A Question


I’m new here so I hope this thread is in the right place, if not, my apologies.

I have an odd question but I think some background might be good first.

As my profile says I’m a Protestant, however, I have been exploring Catholicism. I am not from a Christian family in any regard (as in, no one else in my family is a Christian). That has caused me some problems in different Christian circles (at best I get a sympathetic look and a “that’s horrible,” at worst I get treated like some undesirable leper, that said, the best response has been people not caring about my family life, as in, not treating me badly because of it). That said, here is my question:

From experience, how am I likely to be treated by Catholics should I convert and be active in a church?

I’m not sure what answer your looking for. But most Catholics welcome you with open arms. If you want to learn more, go speak to a priest or join RCIA. There is really no harsh treatment on protestants. If there is, it would be a good idea to find a new parish. :thumbsup:

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums!

You may find here quite often, members who have a mention of "crossing the Tiber’ or "Crossed the Tiber (meaning the Tiber River in Rome) at such and such a date, and these are converts to the Catholic faith who rejoice in being new Catholics.

Some Protestants have erroneous views of the Catholic Church and so naturally they are not favorably impressed when you say that you hope to become Catholic. From time to time, those in RCIA here, mention that the same thing has happened to them from Protestants who object to their becoming Catholic.
Please do not allow it to hurt you, as those who treat you like that, don’t know the truth.

When you become Catholic, you are one us us, one of the Catholic family, and welcome!

When I first glimpsed what you wrote I thought of St Paul, who was so important as a Jew that he was part of the group arresting early Christians and having them thrown in prison, and was approving and present at the stoning of St Stephen, but because God gave him the call to convert as a Christian, he was in the embarrassing situation of having to face his Jewish friends as a Christian himself.
Think of him, and please don’t feel so bad when non-Catholics seem disapproving. It’s quite possible that Saul/St Paul’s Jewish friends and colleagues gave him a hard time!

Welcome. :slight_smile:
May God continue to bless you, and grant you courage and peace.

Perhaps I should clarify my question.

I mean, in a Catholic church, would I likely be frowned upon because I am the only Christian in my family? That’s a better way to put my question, another one might be, how am i likely to be viewed? My family status has caused me issues in Protestant circles before and I’m wondering if most Catholics are much cooler (for lack of a better term) about it.

I really think it depends on your family. If they don’t like you being Christian, then the likelihood that they’ll like Catholicism is unlikely.

Are you saying that the protestants give you issues about not involving your family?

Welcome to the forums! :thumbsup:

Many Protestants have converted to Catholicism and been welcomed with open arms. Additionally, many people who have come from non-Christian and/or no religious backgrounds have come into the Church and also been welcomed warmly. However, there is always the possibility that you will encounter an occasional uncharitable individual but they are the exception and not the rule.

I hope that you will continue to explore the Catholic Church and if you do, I hope that you will seriously consider entering an RCIA program at a local parish near you. The RCIA program is designed to educate people who are in your situation (wanting to learn more about the Church) and assist them in entering the Church, should they decide to do so.

Take care and God bless. :slight_smile:

The main issue has been that I am not from a Christian family. For some reason that makes me get treated like a second class Christian on more than one occasion. I was just wondering if I would just as likely be treated like that in a Catholic church or if they are generally better about that.

By far.

I’ve never heard of people being shunned in a Catholic church simply because they are the only Christian in the family. It would be shameful and damning if anyone did. Converts convert out of their earnest wish to seek Christ, and it is not for us to place judgement upon the fact that they convert alone. Instead, we love and welcome all as part of our family of faith.

I personally know many people who are either the only baptised Catholic in their family, or are the only one undergoing RCIA catechesis. In fact, one of my good friends is one such person. None of them were ever solicited by proselytism. :smiley:

As a cradle Catholic, I admire them for their original conviction in Christ. It only underscores the strength of their faith that they would convert alone, not because their family or friends asked them to, but because they sincerely believe in Christ. :thumbsup:

I pray for your continued journey of faith. :gopray:

If I understand correctly, you want to know whether Catholics will look down on you because your family members are not Christian. If that is your concern, I doubt very seriously whether this will be an issue. I have never seen anyone shunned because of their family members beliefs (or lack there of). God bless.

That’s interesting. I’ve never heard of that happening before. From my experience, the Catholic Church will not care if your family is Catholic or not. If your a person of Christ, we welcome you regardless. Most Catholic churches won’t even ask you whether or not your family is involved with the church… at least for me anyway.

Some of the responses you’ve had already, OP, have been puzzling and maybe they misunderstood what you were asking.

You are very welsome even just as an enquirer, so don’t doubt how welcome you’d be if you decide to join us.

