Rather odd set of question for all of you, I was raised a Southern Baptist and my parents still are. I have a severe disability that requires me to depend on my parents for care, transportation, etc. In my senior year of college I converted to the Catholic Church. At first, my mother drove me to Mass on occasion hoping I would grow out of it. When they discovered I was serious, my parents became quite hostile. My father all but told me I was going to Hell and my mother refused to drive to any more Masses. Through the generosity of a Catholic classmate, I received RCIA instruction from a classmate on my lunch hour at school and another friend drove me to a weekday Mass where I was formally received into the Church. When my mother found out she was livid and forbade me to ever go again. I haven’t been back since. I occasionally ask my mother to reconsider, but no luck yet. My parents really like me to attend church with them, which brings me to my question. The pastor is very Anti-Catholic; in last week’s sermon he made the comment that “I almost wish I were a priest so you would pay me for forgiving your sins.” I don’t believe the comments stem from ignorance. Should I attend these services? If so, how should I respond to Anti-Catholic statements made from the pulpit. If not, how do I explain this to my parents without coming off as holier-than-thou?
Why should you have to sit there and be insulted? No, you don’t have to go to this church.
I don’t know what your disability is, but most cities have transportation services for the disabled. Can you call a handi-bus to pick you up for Mass? (Just an idea.)
Alternatively, is there anyone at the Catholic Church who could pick you up?
Most people with a physical disability in the United States can obtain as part of their rehabilitation independence instruction and equipment to make it so. One of those is usually public transportation services. In Illinois, there is a whole state department that deals with this, as part of DHS If you are well over 18, you should be eligible for all this. If you do not have employment due to your disability, you could be receiving SSI and whatever your state offers. I typed “state rehabilitative services” into the web crawler, and got one for each of the fifty states, plus Puerto Rico.
If you have access to a phone, and you have obvious access to a computer, you could research your state web site for the department of rehabilitation or disability services.
You could also call your local parish and ask to speak with the priest on the phone, explaining your situation. There is no reason why a EMHC should not be visiting with you weekly, and priest monthly to hear your confession. If your parents don’t like it, it could be construed that they are interferring with your civil rights.
Maybe it is time for you to look for your own place to live, even if it is in a group home or sharing an apartment with an assistant. I’m sure your parents will not be thrilled, and I don’t know your entire circumstances, but with what little I know, that’s what I would do.
I am going to be in a similar boat soon. I will be moving in with my parents after leaving my abusive husband. I have MS and cannot drive much because of my eyesight.
I plan on taking the above advice. My parents are not religious at all, but are mildly anti-Catholic (mostly from believing silly myths). They will drive me and my daughter to Mass for awhile, but I plan on immediately finding someone at the church who would be willing to pick me up, and I’ll chip in for gas.
Thanks for the replies. Some calrification:
I live in a rural area (Upstate SC) and there’s no public transportation to speak of, let alone special transport for the disabled. The nearest Catholic Church is 20 miles away. I’m already receiving services via the state Department of Disability and Special Needs office, including an attendent; I’ve been toying with asking my caseworker to change the hours she works so she can drive me to Mass. I am however terrified of what my parent’s reaction might be; same with an EMHC showing up at the door. I have a feeling I know what needs to be done–that there will come a time when either my faith will be ground to nothing, my parents experience a miraculois conversion, or I get kicked out/leave.
Please don’t think my parents are ogres. We had a great relationship before I became interested in Catholicism and still do most of the time. It’s just I’ve had about all I can take of their church for various reasons and I find myself growing increasingly bitter.
I have a similar situation with my family being anitcatholic, but I do not have a disability so I can get myself to church without other’s help. My father is continually trying to convert me and he thinks the CC is only interested in money, the priests are all gay, and people just go there because it’s easier to get away with sinful things(when they sin they talk to a priest, say a prayer, and they’re done). I converted my freshman year of college. He was not going to come to my baptism/conformation/first communion, but my mom was killed in a car wreck the month before so he decided I should have a family member there even if he didn’t agree with it. Last time I went home he actually had the insurance lady try to convert me!
