Church with Protestant Family?


Hello good people of CAF,

This is my first post on here, so my apologies if I don’t do this correctly. My problem is as follows: I am a convert to Catholicism of the age of 17. The rest of my family is Protestant (one parent is, in fact, a minister). Our normal arrangement is that I am allowed to go to the 5:00 Saturday Vigil Mass, and then, come Sunday morn, expected to attend a Worship Service with them. I don’t receive the Communion bread there, for it is just that, bread. I usually stand there and (attempt to) pray the Rosary in my head. This is because several pre-Vatican II documents -like my trusty ol’ Baltimore Catechism- denounce participating in non-Catholic worship as sinful. I fear that my hesitancy to refuse to go with them when I originally converted (in 2016) has allowed this situation to build up to a point where my weekends are now just an occasion of stress and worry. Am I sinning in all of this, and what do you guys recommend I do?

God love you,


You are 17. You are expected to obey your parents, and if they say that you need to go to their service with them then you should go to keep the peace. It is a commandment to obey your parents. We are permitted to go to a protestant service in the spirit of reaching out to our separated brethren - consider that your willingness to go with them may open their minds to coming to you as well.


My wife has zero issue going to my church with me…she actually likes taking something away from the sermon to think about vs her Catholic church where we just walk away confused or in awkward silence because the priest said something about non-Catholics.

If you don’t mind me asking, why did you put worship service in quotes? It makes it look like you’re saying what us non-Cathilcs do isn’t worship.


You’re a minor, and you should obey your parents. You’re fortunate that your parents allowed your conversion, and alliw you to attend Mass.


I can only speak for myself, but I love Evensong held in Anglican Cathedrals here in the UK. They have preserved a beautiful and dignified form of worship. I am very happy to share in that joint worship of God and Christ with my Anglican brothers and sisters. If only we Catholics would still sing the Magnificat in so many places with such dignity! And occasionally I also go and sit with Quakers who practice prayerful silence in a way rarely found outside of a monastery. No words, no sermons. We just sit - united in a belief that silence creates room for God to speak to us.

But that is just my personal experience.


I guess that’s you. Personally, it’s much easier for me to get out of bed for church on Sunday morning when I’m back home to go to my church with my family joining a body of believers in Christ that don’t care if you’re Catholic, Lutheran, etc… and I’m not going to hear or read a message about how flawed (or in some cases women users) non-Catholics are.

You may think that you don’t need a community for that, but personally I do and I prefer my community…I hear us non-Catholics are pretty good at it. Honestly, one of the last things that comes to mind when I think of the parish here is community…

Yep, I guess so. Then after that he won’t ever have to associate himself with those awful non-Catholics (who for some reason let him convert as a minor). #sarcasm

I’m not going to go on a tangent of who’s better or who’s worse, who has this or who has that…

OP, my wife goes to church with me whenever I go. It’s not a big deal and honestly every time we go together we’re able to take something away to think and talk about. I still wonder why you put worship service in quotes though…¯_(ツ)_/¯


TC3033, my apologies if that seemed offensive! I wasn’t sure what phrase to use, as I don’t believe there is a standard Protestant term for worship services, such as there is for the Latin Rite Mass and the Byzantine Divine Liturgy. My bad.


First post you say? Welcome, Lassie, and blessings to you. The other posters have spoken well but I’ll add that no, you are not sinning in all of this. I was 17 when I first began attending church. Unfortunately it was not a good experience, but youth do make some poor choices. Yours sound fine, though. :slight_smile:



Read the Church’s documents on ecumenism. This is not “pre Vatican II”. It’s “post Vatican II” and many disciplines in place since the reformation have changed.

You can certainly attend your parents church. You can pray, sing, and listen to the sermon. No need to try to pray the Rosary in your head. You rightly refrain from communion. It is fine to participate to the extent you feel comfortable in other aspects of the worship service.

We are all worshiping Jesus. Be charitable.


This is rude, condescending and insulting to Protestants. Sincere worship is pleasing to God. Faithful Protestants who attend services every week would disagree with your “nothing compelling” stance.

Had you never been Catholic I doubt you would actually feel that way either. I certainly didn’t in my 25 years as a church going non-Catholic.


Yes - I grew up with Protestants who went often multiple times a week. The sincere worship of God and the command to not forsake the assembling together of believers were motivation enough.

Now, 5pm mass, that’s a good motivation to sleep in.


You are a minor, also respect for your parents is kinda a commandment.

Be kind and joyful.


And stop reading trad sites. There’s a lot of stuff out there that’s not from the Catholic church so much as the Church of MyOpinions. Ask your priest if you’re unsure.


This is a very offensive post. I pray that you are exaggerating.


My husband and I converted to Catholicism from Evangelical Protestantism when we were both 47 years old. We’'re now 61 years old.

I agree with what everyone else has told you so far–as a minor (or as long as you are dependent on your parents for your daily bread and shelter), you are honoring God best by obeying your parents.

I would suggest that rather than praying the Rosary and trying to ignore what’s going on, instead, take advantage of the opportunity to learn everything you can about your family’s Protestant church/denomination. Take lots of notes, and when you are home, compare what you have heard in the Protestant church to what is in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible.

You will find that the Bible supports Catholicism, not Protestantism. That was the main reason we converted–because we saw the Bible come to life in the Catholic Mass!

But learn, learn LEARN! Maybe someday, you’ll be an apologist on Catholic Answers!

And pray for all the people in the pews around you. Love them with Christ’s love.


As a minor, you are charged to honor your parents. Once you reach your majority and move out of their home, you can do as you please.

It isn’t a sin to sing the hymns or listen to the sermon at the parents’ church.

A friend of mine in high school, his parents joined the local Christian Missionary Alliance Church, and he had to attend with them two nights a week plus twice on Sunday. Long sermons too.

Once he left home, that was that, I think the parents burned out as well sooner rather than later.

Right now, you are just a kid, adults aren’t interested in your opinion, and it really is worthwhile for young people to be nice to older people. We old timers are the ones with all the money and all the influence.


On the contrary. He may well influence his parents to stop protesting the truth.


It’s not that he won’t have to associate with non-Catholics. It’s more like he’ll be able to focus his energies.


I that’s one way of saying it, but by the tone of your post it more or less came out the way I interpreted it, and honestly think that’s exactly what you meant.

It’ll be interesting come Christmas time when he goes to one church and his parents go to another rather than staying together as a family (odds are he can fulfill his obligation at a time that doesn’t coincide with service at his parents church) because someone here says he shouldn’t attend NC services. Anytime pre-Vatican II and dealing with non-Catholics comes up, that raises red flags with me.

Kinda reminds me of going to my wife’s parish to be honest…


There’s Christ. He, himself said wherever two or three are gathered in his name, he is in their midst.

There are many paths to God. The poster should be glad his family is walking one of them even if it isn’t his. They all have the same destination.

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