Dad resentful of conversion


#1

I am almost 27 and I converted to the Catholic faith this past April 2010 at the Easter Vigil. I was raised partly Methodist, partly non-denominational/conservative Protestant. My parents go to the local nondenominational "megachurch" and are conservative, bordering on legalistic. They, especially my dad, were opposed to my conversion, thinking I was falling into serious error. We tried to have some calm discussions so that they could understand more of the Catholic faith and I could understand their concerns, but those discussions ended quite a while back.

I thought that in recent months, my dad had started to soften a little regarding my conversion - but I found out today that I was way off. He told me today that he is becoming increasingly angry and resentful toward the Catholic Church because of "what it's done to me." He asked me to not talk about it very much around him because it makes him mad. I told him I didn't really understand, but heard what he was saying; he said, "Well, if you had studied what I've studied about cults..."

Any suggestions for how to proceed in my conversations with them? It wouldn't be right to hide my faith, and it's the most important thing in my life, but I also don't want to cause discord in ways that are not necessary. I'm even in very serious discernment for the diocesan priesthood.

For perspective, I'm the oldest of 7, and the youngest is only 6. The other three that are adults do not go to church anywhere anymore.


#2

I would proceed by not having conversations with them on this topic. You don’t have to hide your faith-- if you visit them, go to Mass-- just don’t make a big deal out of it. When I visit my non-Catholic dad/step-mom, I always go to Mass. But, I’ve prepared ahead of time knowing the times and the route to get to the church and I pick an off time-- like the 8 am mass so that it won’t interfere with dinner time or lunch or whatever plans they have. If I pray or say the rosary or whatever, I do it in the bedroom.

My biggeset witness to them is just in my actions-- just being kind, Christian charity, etc.

Congratulations! don’t drop that bomb on them until/unless you decide to actually become a priest. And, then just say it matter of fact, and don’t open it for discussion. Make it a statement, not something you are asking an opinion on.


#3

Congratulations and welcome “home”!! :slight_smile:

Good advice from 1ke!

There is no point really in speaking to your father because anger and resentment in one’s heart leave no room for much else. This anger and resentment is not of the Lord (you can guess where it stems from!), so I would follow the sage advice of 1ke. Love conquers all. Pray and pray even more for your dad for his heart to open up and have room for acceptance and truth, and for the strength for your perseverence and humbleness.

blessings and peace of Christ,
CEM


#4

:rolleyes::nope::dts:

A cult? What it’s done to HIM? What has this “cult” done to him specifically? Has he ever had anything to do with the Church other than “losing” his eldest son to the Cult of Catholicism? I mean, did he leave the Church or was he abused by a priest, etc.? (and no, I am not making light of anyone who HAS been molested.) If we are a cult, we are the largest cult ever, with something like 2 billion members. I guess he must think the Pope has a LOT of power over that many individuals. :shrug:

Honestly, I don’t know if you are going to be able to discuss your faith with your parents. As long as they will still see you, invite you over, come to your place, then just be with them and the rest of your family as if you were with strangers. You wouldn’t necessarily discuss your faith with people you didn’t know well, and in a way, you have a separation from your parents. I know it’s not comfortable, believe me, I know. I can’t talk to my husband about my faith either, since he doesn’t share my convictions but is kind of “faking” being Catholic for our sons’ sake while they grow up. It is a huge part of me that I can’t live out within our relationship, and I find it very sad.

But life goes on. I just don’t talk about those things with him. I have to pray and I can share stuff with our oldest son. So choose your company and share with them. Make sure you have good support from other Catholics and it gets easier. Just finding this forum has helped me tremendously. Other forum members remind me to pray, meditate on St. Monica, pray the rosary and do Adoration. It’s a great support community when you feel alone.

God bless you for converting. I love your signature “Tiber Swim Team!” LOL


#5

Welcome to the Catholic Church!

Here’s a couple of my thoughts from a parent of a large family ranging from toddler to twenty. Your dad probably wonders what he did “wrong” since you joined the Catholic church and his three other adult children stopped going to church. It sounds like his faith is important to him and he’s worried about you.

He doesn’t sound like a bad man–he sounds like a paretn who is a serious Protestant with misunderstandings of the Catholic faith. He is worried about you based on his misunderstandings. He might have other worries about other things going on in your life too. Parents often worry about our children, even once they are adults.

Has he told you what he thinks the Catholic church has “done to you”? Is there something else going on in your life that would give him cause for concern apart from your conversion? Did he share with you what he’s learned about “cults”?

It sounds from your post like you want to discuss your Catholic faith with him in depth. He has asked you not to do that because it makes him angry, and I suggest you respect his request. If you dad is ever ready to talk about religion with you again, discuss that things you share in common with him rather than the differences. But don’t do that unless he brings up the subject. He may bring it up again, and if he does, do not argue. Allow him to have his own faith and to make his own mistakes, (which is what he thinks you are doing with Catholicism.) And remember to pray for him and the situation.


#6

[quote="Bbigam, post:1, topic:224574"]
I am almost 27 and I converted to the Catholic faith this past April 2010 at the Easter Vigil. .

[/quote]

Welcome home! I converted 6 years ago and each year gets better!