Sometimes it’s a difficult choice, but I’d rather have a troubled relationship with my earthly father than have a troubled relationship with my Heavenly Father. Good luck and hold firm in your beliefs!
It sounds like you’re in a pretty sticky situation. I’d try this. Tell them you are only seeking the truth, and that if they can convince you that the Catholic Church is wrong on any subject you will stop going (this means you are going to start going again until they convince you). This will put you in the best possible position, because the Catholic Church is not wrong on any subject, so they can’t win. But they will try. And this will give you a chance to explain in detail the truths you have found in the Church. And it will force you to really get to know your faith well in order to properly debate them. So its a win-win situation. You learn your faith extremely well, and they end up listening to your arguments (they have to listen closely in order to formulate their rebuttal and “save your soul”). Heck get their pastor to stop by and try his best too. You might end up with that “miraculous conversion” after all
Careful. All a Protestant needs is his own opinion. They will say “The sky is green! The sky is green!!” and you can point at the sky and say, “No it’s not! It’s blue!!” But you won’t get anywhere because there isn’t anything in the Bible that says that the sky is blue.
They will say, “Here is my opinion, and I am right because I am right, even if the Bible contradicts me, and even if God Himself comes down here and tells me in person that I’m wrong, so quit going to that church.”
My best advice: never try to argue with a Protestant with the view of gaining something out of the argument. You have to use other means - like telling them that you are now an adult, and it is none of their business where you go to Church.
Just because you have a disability and dependent on others, doesn’t make you a prisoner . I would see how state social services and even maybe a local Catholic Charities can help maybe to a more independent living in an more urban/suburban area. As a whole you will eventually need more independence as your parents age.
I have to disagree with your advice. While I concede that we cannot “argue” anyone into accepting Truth, we are called to provide the reason for our hope.
I think psteichen has a great suggestion. Turn these lemons into lemonade. Let each attack on your faith be another opportunity to hear their concerns and learn the truth necessary to defend the Teachings of Christ, held firm from the Apostles.
Can’t the attendant take you to Mass? The idea of the case worker is good, too.
Then maybe it’s time to explore what steps can be taken to gain some independence away from their home. Are they always home? Maybe the EMHC or priest could come when the parents are not. Maybe somebody in the parish could come get you, as 20 miles is small mileage in a car. It would give your parents a break from your care. Then there’s the age thing to consider. I am positive your mom and dad are not getting any younger (I know I’m not). You’re probably going to outlive them. What do you plan to do when they’re gone or incapacitated?
Maybe not ogres. But for a grown person to be “terrified” of what would happen if a visitor showed up who did not fit parental approval for a grown person certainly signals to me that it’s time for you to either take a stand or work toward moving out.
All I was saying was, don’t make your ability to be a practicing Catholic contingent upon what you can convince them of, because the chances are good that you won’t be able to convince them - in my case, I just had to quit trying to convince my relatives and friends, and just started living the Catholic life without their permission or approval.
I worked on the website for the one in Maryland. (Maryland Rehabilitation Center/Department of Rehabilitation Services) Just added a Google search there recently, among other things (like reprogramming the gerenated code for screen readers to read it properly).
There’s a shuttle service in my state (I also have a disability - hearing/vision), but the shuttle service is notoriously slow I hear. The one in Maryland doesn’t provide housing, though - only a “dorm” – converted office space – for clients. However, I’ve seen some pictures on our network showing houses and how they can be modified to be accessible, so I know that can be done.
I’m in a similar boat as the origanal poster, too.
your parents are not ogres. they are ignorant and bigotted but not ogres. We will pray for them and for you.
Have you ever read the story of St. Margaret of Costello?
Meanwhile, contact your parish and ask them for help from either St. Vincent de Paul or Catholic Charities. You may end up having to leave your parents’ home and you will need help setting up your own household. I know it is scary. But you can weigh the options - losing your faith, being kept from the Eucharist or walking towards holiness.
“people just go there because it’s easier to get away with sinful things(when they sin they talk to a priest, say a prayer, and they’re done)” This statement I just don’t understand. If you are a protestant all you say is “I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior” and you are covered?!?!. I’ve had this thrown in my face before!
