2 church family?


#1

I have been struggling with this issue ever since I have been feeling a pull towards the catholic church. My wife is happily protestant, she grew up a preachers kid and while she has nothing against catholics, she just isn’t comfortable with catholic doctrine. This is an issue that really threatens to depress me. What is going to happen? Can our family work with us going to 2 churches on sunday? or what happens if she really doesn’t want to be come to Mass on sundays? She did this last sunday, but i’m not sure if she likes it.

It just bothers me on what I should do. Do I compromise and go to the protestant church with her? Do I ask her to compromise and think hard about becoming catholic?

I know my family is second only to God, but how does one face this situation?


#2

I’m not married yet, so this may not mean much, but I would suggest sitting down and having a serious discussion about what you want/plan to do when children arrive. At least get an idea of where you both stand on certain issues (such as infant Baptism, I don’t know if she’s a member of a Protestant church that baptizes infants or not).

You were given an obligation to raise your children Catholic when you married. So no, you’re not supposed to compromise on Catholicism. You could ask her what she thinks about the Catholic church, and possibly enroll in an RCIA class to learn what the Church really teaches (and you could even attend with her). There’s no pressure to convert (REALLY!!! :smiley: ) I don’t think it would be wise to try to force it on her. Such a decision is between her and God.

I think it would be hard going to two churches every Sunday. I did that over the summer, and I was exhausted by the time everything was over. Not only that, but it could very easily confuse children when they may hear two different teachings about the same topic in one day.

I don’t have any real advice except to just talk about it, and see where both of you stand, then maybe talk to a priest, and, most importantly, PRAY! I’ll be praying for you as well.


#3

[quote=sw_myers]I know my family is second only to God, but how does one face this situation?
[/quote]

Tough situation. I would suggest you contact the Coming Home Network. They were founded to work with clergy that was coming into the church but the also work with lay people. Famous converts like Scott Hahn and Marcus Grodi (who founded the organization) faced the same exact issue. In their cases both men’s wives eventually followed them into the church but it took years.


#4

My husband and I have this issue in our marriage. He’s a minister in the Church of Christ, and I’m Catholic. On Sunday mornings he goes to his Church and I go to my Church. Yes, it would be nice for us to worship together, but that’s not a possibility right now. We alternate where the children go. Sometimes they come with me and sometimes they go with him. They are being sent to Catholic schools, though.

You should sit down with her and find out where she stands on the issue, and then decide what to do. Perhaps you can go to both Churches every Sunday, depending on the times of the services.

Scout :tiphat:


#5

[quote=Scout]We alternate where the children go. Sometimes they come with me and sometimes they go with him.
[/quote]

Of course, children who are practicing Catholics are also bound by the Sunday Obligation. The above scnario would not work for older children (past 1st Communion).

The OPs situation will not be easy - but, my advice is for him to read the book “When Only One Converts”. Pray, and if there are already children in the marriage, have a long discussion about which Faith the children will follow.

Keep praying for your wife, and loving her, and being the very best example of a Catholic Christian you can be.


#6

Don’t worry about how the apparently impossible can ever happen. You are called simply to be faithful. If you are feeling moved toward the Catholic Church, then you must seek and follow the Truth, for Christ is Truth.

My wife is strongly Lutheran. She was raised to believe all of the basic Protestant misunderstandings about Catholicism. She still holds many of the theological ones, though she admired JPII and is behind the Church’s moral teachings.

We have six kids. There have been many discussions-turned-to-arguments about their faith education. She is my wife, and they are our kids, not just mine. Yet the father and husband has a special responsibility.

Pray and let God move you. But remember He wants your marriage partnership to remain a union. You may feel you have to give in on some things; at other times you’ll feel absolutely moved to do what you know is right.

That’s what happened with my kids’ cathechesis. They’d been baptized in a Lutheran Church and attending a Lutheran school. Yet I couldn’t tolerate their being denied the sacraments, so they are being properly catechized in the Catholic Church.

Whether your wife will convert or not–who knows? But pray–I’d say particularly to Saint Monica, who so successfully prayed for her son Augustine’s conversion. Mention my wife when you do.