[quote="Bbigam, post:1, topic:224574"]
I was raised partly Methodist, partly non-denominational/conservative Protestant. My parents go to the local nondenominational "megachurch" and are conservative, bordering on legalistic. They, especially my dad, were opposed to my conversion, thinking I was falling into serious error. We tried to have some calm discussions so that they could understand more of the Catholic faith and I could understand their concerns, but those discussions ended quite a while back..

[/quote]

Most protestants do not know enough about the faith and are taught a lot of untruths. Your dad thinks you are in a cult, but does not want to hear truth. Pray for his heart to be softened. Pray many rosaries for him, our Ladies laso will rope him in over time.

[quote="Bbigam, post:1, topic:224574"]
I thought that in recent months, my dad had started to soften a little regarding my conversion - but I found out today that I was way off. He told me today that he is becoming increasingly angry and resentful toward the Catholic Church because of "what it's done to me." He asked me to not talk about it very much around him because it makes him mad. I told him I didn't really understand, but heard what he was saying; he said, "Well, if you had studied what I've studied about cults...".

[/quote]

My husband is Methodist and I did not know he was anti-Catholic until I said I was going to convert. He listened for a while as I explained early church history, but now will not talk about it. Just pray. My husband will not enter a Catholic church. I go to Mass, then attend church with him every weekend as my priest said my vocation is my marriage. You need to still honor your parents. When you visit, make it clear you will be going to Mass, then you will attend their church, it does help the family relationship. There are times my husband brings up something said in a sermon and I can share what a Catholic would think. He is softening a little after 6 years.

[quote="Bbigam, post:1, topic:224574"]
Any suggestions for how to proceed in my conversations with them? It wouldn't be right to hide my faith, and it's the most important thing in my life, but I also don't want to cause discord in ways that are not necessary. I'm even in very serious discernment for the diocesan priesthood.

For perspective, I'm the oldest of 7, and the youngest is only 6. The other three that are adults do not go to church anywhere anymore.

[/quote]

Don't hide your faith, your dad needs to know you still love Jesus. He is worried you are no longer saved and he needs the assurance you still follow Jesus. He may also think he lost his only adult child that attends church and that hurts. Try to keep a good relationship with him.

Pray, Pray, Pray.


#7

[quote="Bbigam, post:1, topic:224574"]
He told me today that he is becoming increasingly angry and resentful toward the Catholic Church because of "what it's done to me."

[/quote]

:confused:

What does he think the Catholic Church has done to you?


#8

There is great joy in heaven over you decision. Welcome, welcome, welcome home.

I know your situation is difficult but it can be overcome. Might I suggest you contact your local Knights of Columbus chapter and request of them their series of pamphlets that tell about the Catholic Church. Maybe if your parents can read them it may soften their attitude, if not interest them in Catholicism.

Another method is to contact Marcus Grodi at EWTN and talk to him. Marcus is an ex-Presbyterian minister who was vehemently anti-Catholic, but today is one of the major defenders of the Church. There are many other converts available to help you. Keep the faith and trust in Jesus. Shalom haMeshiach.

PAX DOMINI :signofcross:

Shalom Aleichem


#9

[quote="gardenswithkids, post:5, topic:224574"]
Welcome to the Catholic Church!

Here's a couple of my thoughts from a parent of a large family ranging from toddler to twenty. Your dad probably wonders what he did "wrong" since you joined the Catholic church and his three other adult children stopped going to church. It sounds like his faith is important to him and he's worried about you.

He doesn't sound like a bad man--he sounds like a paretn who is a serious Protestant with misunderstandings of the Catholic faith. He is worried about you based on his misunderstandings. He might have other worries about other things going on in your life too. Parents often worry about our children, even once they are adults.

Has he told you what he thinks the Catholic church has "done to you"? Is there something else going on in your life that would give him cause for concern apart from your conversion? Did he share with you what he's learned about "cults"?

[/quote]

You sound like you really understand my dad! I don't think he has concerns about other areas of my life, but mainly that I have fallen into serious error and been "sucked in" to the Catholic Church. I haven't had a chance to ask him what the Church has "done to me." When he was angry would have been a bad time and that was just this morning. Thanks for your insights, they are helpful.

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:4, topic:224574"]
:rolleyes::nope::dts:

A cult? What it's done to HIM? What has this "cult" done to him specifically? Has he ever had anything to do with the Church other than "losing" his eldest son to the Cult of Catholicism? I mean, did he leave the Church or was he abused by a priest, etc.? (and no, I am not making light of anyone who HAS been molested.) If we are a cult, we are the largest cult ever, with something like 2 billion members. I guess he must think the Pope has a LOT of power over that many individuals. :shrug:

[/quote]

He's never been Catholic, nor has my mom, nor has anyone else I know of in the extended family. But they grew up in an area near Pittsburgh that was overwhelmingly culturally/ethnically Catholic, and they saw families (for example) get drunk all the time knowing they could go to confession, and my mom's family was pretty persecuted and hated for being Protestant. My mom doesn't like my conversion either, but she's quite nice about it. They already know I'm considering the priesthood.

I should also note that I live in the same town as my parents. In fact, I'm one of only 2 of the kids that have moved out (the other is out of state and married). So visiting them is a matter of stopping by for lunch and such.

Thanks everyone for the welcomes and for the great comments so far! This is my first foray into the Family Life forum and I find it quite friendly so far!


#10

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