My son and daughter-in-law have left the Catholic church for a non-dedoninational church. Ifelt like he punched in the stomach when he told me. My husband handled it calling them losers, that they were going to hell. Also, that their kids will amount to anything. Asa result, I haven’t talked to my son in 10 days. I feelthere is a better way to handle this so we can keep our relationship going. Pllease tell me what to do.
Search and Rescue by Patrick Madrid is the best book I have ever read on dealing with family members who have left the Church (3/4 of my family including 1 of my kids). Condemning people to hell, a privilege reserved only to God, is not the way to reconcile people with God and the Church.
Thanks for your help. My husband is so stubburn, if I tell him I don’t agree with how he is handling the situation, he’ll blame everything on my son.
Then we’ll get into another arguement.
if that is the case, and Madrid in effect says this, your first prioirity is working on your relationship with your husband, and healing your mutual communication style.
Stay-at-Home Dad of 3… is me!
I think we should all pray for those who have fallen away from the chuch. I thave 2 members of my family whom I pray for and await their homecoming.
Prayer for Faith
Lord, I believe:
I wish to believe in Thee.
Lord, let my faith be full and unreserved,
and let it penetrate my thought,
my way of judging Divine things and human things.
Lord, let my faith be joyful
and give peace and gladness to my spirit,
and dispose it for prayer with God
and conversation with men,
so that the inner bliss of its fortunate possession
may shine forth in sacred and secular conversation.
Lord, let my faith be humble and not presume
to be based on the experience of my thought and of my
but let it surrender to the testimony of the Holy Spirit,
and not have any better guarantee than in docility to
and to the authority of the magisterium of the Holy Church.
If I put my husband first, does that mean I abandon my son and his family?
You and your husband are ONE with God. You should always put your husband and your marriage first. If you do not have a strong union you will not be strong enough to support your son and his family. Just because you are working on things with your husband first does not mean that you can’t talk, visit with, etc, to your son or his family at all. In my opinion the best thing that you can do for your son and his family is to show them how you live the Catholic faith every day!!! (Showing them would be how you conduct yourself with them and others, not telling them everything they are not wanting to hear right now).
As a recent convert who was raised Baptist, then was a Presbyterian Youth Director for a while, I can tell you the grass isn’t always greener. You son may soon find this out.
Have Faith. I’m sure your husband was coming from the belief that those who leave the Chuch with “full understanding” of Her teachings could lose their salvation.
There are some keys here, first of all I believe that if someone has full understanding they would never leave the Catholic Faith.
It’s the lack of understanding and the enticement of all the glam in those mega churches that attracts many. It’s also the preaching style. Lets face is some Protestent minister put some of our Priest to shame when preaching, yet the best sermons I have ever heard came from Priests.
Another thing is our cluture and the message of those sermons. Once Saved Always Saved (OSAS) is what many of these people preach. Hey, that FITs with America dosen’t it? If you really believe then what you do dosen’t matter, you’re good! It’s easy, it’s fun and while they will preach that you must turn from your sins and that you will do that if you are truly saved… if you don’t, who knows?
I would first work on your realtionship with your husband, no matter what your son does, you guys are 1 flesh and God wants you to remain that way.
In regards to your son I would call him. Tell him you think things got a little out of hand. Tell him you respect his decision but that you believe he has been mislead about certain aspects of the Church. Give him David Currie’s “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic” and ask him just to read it.
I, as does our Pope from what he has said, believe that Protestant’s can find Salvation in their churches but it’s not as easy as in the Catholic Church. God knows what we need and how to help us be more like him. We may not like Confession but HE has a reason for it. We may like more lively music and praise, that’s great, but that’s not really “worship” that’s just priase and often Protestants get those confused.
Most of all Christ calls us to love. Love you son, show him how much by accepting him but encourage him to study not just follow instincts. True freedom is not following your gut, it being able to choose the correct path over that gut instinct.
You may or may not know who Francis Beckwith is but I would encourage you to read about him. He was President of the Evangelical Theological Society up until last year. He was born Catholic but became an Evangelical Protestant in High School and teaches at Baylor. A couple of years ago, after many years of small things pushing him from time to time, he dove headlong into his heritage, our Faith. After much prayer and study he returned to the Catholic Church last Easter. That may not sound like much but it’s more than it seems in that he had to give up his Presidency and created difficulties with many of his longtime friends and co-authors. During the time he was a practicing protestant his parents never condemed him but praised him for his good works and were proud of his accomplishments - especially in the Pro-Life movement, he led a Godly life but I’m sure they prayed for his return. And in time he did…
Have Faith and pray for God to work on his Heart and that of his Spouse.
I think that your husband and you need a serious ‘sit-down’ with your priest.
I seriously doubt a priest would consider how your husband handled this situation the most “Christ-like.”
He can help you both learn how you should deal with this and maybe give you two the support you need to work through this.
Call up the parish office today and get an appointment.
I appreciate sharing your knowledge and advise!! To add to the situation, I think my daughter got into bad agruement with my son(her brother), So now there’s hurt feelings with them.
Did they give you any reasons for this decision?
A dear Deacon I know said that there are 2 reasons people leave the Catholic Church:
They do not really know the Faith
They do not have a personal relationship with Christ
With those two things in mind, I so suggest Patrick Madrid’s “Search and Rescue” for your family. Another good book is Matthew Kelly’s “Rediscovering Catholicism”.
Lots and prayer and love.