I can only agree with Filii Dei, and say you would certainly not be looked down on. quite the reverse. I would admire you, and so would anyone else I know.

Quite apart from any thinking Catholic appreciating how difficult it must be to be different from those you love, there is also the point that the majority wouldn’t even know your background, as our congregations are usually much bigger than non-Catholic churhes (except megachurches, of course). so you would just merge in.

I’m a convert, too, and will pray for you. PM me if you would like to talk more.

I go to church alone.
No one has ever mentioned that. I’m welcomed just as I am.

Hey. Dont worry. Catholics are very open to new members, especially converts. Some of the most active Catholics are converts.

I myself am a cradle-Catholic. I was born and raised in it. As a result it is easy to lose sight of things as you do them because you’ve always done them. So having new members enter the Church and with new converts coming in, it helps to rediscover the meanings of what we do and why we do them. In other words, converts can sometimes inspire others to rediscover their own faith, and to revitalize their spirituality. People often see the active love and devotion of covnerts and are often in turn inspired to devotion once more themselves.

One of the Brother Knights in my Council was himself a convert. He ended up being this biggest influence on me spiritually, even more so than my parents or my parish’s pastor! He taught me what it means to truly live the faith. to really strive for holiness to which we are all called to. A convert taught me that lesson! He came out of methodist or baptist (cant remember). But that a convert could teach even me, a cradle-Catholic a thing or two. That truly is remarkable.

He has since moved to San Antonio (or Austin, cant remember). But I truly believe God allowed me to know this man in order to be inspired by him. I truly believe it was God’s way of re-teaching me. So you never know who may inspire :thumbsup:

IMHO, converts are always the best ones. Because they did a lot of learning about the faith and it is by a huge decision that one accepts the faith, they are on fire. And most of the time well catechized because of the interest and amount of investigation that went into their decision to convert.

Thank you for all the responses. I suppose I should say that, while I have been exploring Catholicism, there are still some parts of it I can’t quite reconcile. i have questions, joined this site to help address them.

That said, these responses have been quite good and I thank you all for them :smiley:

Just thought I’d pop in and say I’m in your boat right now. I’m going through RCIA and no one in my family is Christian - they’re all atheists. I’m the only person in RCIA who doesn’t have any Catholic family but I can tell you from personal experience that no one’s even mentioned it, let alone done anything to make me feel unwelcome in the Church. In fact, it makes me appreciate my sponsor a lot more since she’s someone I can turn to when I have questions or just want to relate with someone who shares my belief. My family still loves me but doesn’t support my religion, so I’m glad I have the other RCIA member to rely on, as well as the parish priest. I’ve had no negative experiences from anyone within the Church about my family - in fact, a few weeks ago I had my Rite for the unbaptized and a nun asked me if she could meet my mom and dad. When I told her they didn’t attend Church (I didn’t go into any more detail than that, it’s none of their business), she said she was very happy that I was still going forward with this journey.

Also, even though you’re unsure about whether or not you want to convert, I would recommend RCIA. You can back out whenever you wish and you can have others to lean on when you need it, and learn from a reliable source about the Catholic faith.

Every practising Catholic that I know is delighted and warmly welcoming of any protestant who becomes, or is thinking of becoming, a Catholic. The delight and the welcome is if anything even greater if the person is coming from a situation where he did not know Christ at all.

I know there are some weird protestant groups out there, but frankly I’m amazed that anyone professing to be Christian would look down on a Christian because he came from a non-Christian background.

It was mostly some people at a Baptist school I went to. They initially didn’t let me in because of my family. Their rationale was that someone from such a family would cause trouble and it would protect the school to deny people like me entry.

Funny enough my mom and I were talking about me possibly becoming Catholic and she actually said she would support that because my family has Catholic roots (last practicing ones died around 1970, but still). Knocked me off my feet.

That said, yeah, it can be hard to not have familial support, but, interestingly enough, my family has been the least problematic in the whole thing. They don;t really care.

Hi fif1189 and welcome : )

Don’t worry the Church isn’t anything like you say you’ve been experiencing.
I too am a ‘loner’ in my family. A bit different, everyone else is some denomination or another in the protestant faith. My mom, who was Luthern, decided (reasons unknown to me) to have me baptised Catholic. Sent me to Catholic school, had my first communion, confession, etc…
To this day I am STILL the only Catholic in my family. At times I was chastised for it, but mostly I was left alone since it didn’t seem to deter me. I just quietly went about my business with prayers and practices, etc. regardless of any comments.
The Church has been absolutly lovely the whole time. Always supportive and always there. It’s “home” and without a doubt, my family.
I wouldn’t want to be anything other than Catholic, I can’t even imagine it.

I wish you the very best in your "coming home’ and will say a prayer for you. :signofcross:

God Bless you,

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