Peace.
John


#7

Could you tell me the author of “When Only One Converts”? I’m in somewhat the same situation but in reverse. I’m the one who wants to convert & my husband does not. Thank you :slight_smile:


#8

Actually my mom and my step-father are in this same situation. He goes to an Assembly of God church on Sundays and she goes to her parish. It seems to be working out OK. She has confided in me that its been difficult at times, but I guess nothing we do is ever easy. :frowning:


#9

[quote=Cardinalsong]Could you tell me the author of “When Only One Converts”? I’m in somewhat the same situation but in reverse. I’m the one who wants to convert & my husband does not. Thank you :slight_smile:
[/quote]

The author is Lynn Nordhagen. :slight_smile:
amazon.com/gp/product/0879733152/
qid=1144176267/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/102-3936807-
9537741?s=books&v=glance&n=283155


#10

I will tell you from personal experience that the problem gets exponentially greater when this scenario occurs AFTER there are children. I was raised Catholic, but attended the Protestant church for 19 years with my husband. The last church we were in together began slowly making a shift toward Eastern Orthodoxy. At that point, I did a lot of reading on my own and decided I needed to rejoin the Catholic Church. My husband gave his permission for me to do so.

My husband left our old church as well, but HATES the Catholic church. Even though I’ve asked him not to, he (and our four kids ages 7-17) attend mass with me Saturday evenings. We then all attend a “Bible Church” on Sunday morning. When he is with me at mass, he does little things to make sure everyone knows he isn’t “in the program”. He never kneels, brings his own Bible to check the verses being read against his translation (He insists we leave out key verses.) and even holds his bible up in front of him during consecration of the bread and wine (“To protect himself against the idolatry taking place on the alter.”) It makes me ill to see him behave this way in front of our children.

He also has insisted that the children remain Protestant, even though he has never taken a leadership role in providing them spiritual education. I have homeschooled them for the past 10 years, but now must walk a fine line in providing “balanced” instruction. Needless to say, this whole course of events has taken a devastating toll on our marriage.

So, ya feelin’ any better about your situation now? :slight_smile:


#11

[quote=Scout]My husband and I have this issue in our marriage. He’s a minister in the Church of Christ, and I’m Catholic. On Sunday mornings he goes to his Church and I go to my Church. Yes, it would be nice for us to worship together, but that’s not a possibility right now. We alternate where the children go. Sometimes they come with me and sometimes they go with him. They are being sent to Catholic schools, though.

You should sit down with her and find out where she stands on the issue, and then decide what to do. Perhaps you can go to both Churches every Sunday, depending on the times of the services.

Scout :tiphat:
[/quote]

Wow Scout!!! That must be hard. I know we had a Methodist minister in our town that was raised Catholic but got married and became a pastor at the Methodist Church. He was asked to leave when he and his family had been coming over to my church after his own services to go to mass for about a year. I think they thought he was setting a bad example. Well, he ended up moving to PA and is now a married Catholic priest…

BTW…where in Central IL are you… I am in Central IL too…I live in Rantoul.


#12

I’m in a similiar (and not similiar) situation. My wife and I were raised Catholic and married in a Catholic church. My wife left the church a few years ago and now attends a non-denom church. This has cause enormous problems in our marriage because I wouldn’t leave the Catholic church. My wife asked that I attend Mass on Saturday and then go with her and our children to her service on Sunday. I spoke to my Pastor about it and he suggested that I focus on unity in the marriage and that I attend her service (as well as Mass). Then my wife changed her mind and asked that I didn’t attend her service. Anyway, it must be very difficult for your wife to attend Mass with you. BUT I would suggest that you thank her and encourage her for attending and how much it means to you. I would not put a push on to convert her but to be the best Christian and husband that you can be. If she was interested in learning about the Mass I would suggest the “free” CD (actually $1) from the Mary foundation by Fr. Larry Richards or the book the Lambs supper by Scott Hahn.

I’ll keep you in my prayers…


#13

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