I second McGar’s advice. Make an appointment with your priest. Go even if your husband will not. He can give you tips on how to reach out, when to reach out, and how to deal with your relationship with DH.
I also recommend the books others have suggested, for yourself. Giving your children books now might make things worse. But having them handy in case, and reading them yourself- not a bad idea.
I’mglad you showed up, Bubbi! This is a very good place to be with your issue.
I’m so sorry. Reading your post made me recognize a bit of what my father felt when I told him I did not want to be confirmed in the Church. He accused me of hating Catholics just like everyone else. I was 16. I was so shocked at his reaction because, frankly, he never, once, in my entire upbringing shared the Catholic faith with me beyond driving us to mass. To his credit, he did pay for us to attend Catholic school, but that seemed to me more of a conservative republican thing.
Anyhow, it was the worst fight I had ever had with him. I felt I was following my conscience be not being confirmed, because I didn’t believe in the Church’s teaching. Moreover, Jesus didn’t seem to matter for any of the Catholics I knew. Till this day I cannot name anyone I knew in childhood that you could describe as a “devout Catholic” who really had a vibrant faith life.
Certainly my Dad’s reaction did not help me embrace Catholicism. I got confirmed anyway out of not wanting the family to fall apart, and fearing his anger. The confirmation classes were ridiculous. We learned about the miracles of the Dalai lama and tolerance, and how we shouldn’t get so upset with Madonna’s “artistic” use of the crucifix.
Still, the sacrament is the sacrament. It conferred grace even without my understanding. I do think it is partially what brought me back to the Church several years later.
Coming back to the Church required learning what the church actually teaches. Like Rosalind Moss says, NO ONE who knows what the Church actually teaches ever walks away. It’s too beautiful, too compelling, too true.
You can’t convince someone of Catholicism without showing them the truth of what she proposes. I think most people who become non-denom are having an experience of Jesus and the Scriptures that they haven’t felt before. It’s important to show them how this is the same faith of the Church. Someone like St. Augustine is a great writer to give these people. I know for me he played a big part in my conversion with his Confessions.
Anyhow, I ask for St. Monica and St. Augustine’s intercession for your family. You know St. Monica turned around her whole family by her prayers. God bless you.
We also sent all 5 of our children to Catholic school. When my husband and I were younger with 3 children under 2, we didn’t go to church all the time. Out of lazyness, not having the knowledge of our religion that we do now. We started going on a regular basis when my oldest went to school. We got much more into our religion and more devout in the last 12 years. But we never left the church for another religion. My son’s wife started to read the bible and because she understand a lot of what it meant, she started looking togo to other places for church. I just feel so confused right now. My heart aches, my soul aches and my head aches from thinking.
Am taking in all advice. I really appreciate everyones help, that’s why I turned to this website.
Another question - was your daughter in law raised as a practicing Catholic?
The way you wrote this breaks my heart -
The Bible is a Catholic Book! I see so many Catholics, kids, teens, adults, who do not know the Bible, who are somehow intimidated of reading Sacred Scripture. And it can set those people up to be “ripe pckings” for leaving the Church.
Knowing our Faith means knowing Scripture.
I do not mean to sound harsh, here, this is something that I see happen and it is so very sad.
Perhaps find a Bible study at your Parish and join it - then, invite your son to come along?
Another book to reccomend…
Where we got the Bible by Henry G. Graham
Keep praying and loving.
As is written in the word of God:
Dont let the sun go down over your anger…
What would our Heavenly Father do?
What does He always do?
He would call His son TODAY…
You cannot hide behind your husband in relations to people… Call your boy and talk to him… better yet… have them over. And sit down and talk over coffee… You are Mother, are you not?
Then do the right thing.
What if one of you died tonight? …
How can you let anyone seperate you from your child? How can you even listen to strangers saying that to you?
… He is still the child of God. Besides …your husband was totally unreasonable and very proud. It would not surprise me if such behaviour makes the choice in favour of another Christianity seem even more right to your son…
Your right. My daughter-in-law won’t come around as long as there is any friction going on. I will call my son, though. How should we handle it? I can’t accept it.
Hi… Can I make a suggestion??? If you could interest your son and DIL to go to a Catholic Bible Study… that would be awesome… I am thinking since most folks are really curious about Revelations… the Catholic perspective may open their eyes… That is of course when you are all speaking again…
ps… you may enjoy it too…
the bible adventure series with Jeff Cavins are taught at alot of parishes and they are excellent.
I know its difficult… but you have to think reasonably too. Your son follows his heart into another church… not into the mormons or JHwitnesses or into Islam… He is still a member of the Body of Christ and is recognized as such… remember he probably went to this other church because he wants to follow Christ more intensely and does not think he is getting fed in the RC church…
Also… there is not a question about accepting it. you simply have to. What if he had told you he was terminally ill?..
Look… be there for your son and your daughter in law… be good and loving and keep praying… they might come back to the RCC in a few years or months… but that also takes an effort on your side to understand where he is coming from… You gotta listen… then maybe you can help.
Besides… know that God’s ways are far above ours… He knows what he is doing… He is the first and most important Dad… so you trust it with Him… lay your burdens at the foot of the cross. no one ever called you do anything but love.
I was thinking about what I wrote and want to apologize if what I said made you hurt even more than you’re already hurting. Just pray, pray, pray and I know they’ll come home. Maybe you can also read some books and engage with them.
I’ll add your family to my list of “away from home-ers” that I pray for.