Becoming Catholic & telling mom


#1

So… as you know from the title, I’m going to join the Catholic Church. However, we have a small problem, that I’m not sure why it’s even a problem. My mother doesn’t approve. She doesn’t like any church that isn’t Baptist. And she doesn’t even like all of them! I don’t even know why I want her apporval anyway, because she doesn’t even like me! She tells me like every week that she wishes she never had me! (which makes no sence, 'cause she always goes on about how badly she wanted a baby…) :crying: Anyway, does anybody have any tips on explaining to her that I’ll still be a Christian and won’t be going to hell just 'cause I won’t be her type of Baptist anymore?


#2

Welcome home! :dancing:

There are many, many threads on the subject of family members during the conversion process. You are not the first person to do this, nor will you be the last. You will find many converts and reverts right here on CAF.

There are also many, many threads on abusive family relationships. From what little you said, you might be in one. The current one started by igator99 has the same advice I give all in abusive relationships, and their duties as adult children in such a relationship. So, if you can afford it, go get a copy of God Help Me These People Are Driving Me Nuts! by Greg Popcak, and Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. You should be able to find Boundaries in your local library.

I am a cradle Catholic, more or less. That said, I have a Lutheran sister, BIL, niece and nephew; several Baptist cousins; and more than my fair share of the non-denominational relatives.

I would suggest you pick your time and place to tell your mother carefully. In your case, because she is already abusive to you, it might be a good idea to plan to tell her when you take her out for breakfast or lunch, in a public place, where if she screams and yells, you have other people around to support you and to witness any abuse. It does not have to be now; in fact, depending on your circumstances, it would be a good idea to wait until you are well into the process of RCIA.

You might want to go over in your mind her objections, in case she asks real questions and doesn’t merely yell and scream. You might also be prepared for ultimate rejection.

I’ll be praying for you on your journey, and for your peace of mind.


#3

First of all - Welcome Home.
May God’s Blessings continue to flow upon you and strengthen you in the faith.

Telling a parent is a difficult task but I know you will get a lot of support here. It’s unlikely that your mother will understand or accept your decision. It is very likely that she will rail against the Church, and possibly you for joining it.
The best advise i can give is:

  1. Pray to Our Blessed Mother to strengthen you and be close. She will comfort you.
  2. Recognize that this will not be a “conversation” but rather a process over time. Your mother may not accept it initially but may come around in time.
  3. Approach the topic first by explaining all that you have found. Peace, Intimacy with Christ, Beautiful and fulfilling Liturgy, Answers to questions etc. Whatever it is that has attracted you to the Church in the whole. Once she can see how happy and contented you are, you can let her know the name of the Church you are joining.
  4. Be prepared for her likely reaction with quiet and short explainations.
  5. Be prepared to end the conversation and leave if she becomes too abusive of you or the Church. Have an exit line prepared ahead of time. Something that will leave the issue open like, “I see you are upset. I’m leaving now. We’ll talk more later. Just know, mother, that I am committed and happy. I Love You.” Then leave on that note.

Hope some of this helps.

Peace
James


#4

My husband and I are going through the same thing. Both my parents and his have so many misconceptions about Catholic teaching and it’s going to be a long and hard discussion when we actually tell them. I’ve already told my parents that we are starting this journey and they weren’t mad. I thought they would be, because they are very hard-core evangelical Christians. My husband is planning on talking to his parents when they get back from vacation. I told my best friend and she hasn’t spoken to me since.

We were so scared at first. But once we felt confident in our faith (not knowing all the answers, but confident that this was the truth) we were able to say, “it’s okay if they get mad, or if they disown us, because we’re just going to trust God.”


#5

No answers here - just prayers! Just wanted to welcome you home. You’re in my neck of the woods; we have many wonderful Catholic parishes in the area - have you found one yet?

Kris


#6

Thank your mom for giving you a foundation of love for Jesus. Focus on what you share in common, perhaps look into the DVD “Common Ground” from www.catholicprotestant.com.