Anyway, our parish has a volunteer group that specifically helps get disabled and elderly to Mass on Sundays. I would check into it immediately!
And there is no way I would sit and be insulted from the pulpit by a minister. I don’t even sit around and let my anti-Catholic sister in law insult me at family gatherings. You are an adult, whether disabled or not, and you have rights. Maybe it’s time to spread your wings (even though it’s probably scary) and find somewhere to live on your own.
God bless and stay strong!
I’m sorry you are having to go through that “stuff” jtav. I would have to say, you absolutely do NOT have to attend that service! As for explaining this to your parents, I wouldn’t worry about it. I am assuming that you have already made known your feelings, wants, and desires concerning both the Catholic Church and their Baptist church. If you have, they know where you stand on the issue. Now, you simply need to start getting to Mass.
Step #1 - Call your local parish and ask if they can help with transportation (MANY churches have volunteers that help transport the elderly and handicapped within the parish to Mass).
Step #2 - Meet with the Priest and explain your entire situation to him. He’ll no doubt have some very good advice for you.
Step #3 - Pray that your parents will at the very least finally accept your decision, or better yet, open their hearts enough to investigate the Catholic Church for themselves instead of simply listening to hate speech from the pulpit.
If you find yourself being dragged back to their church, there is (in my opinion) absolutely nothing wrong with defending your faith even if that means embarrassing your parents before their entire congregation. If nothing else, it will ensure that they don’t force you to go with them in the future.
I am sorry also that you have to go through this. I know from experience how the Baptist can be. When I joined the Air Force, I met my physical therapist when I was injured and he was a Baptist Deacon. He asked me what faith I belong to and I told him I was a Catholic. That meant it was his job to “save” me and prevent me from going to hell. We became friends and I even had supper at his house many times with his wife and kids. He talked to me at every chance he got on how wrong the Catholic Church was in many things. He had me so confused that I almost left the Church. He, I thought, knew the Bible inside out. He would quote this or that and show me how wrong I was to belong to this Church. I made a appointment with a priest who helped me more than I could say. He pointed me into the right direction and told me to learn my Faith, which I did not know well at all. This deacon kept inviting me to his church and one day I went on a Wednesday night. The guest speaker was a ex-nun and all she did was tell everyone how wrong the Catholics are. I was so angry and walked out of their church. I left my purse in my haste to get out and really did not want to go back in, but as I was going back, the deacon friend came out with his Bible and my purse. I told me that this is what they call Worship to God. All it was was someone at the pulpit criticizing another religion. I told him how I have never heard of a priest criticize any religion while giving his homily. I looked at him and told him that we can remain friends on one condition and that is that we are to never talk about religion and our differences in them. I told him that we both had Jesus in common and can talk about him. He did not like this, but his wife now was with us and she said yes to it and said we each needed to respect each other’s choices in religion. He never brought up his Baptist beliefs again. We remained friends and talked openly about Christ. I do remember once him saying that God brought us together so that I would become a Baptist and I said what if it was for you to become a Catholic. He just laughed.
I know you can’t win with them unless you know your Bible and Church as well as they know their faith.
I will keep you in my prayers and try some of what others say here to you. Talk to your priest for I do know at our church we do have people who help to pick up others to go to Mass. Think of it this way, if the Lord wants you to go to Mass, you will go to Mass. He will help you find the way and put someone in your life to help.
As far as your parents go, I would have a heart to heart conversation with them and tell them you love them and respect their choice of religion and ask for the same respect of your choice in religion. If you still have to explain some of our beliefs it is a chance to evangelize to them and help them. Who knows they may convert and become Catholics in time. I know I have two sisters who left the Church now almost 15 years. We can’t talk about our differences without an arguement. We just talk about Jesus which we have in common. It is hard especially when the family goes through tough times and you want to suggest everyone to pray the Rosary for example, but can’t to the non-catholics. I know in my heart though that my sisters will return to the Church especially the day they start searching the truth. One of my sister was given a Rosary and she gave it to me. I think people are placed in her life who remind her of her past Catholic Faith and one day she will see that also.