Considering Marrying a Protestant.


Here is my situation. My girlfriend is a Born Again Christian (baptized in an Orthodox Church because her father at teh time insisted, he has since become a generic “Christian”. I try asking how to research her faith, she tells me to read the bible. I have found this to be very frustrating. I admire her Zeal for God/Jesus and cannot help but think what a great mother she will someday be.

As with most Protestants, she has difficulty understanding Marian Doctrines, and cannot see how praying to Mary makes any sense, she feels that Mary cannot even hear our prayers. I understand her concern however I don’t agree, but I am trying to be respectful to her on this.

Now comes the issue of raising kids. She understands that I will not change my faith and that I am actually getting stronger, but she also understands that for us to get married and start a future, we have to come into agreement. Here is what we have come up with, and tell me if that makes any sense to anyone.

We have tentatively agreed that we will be married in a Catholic Church, and the kids will get the Catholic Sacraments, this was her compromise as she has now come to accept the sacraments as beautiful (though she still views as symbolic, Eucharist, etc). My compromise would have to be to teach them not to pray to saints and not to pray to Mary.

Now, before everyone jumps on me on this, I know it’s not exactly right. My theory is that as we live together, and my wife see’s me praying the Rosary, continuing to teach her about the faith, hopefully getting her into the RCIA program just so she can learn, not so she can convert. When it comes to weekly Mass, we would go to the Catholic Church one week, and the next to her church (non-denominational) however that same week we will also be attending the Catholic Church on the Saturday. When it comes to school, maybe a private public school and rely on our teaching for their religious education.

I love this woman, she has many amazing qualities, she has just been steered as a protestant because this is the way she was raised, and I know this because I see it in her mother (who is also a fantastic woman). I feel that by doing what we are with our compromises, that I am leaving this in God’s hands, and that maybe someday she will come home even though she doesn’t even realize that Catholicism is coming home for everyone.

a) What are some problems I may face in the future that maybe I haven’t thought of.

b) Am I doing the right thing. The fact that she has come to see the Sacraments as she now does is a very big step in my eyes

c) Do we have a chance to succeed? I feel that this is God’s calling for me as it has forced me to learn my faith and now I am really into it.


Dear Go,

I’m with Dr. Laura on this one. Unless you have the religion thing COMPLETELY taken care of, don’t get married. And you don’t have it completely taken care of. If you think you are having a difficult time now, it is nothing compared to what you may have to deal with down the road. You say that hopefully, you can get her into an RCIA program. My friend, “hopefully” is not enough when you are considering who you want to be the mother of your children.

I know that many mixed marriages have resulted in the non-Catholic converting. I also know of many that have resulted in the children dropping all religion when they become adults.

Marriage and family life have challenges enough in our culture without starting out with the major one of not sharing the most important thing in life. The most precious gift you have to give to your children is your Catholic faith. It is nothing to gamble with.

You may have to face the fact that if you cannot get passed this hurdle, then this woman is not for you. You both are in my prayers.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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