Pray and love her, if a real argument begins, to not engage. Keep praying and loving and let her see Jesus in you every single day.


#7

Welcome home. Know that you both will be in my prayers. Do not ever be afraid to profess your belief in Jesus or in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church that he established.
Prayers & blessings
Deacon Ed B


#8

Welcoem to the Forum. By the tone of your e-mail I’m assuming you are still at home. If this is the case, then you will have to wait until you are 18. if this is not the case, then start the process and let her see the change in you as your start down the road to becoming a Catholic. Either way, Honor your mother, reguardless of what she says and does. She is still your mother.

My mother hates that I converted (at the age fo 36). My question to her was simple, Would you still want me to be a {denomination}, or a Christian in the Catholic Church? If God controls everything and everything works according to His purpose, then isn’t only possible that God is calling me into the Catholic Church?

We are here for you…please feel free to contact me is you have any questions.


#9

First of all, thank you everyone for your prayers and support. :slight_smile: I really appresheate it. (I’m terrible at spelling…) In answer to a couple things, yes, I have found a parish, All Saints. My husbands family goes there, and I really like it. And the person in the last post didn’t seem to sure of my age, so I’m 19, and I’m married, and have an adorable son. Yes, we are still living with my parents (simply because my dad’s awesome and we’re always broke, due to having a one year old), but we will be moving out come fall into my in-law’s. I’ve told my mother that I’m reaserching the Catholic Church and seriously thinking about joining (which is really just another way of saying I’m just a couple steps away, which I am.) She did NOT react good. First off she informed me that “all Catholics go to hell.” I told her that, no they really don’t. It is very posible to be Catholic and a Christian. Also I informed her that not all Baptists are Christians, which might not have been the best move on my part… Anyway, she went on to tell me that I “had ansestors in Ireland who died so you didn’t have to be Catholic.” (by this point she was sortta yelling, forchinatly this was at 10:30 at night, so everyone was sleeping and she couldn’t actually yell properly!) I said that they died so I didn’t HAVE to be Catholic, not so that I couldn’t WANT to be. They’re really two different things. She declared them to be the same. Then she started going on about how I’m “breaking her heart”, which is just what she does everytime I do/think about doing something that she doesn’t like in the slightest. For example, she said I was breaking her heart when I disided to get a degree in teaching (I wanna be a teacher of some sort) first instead of a degree in horses (I wanna train horses, too) first. Back to the subject at hand though, after she gave me that speach, she went on to say that I’ll break my dad’s heart, too. That one, I know isn’t true, because as long as I know it’s what God wants me to do, and he knows that I prayed about it and reaserched it, he’ll be fine with it, even though he was raised Catholic and isn’t anymore. So then I tried explaining to her that it’s God’s Will that I join the Church. Apparetnly she doesn’t think anyone but herself and her church’s pastor could possibly know God’s Will for me. So she interupted me with “no, you mean what you want”. UGH!!! She drives me nuts! I thought surely she’d understand that! She’s normally really big on following God’s Will! This was on Sunday night. So, she’s spent the last two days trying to gilt trip me and trying to force me to read anti-Catholic books that she made me read when I was 13, right after my Catholic grandmother died. Which, even then, I desided that they were loads of ****, because the Bible verses the gave to referenses didn’t add up to what the people were saying. So, that’s how things are going. Once again, thanks for the prayers. May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.


#10

I would definitely recommend reading “Rome Sweet Home” by Scott Hahn. My husband and I read it and it’s helped a lot with knowing how to talk to our parents (mainly how to defend Catholic teaching when they argue), because my parents are very anti-Catholic as well.

It’s a hard thing to go through, but just know that your mom isn’t really lashing out at you. She’s just misinformed.


#11

srching4ansrs,

I think it may be helpful for you to recognize that your problems with your mother have nothing to do with you joining the Catholic Church. Your mother has control issues and displays manipulative behavior. These are problems no matter what issue it is that you are currently dealing with.

