Did your family accept your conversion?


#1

Hi. I’m new here.

I have attended Catholic Church sometimes and I even started RCIA classes once. I loved it. While I was in class, though, my mother called and one of my kids told her where I was. She freaked out. She was very upset.

Now, this may sound ridiculous to you because I am a 36-year-old grown woman. Why should I care what my family thinks? Right? But I do.

When I convert, my whole family, not just my mom, might really be upset. They’re atheists, agnostics, etc, but not Christians.

Has anyone else dealt with their family being upset about their conversion? What happened? Are you glad you went through with it?

Thanks.


#2

My whole family was shocked. But I converted anyway. I know they make fun of me behind my back, but I do not care. I am so happy that I finally came home! It has been a decision I have not one time regretted!:thumbsup:


#3

I think a few was surprised. I think for the most part that they didnt quite understand why. Of course I met my wife at church and two beautiful children later, I think that some understood it was my destiny. Catholic for 24 years, married for 18 years.


#4

Yes, and my dad converted about 12 years later!


#5

My husband and I converted five years ago.

We were “evangelicals of evangelicals,” richly involved in the life of our church. At least 5-6 days/evenings each week, we were either at church, or preparing for a ministry, or socializing with other people in our church.

We were kicked out of our church in February 2002. There was a tribunal, with pastors and other men that we had never even met and who didn’t know us. The charges were that we were undermining the leadership of the church and that we were refusing to submit to the pastors.

One of the men, someone that did not know me, and that I had never met before, told me that I was “unloveable and unteachable.” My husband lunged at him, he was so mad, but this just made the situation worse, because now there was “proof” that we were “dangerous.”

The primary accuser was the Children’s Pastor, a woman, who accused me in particular of leading the children in my choir astray and other heinous things. (Thankfully, there were always parents in the rehearsal with me, so her charges could be refuted. But the Tribunal did not bother to call in these parents, who for months, had no idea what had happened to their choir leader. They were told by the pastors that I had decided to leave the church.)

We were told by the tribunal to leave the church, and from then on, we were shunned.

Yes, it was as terrifying as it sounds. For a year, I had nightmares, grisly nightmares. Once I dreamed that they were cutting my husband legs off.

A year after our trial and ousting, the woman pastor was caught in a lie, and fired.

For a year before the ousting, we had been attending the Apologetics Class at the nearest Catholic church, just to be better informed about the Catholic faith. We had no intentions of converting, we just wanted to learn.

But thankfully, we HAD the Catholic Church after the ousting. We spent the next two years studying, and in 2004, we were received into the Church.

We have never told my father and brother. I think it would confuse them and cause them to cut off all contact with us. I just hope they die before I do, or it will be awkward for my husband to explain why I’m having a “Catholic” funeral.

My husband’s parents and siblings were shocked. My husband’s parents came to the Easter Vigil for our confirmation, but according to my daughter, he muttered all the way through it about “false church, whore of Babylon, etc.”

One of my husband’s siblings is completely accepting. The other sibling is wary and will not allow their children to be alone with us. That’s a blessing–their children are utter brats.

Our daughters were shocked at first, but they have trusted us since childhood. A few years after we converted, our older daughter converted, too.

And now, my husband’s parents are gradually getting more interested. A week ago, my father-in-law announced plans to attend our parish’s Fall Bible Study on the subject of Revelation. I just about fell through the floor!

I think that the reason they are getting more interested is a combination of our example, and the fact that their United Methodist Church is becoming more and more liberal socially and theologically. At Christmas time, their congregation was told that “God the Father CREATED Jesus.” A few weeks later, I challenged my FIL–he graduated from Bible College, and I asked him how he could sit there and listen to such drivel from a pastor (a woman pastor). He agreed that her theology is awful, but that they only attend the Church for the friendships.

I told him that in the Christmas Mass I attended, the priest’s homily was about the importance of accepting Jesus as our Savior and Lord. I asked my FIL–“Which church here is preaching the Biblical Gospel?!”

I think that got him thinking. He has also been listening to Father Corapi on EWTN, who is an excellent preacher.

We’ll see what happens.

At any rate, you should do what is right and trust that God will make things right with your family.


#6

Trust in Jesus and pray for peace. Here are the promises of Jesus to those who honor the Source of Love and Mercy: sacredheart.com/PromisesOfTheSacredHeart.htm

Margaret Mary quotes: books.google.com/books?id=ZmwBAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA64&dq=margaret+mary#v=onepage&q=&f=false


#7

Sounds like my mom. She found my rosary one day and burst into tears and refused to talk to me for the rest of the day. (She’s a pretty devout Hindu). Then for a week she made really derogatory comments about the Church. Then she just sat there and was grumpy about it. But these days she’s being grudgingly accepting and is even reading a couple of books about Catholicism I got her. I know it sucks really badly but all you can do is pray for their heart to at least soften enough to listen to you. And trust me, being Catholic is totally worth the icky stuff with the family for a while.


