Hi my name is Sidney jane and have joined this forum because my 30 year old married daughter has just recently told me that she is an atheist after being catholic for 30 yeras. I am heart broken and don’t know where to turn or what to do. Please any advice or help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Well the best thing you can do is talk to her about it. Ask the reasoning for it and ask if she really understands what it is that she is doing (Complete seperation from God). Try to help her with the things that have made her atheist.

Ultimately we cannot help someone who does not want help, we can only pray for them and hope that the Holy Spirit steps in.

She may think of herself as an atheist, but what she really is is a lapsed Catholic. She was baptized as a Catholic and can never NOT be a Catholic! You probably shouldn’t tell her that, though - it might lead to a nasty argument.

Pray for her unceasingly! Remember the story of the Prodigal - any of God’s children can go out and lead a profligate lifestyle, but God is always waiting and watching for our return, ready to forgive and celebrate! I am sure it is very heartbreaking to have a child turn away from the faith, but people still have free will, and she could always return after a time away.

Pray to St. Augustine’s mother, St. Monica. She, of all the saints, will be likely the most willing and understanding intercessor. She knows what you’re going through better than most.

How hard for you…I’m sorry. If it were me, I would ask her to sit down for a quiet talk. Then I would just calmly and kindly tell her you are not going to berate or nag her, you just want her to know how important your faith is to you and how much it hurts that she has chosen to turn her back on it. Then tell her although you won’t be “nagging” her about it you will be praying for her until your last breath. Then hug her and tell her you love her.

God answers prayer…you will need to turn her over to Him and trust that He’ll help her realize the error of her ways at some point. And just keep quietly living out a good example of a faith-filled woman so she knows it isn’t just something you talk about–it is your life.

Peace be with you my friend…I’ll say a prayer for the situation, too.

Dear SidneyJane, I have known people who were atheist for a time, yet after much prayer by loved ones, returned to the Faith.
St Monica prayed for many years before her son returned to God and indeed, became a great saint.
From the Bible: “Stop your crying and wipe away your tears. All that you have done for your children will not go unrewarded; they will return from the enemy’s land. There is hope for your future; your children will come back home. I, the Lord, have spoken.” [Jeremiah 31:16-17]
May God comfort you with hope

Perhaps you could acquaint her with the scientific facts surrounding the Shroud of Turin. There are innumerable incontrovertible facts-such as that there is real blood on the shroud, and that much of the pollen found on it is unique to Israel.
My godson came out as an atheist, and I responded that he should check out the facts of the Shroud of Turin. This may not work, but it may plant a seed and get them back on the right path.

URGHHHHHH!!! I hate that the Church promotes such silly thoughts, acting like they are a street gang. “There’s no escape!” :dts:

Lord, hear our prayers

She’s probably been an atheist for a LOT longer than you think. You don’t just become an atheist overnight, so I bet you she was just going through the motions for many, many years just to please you. And it probably broke her heart to have to tell you that she’s an atheist, but it also must have broken her heart that she had to have to live a lie in order to please her family!

So what I would say is that this didn’t happen overnight, and it won’t change back overnight either. You have to recognize that. If you don’t, you will have unrealistic expectations and that will make it MUCH harder on you!

Prayer and goodwill are, as always, the best remedy.

And I assure you of my prayers!

Thank you everyone for your wise advice and prayers . I will take them all and pray on them. In God’s love SidneyJane

I think that you should encourage her to participate in dailey mass more often. Ask her and talk with her about her faith.

I don’t think that in these times there is enough room for ignorance. There are so many phenomenoms going on around the world that it’s impossible in my perspective to be atheist. Try to relax and not worry too much about it. Blessings.:slight_smile:


You know your daughter. Is this just a phase?

But truly there is no escape, baptism leaves an indelible mark on ones soul as does priesthood. Once a Catholic always a Catholic and (side note) once a priest always a priest.

I struggle with this teaching immensely. I was baptized as an infant, and although I’m happy I’m Catholic now, I’ve been to the other side–and the resent is incredible. Maybe we should wait to baptize people until they’re old enough to make decisions for themselves?

Our Church is not a street gang. Baptism does leave a mark on your soul, so to speak. And that is why it is a serious undertaking for a couple to baptize their children. Those children now have more of a responsibility to learn and grow up Catholic, because they are so “marked,” and their parents must take that responsibility seriously.

When a baptized Catholic walks away from the Church, it is a very serious thing. Not a silly thing at all. I’m sorry you think of this in the wrong way.

And risk them dying without being baptized?

No thanks. That’s not how our faith works. That’s how the Baptists do it though.

I was once a Catholic and now am not a believer. I accept entirely that Catholics think I am still a Catholic. This view is no more or less rational than the other views on ‘spiritual’ matters held by Catholics. While I do not believe in ‘an indelible mark on my soul’, since I do not think I have a soul, I am sure there is an indelible mark on my brain. I still react to things in part as if I were a Catholic. I am predisposed to support strong families (although I support some strong families which would upset Catholics). And I respect people as equals no matter what their state in life, and do not assume that material success has anything to do with goodness, or the positive impact a person may have. I also retain an interest in the history and current activities of the Church. I support some Catholic charities. I explain (accurately I think) Catholic belief to others who misstate it. My advice would be: your daughter is your daughter, and was your daughter, even in your own belief, before she was a Catholic. She will have many positive attributes, and do many things and have many ideas with which you agree. You will love many of the same people in your own family and among your friends. You may have a common interest in family history, which will (probably) shown many religious comings and goings. Neither of you know what the future will bring. You each need the support of the other. Do what you can, within the reality of your beliefs. Enjoy your each others’ company. Be a family.

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