In my opinion, you need some distance from your mother and you need to stop seeking her approval. She apparently will not approve of many of the actions you take, and no amount of words from you will ever change that. Try keeping things short and sweet, like, “Mom, this is my decision, I have made it and it is not open for discussion” and then “If you continue to speak with me this way, I will need to end the conversation.”

God bless you!


#12

I know it probably won’t work, but I can’t resist maentioning it…
Since she is trying to get you to read Anti-Catholic Literature, tell her you want her to read some pro-catholic literature. When she refuese, you can simply refuse to read the anti-catholic stuff.

In reality, you simply must follow your head and your heart. Pray Hard for your Mother.

If your parish, or another nearby has a Lighthouse Media rack in church with CD’s look for the Tim Staples’ or Steven Ray’s conversion CD’s they are great. Plus both of these fellows are from similar backgrounds to yours.

Peace
James


#13

This is what we did. It only worked for us because the people (our parents) really enjoy reading and learning. My father-in-law is very theological, so this was a natural help to us.


#14

Yeah, I just had this issue over the last year while going through RCIA 2007/2008. My mother is actually a Baptist minister and nearly had a two-legged heart attack (as my father would say).

Still, it’s better for you to just come out and say it with firmness. Leave no room for discussion and if she pushes the point, tell her that you respect her beliefs so she should respect yours. That’s what I did. It won’t be the last you hear of it but she’ll know that this isn’t some kind of ‘phase.’

I think I had it slightly easier because I told her over the phone (I live in CA and she lives in DC… everything’s easier to say when you’re 2.5k miles away from someone). :slight_smile:

Pax vobiscum.


#15

I grew up Methodist, later in life became Southern Baptist and even preached a few times in a Baptist church. My wife was Baptist as well, and both of us at one time had the typical anti-Catholic beliefs that many evangelical groups have. Eventually we began looking for something else, went to Anglican churches as at that time, making the jump to Catholic was just a bit more than we wanted to do.

The real blessing happened when we I got a promotion and moved from Georgia to NW Indiana (just outside Chicago), and began attending a Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic church, and joined the Catholic church through that rite. Neither of my parents were very fond of it, and any time I mention going to mass or anything of that nature I can still hear her cringe, even though we’ve been Catholic for a bit over 3 years. We currently attend a Roman Catholic church as we moved back to Georgia, and since this is the “Bible Belt” there are not quite as many Catholic churches in the south as the north, much less an Eastern rite church out in the boonies where I am.

In any case, they more or less just tolerate it, I still don’t think they fully understand or accept it. Its one of those things where no matter what I would show or tell them, anything outside of their own protestant church they really don’t accept, even when it sounds correct or they agree with it. You may be in the situation that no matter what you do or say, your mother may just end up tolerating it, but never fully accepting or understanding you joining the Catholic Church.

God Bless,

Brad


#16

Welcome home, you are in good company. I hope you enjoy your stay on the boards. I became a Catholic last Easter and my parents were very adamant about me leaving the southern baptist faith. My father even told me that he thought I was smarter than that to fall for the catholic church. I won’t go into details but sum up and say they are not as vocal about My wife and I’s conversion. In short stand your ground in love and let them tire themselves out. My parents still take their potshots from time to time but not anywhere near what it was when we went through the RCIA process. Please know you and your husband our in my prayers.

May the Blessed Mother pray for us all


#17

Just that one line tells me that your mom is irrational and manipulative. It’s good that you’ll be moving out of her house soon so that you can get away from that unhealthy relationship. Her behavior is unacceptable, and I highly doubt that you will ever change her mind as long as she keeps the attitude up. Some people refuse to listen to logic or have a civil debate.

Don’t stress out if she refuses to attend any ceremonies related to your entrance into the church. The sooner you can accept the fact that she most likely won’t change, the sooner you can move on with your life.

Wish you the best on your entrance into the Church! :thumbsup:


#18

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