Can I be Catholic?


Hi, I just wanted to ask a question. I’m an unwed mom raising a child who just turned 8 years old. I was 20 when she was born. We attended Mass for several months when she was 2, but I felt increasingly uncomfortable, and finally stopped going. I watched a movie recently about Dorothy Day, feminist and unwed mom turned Catholic, who started Catholic Worker in New York. That got me thinking, what’s really wrong with my daughter and me becoming Catholic? I would like to explore this, at least to figure out why I’ve been drawn to it for over ten years, when I was raised Protestant. Just for background info on my situation, let me mention that I was a backslidden Protestant and was “living wrong” but trying to get back on the right track, when I was sexually attacked and became pregnant. I intend to withhold this information from my child as long as possible, hopefully forever. I feel it would damage her psychologically, and I’m trying to protect her. I didn’t tell my family the whole truth for several years, to prevent any further shame. My friends disappeared one by one, because I felt that I could not justify myself to them without doing more harm than good. I have lived in complete celibacy since giving birth, and have no plans to date or to seek a husband. I kept the baby because I felt it was the right thing to do, and my family supported my decision, and have been there every step of the way, even taking us in when we had nowhere else to go. I’ve lived and learned a lot the hard way, but I’m a more patient and caring person than I’ve ever been in my entire life, and my precious child is the joy of the whole family. The one thing I haven’t been able to give her is a Church. We have bounced from one denomination to another, with horrible comments ringing in our ears as we finally decide to leave one after another… I’m so scared to walk into another one and try again. I have repented of the sins I committed, but that was all years ago, and is far behind me. I’m a different person now than I was during my brief period of young adult rebellion, but I don’t know how to make anyone understand that. One of the hardest things is when married women assume I’m trying to flirt with their husbands. I have more respect for them, for myself, and for God than to do that. I apologize for the length of this post. I guess I had a little weight that I needed to get off my chest. I have prayed about all these things for years, but maybe I need to hear some words from my fellow humans. Please don’t worry about offending me when you reply. I wouldn’t ask questions if I didn’t genuinely want your answers and opinions.


I’m not the most knowlegable Catholic here, but I think I can honestly say, the Church has always been here, waiting for you take a step towards it. God has always been here waiting for you to take a step towards Him.

All you have to do is take that first step.


Wow Dot,
Your story nearly made me cry! I want you at MY parish! You seem like a wonderful person and OF COURSE you can become Catholic. You just need to talk to a priest about it. I also have an 8 year old, and the earlier you start her religious education the better. You will become more and more aware that there is so much to know about our Catholic Faith, I think it is a blessing to give our kids more time to absorb it all. PM me anytime.


Absolutely! We are a Church full of sinners, but with God’s grace and forgiveness, He embraces those who come back to Him! You’re an amazing woman! I wish I had the strength, courage and preserverence you did when I was a single mom raising two small boys (unfortunately, I let the world get in the way of God).

Please, if you can, make an appointment with a priest at your local parish. Explain your story to him, and I’m sure he will direct you in the right path.

God Bless You! :thumbsup:


DO talk to a priest ASAP, and take that first step. I know of at least 15 young women who had their babies and kept them, and became Catholic or reverted.You are in my prayers.


Dot your story is really quite touching …Of course you would be welcomed with open arms in the Catholic church, as was stated before we are all sinners and God is forgiving. You sound like some one who would be very welcome at our church. God bless you for the way you have taken care of your child. You were put in a tough situation and you chose life… That in itself is a great thing.I believe you need to go see a priest you are comfortable with and join a parish close to you. You will find the church can be like a second family to you at times…I will be praying for you and may God bless you in your journey…:blessyou:


you were the victim of a crime and should have no more shame about that fact than the victim of any other violent crime, nor should your daughter. since she will probably find out from family members sooner or later, when she is the appropriate age and starts asking questions you can gradually fill her in on the truth, making sure she understands that none of the background reflects badly on you or on her.

Even if you were one of the many single parents raising out of wedlock children who came into the world because their parents conceived them in less than ideal circumstances they now regret, or even because they made a sinful choice, this Church is still the place to be. They call it Catholic because it means everyone, sinners and the innocent.

If you are already Catholic, just start coming to Mass with your child, go to confession and return to the sacraments. If you never received 1st communion or confirmation, your nearby parishes has classes for that, and for your daughter.

Welcome home.


Thank you, Dot, for not aborting your baby. I was a protestant all my life but am now entering the Catholic church–it will be official on Holy Saturday. I pray you will find the Catholic church your church home. I would suggest also that you find a women’s group–Bible study, prayer group, or whatever–to join within the Catholic church. You would find that your sisters in Christ would love and support you in your difficult role of single parent.

May God bless you and your child.


Yes, please come home to the CC!!!:smiley:


:slight_smile: Thank you all for your sincerity and kindness. I nearly cried when I read your replies. One of my favorite quotes from the Bible is when Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits.” So, please take it as a compliment when I say that you all are very fruity! lol :smiley:


I’m a convert to the church, so I say come on in the water is fine!

The usual method of getting instruction now is through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) in your local parish or a nearby one if need be. I actually had a Catholic friend from college who lived across the city, so I drove to her parish for instruction every Sunday morning and had her as a sponsor. I fell in love with her parish and actually changed offices and moved closer to it.

If you are already going to mass at a parish, look in the bulletin for RCIA and there may be a contact person listed. I was too nervous to talk to the priest when I first started coming to church, but I just called the number for RCIA and was invited to join the classes. The instruction usually runs from about September through Pentecost (after Easter) at my parish and the nearby ones. It may vary a little in your area, but the candidates will be received into the church during Easter week on Saturday at the Easter Vigil which is very beautiful. Even if it is too late for you to catch up on instruction for this year, definitely go to the Easter Vigil and see what you have to look forward to. I think it is the most beautiful mass (and longest) of the whole year.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a sponsor picked out. They can assign someone who is a volunteer (like me) who loves to help people on their journey into the church. In the meantime, don’t wait to get involved in the life of the parish. You can join a Bible study or women’s group or single’s group even before you are Catholic in most parishes. You might even meet someone whom you would want to be your sponsor next year.

I’m soooooo happy for you! Welcome home!!


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