 disciples faster than any Christian I know, because of a song I learned in Sunday school 20 years ago!

I hope I've at least helped to put your mind at ease because whatever you decide to do you don't want to do out of a knee-jerk fearful reaction. On one hand a Protestant service probably won't confuse your kids if you explain in an age appropriate way that protestants love and worship Jesus, they just don't have the full understanding of him. It's good to pray and celebrate with them, but it's more important to always go to mass and that if they ever have any questions they need to come to you. Then instruct your parents that any questions they get asked they need to defer to you, and if it is something specific about their church you can answer it together.

Yes, you do have the right to put your foot down, but if your parents are good grandparents to your children and help you out you may want to tread carefully and choose your battles. My husband and I will be raising our children to not believe in god. But we know that realistically there will be the occasion where they need to spend the night on Saturday with their catholic grandparents. We want to keep this from happening as much as possible, but life happens. It will just be a matter of timely and age appropriate "damage control" after the fact, and it isn't even like we are all Christians.

But if you decide that your child should never be exposed to Protestantism then talk with your parents and see if a compromise can be reached. See if you can make it easier for them to see the kids on other nights, or if you can pick the kids up before church on Sunday, or if you can have a friend or other relative do it for you. Just try to keep in mind that it is generally very beneficial for kids to be close to their grandparents, so your goal should be to foster that relationship while maintaining your values.
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  #13  
Old Jul 10, '13, 11:19 am
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Default Re: Allowing my child to attend Protestant church with Grandparents

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post

In one more year she will receive FHC and have an obligation to attend Mass weekly. This year, she needs to be preparing for it and for first reconciliation. You are correct in not wanting to confuse her.
my guy was raised in a multi religion family, had to go to sunday school, and was given the opportunity to "choose" his faith. he chose to not be bothered with it. he hates all organized religion and has dabbled in paganism. i don't think this will happen to your child - but i do think she could become confused and not take either faith to heart when she is older. i don't know what they teach her but i believe you need to make sure your child is solidly educated in the catholic faith.
discuss your concerns with the gparents. insist your child attends mass. let her have a relationship with them and love them. teach her to be tolerant ofother beliefs but to stay within her own.
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Old Jul 10, '13, 11:19 am
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Default Re: Allowing my child to attend Protestant church with Grandparents

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueEyedLady View Post
As a note: I'm an atheist and I can rattle off the 12 disciples faster than any Christian I know, because of a song I learned in Sunday school 20 years ago!

.
Yes! Also, I don't need tabs for my Bible because of songs I learned in Sunday school! lol
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  #15  
Old Jul 10, '13, 12:24 pm
Convert2013 Convert2013 is offline
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Default Re: Allowing my child to attend Protestant church with Grandparents

First, I want to thank you for your replies! Let me just add a couple of things ...It's not that I have a problem with Sunday school necessarily. Its that my parents just gave my daughter (she was 4) to some lady I never met and I have no idea what was told to her etc. I know how it is in Protestant churches. They just pick someone who is willing to handle Sunday school and that's their "qualification". As I got older I saw/ heard contradictory points from Sunday school teachers vs. what was being said by the Pastor, it bothered me and I was put off by it.

I do not have issues with Protestants per se. I am the only Catholic in my family that ever existed, they are all Protestant. I was put off by Protestant churches due to what I saw from my parents, my grandparents and the people I went to church with. I don't want to get into a theological debate.

I certainly don't want to ever deny my child memories of being with her g-parents and vice-versa. I worry my daughter will be confused ...especially if on the ultra rare occassion they have communion and they allow her to receive it as one person mentioned. Her and I have talked briefly about how they don't have communion in g-parents church, etc. I explained that they go to a "different" kind of church than we do. I didn't say anymore than that and I didn't want to imply anything negative about it but said it in a loving and humble manner. I teach my daughter to love all and to respect all for their own beliefs and ways of living.

The reason my daughter can't spend Friday night there is because she takes swim lessons early on Saturday mornings and I've already paid for them.

The last thing I want to do is to handle it in a manner that might show Catholics in a bad light. More importantly, I want to handle it as Christ would have me handle it.
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