#8

My parents were rather ‘eh’ about it. My mother said to me, “Honey, this is your life, and if you feel that the Catholic Church brings you closer to God, then so be it.” My father, a former Southern Baptist preacher, was a bit more negative at first, but he came around eventually.

My husband though, he was dead-set against it. I can’t fault him though; he was raised in an Anti-Catholic setting. His parents are staunch Church of God, and unfortunately, their particular denomination is against Catholicism. (I know not all are, but their’s is.) However, hubby is slowly but surely coming around. He’s still unsure about it, but at least he’s not forbidding me like he used to. St. Monica and I have grown rather close recently. :thumbsup:

My inlaws don’t know yet. :blush: I have a feeling it’s going to a “scandal” when they catch word of it, so I’m praying that the Lord gives me the right words to say when the time comes.


#9

Oh, yes, my family did indeed give me a hard time. In fact, I haven’t met a fellow convert yet who didn’t get a lot of flack, whether their family of origin was atheist, believer, or indifferent. That is usually the hardest part of conversion, as family and friends will pull out all the stops to keep you from ‘abandoning them’. Don’t let that stop or discourage you.

My family was cafeteria Episcopalian, just observant enough in a fashionable enough church to be socially acceptable. My 4 younger sisters weren’t even baptized. When I decided to become more involved, getting my sisters baptized and teaching sunday school, I was cautioned not to become a ‘fanatic’. When I decided to become Catholic at 23, the big guns came out. I learned to my surprise that my mom was a fallen-away Catholic, and my dad a former Methodist, and that their indifference to religion masked a deep hostility to any expression of real, serious faith, but most especially Catholicism. I got a crash course in all the anti-catholic arguments, and was told that I was betraying the family. I couldn’t stay though, and be true to God - the accelerating departure from Christianity we see in that and in so many ‘Christian’ churches today was obvious to me then, 30 years ago.


#10

Oh yes, I converted 3 years ago, and it made my father very very upset. I grew up in a strict Lutheran home. The type of Lutheran is such that they’re pretty much Catholic-haters. In highschool, we had to take a class about other religions, Catholic included, and we were told why all those religions were wrong. Recently my sister told me at their church they were having a Bible study session about Catholicism, and how it’s wrong.

When I told my dad that I was becoming Catholic, he was very upset. I think he was also angry with me. He actually cried and said things like “Why would you do this?!” “Now I’ll have to walk you down the aisle at a Catholic church!” “We’ll have to go to your children’s First Communion at the Catholic Church” etc, all of which really hurt me, and still kind of has put a strain on our relationship to this day.

A year ago I moved back home with my parents after I graduated college. So now it’s rather awkward on Sundays when they go to their Lutheran church and I go to Mass alone. But I still go, each and every Sunday.

Am I happy I did it? Yes, very much so. I have never been more happy and content in my faith life. I feel like a new person, and that I have so much more respect and honor for my faith. It was a hard journey, but the outcome makes you appreciate it more I think. If everything in life were easy, no one would appreciate what they had to put into it.

I do still think he’s unhappy with my decision. But that’s too bad. He has so many misconceptions about the Catholic church that I know what he thinks about the Church is lies and just plain wrong. I’m only hoping that by living the Catholic lifestyle, I’m helping him open his eyes and see that what he’s taught about the Catholic faith isn’t really true.

So I say, if you’re feeling a pull to the Catholic faith, go through with it. It will be worth it in the end. Your relationship with God will be so much better, and that’s what matters in the end. You never know, perhaps once you go through with it, it will open your mom’s eyes and she won’t be so upset.


#11

For the most part, at first my dad was “If you’re happy, then I’m happy”… my mom wasn’t so supportive, and it took all of the tricks I knew about guilting someone into something to get her to come see me being confirmed. But now… well as this thread points out, it’s my dad who seems to have some issues with my conversion and Mom who seems to at least respect what I believe… or at least respects the fact that I believe differently… and have that right to do so.

Like you, Harmony Servant, I’m been growing pretty close to St. Monica (who I kinda of consider another mother figure, since St. Augustine and I have SO MUCH in common, especially with the first 30 years of his life, and the first 20-something of mine). Also, I’ve hidden a few green scapulars at their house… in the couch cushions, in the side pocket of the recliner, in between the mattress and box-springs… When I had them blessed, my priest asked me why I had so many of them. I told him about my plans to hide them in my parent’s house, and he just got a devilish grin and said something to the effect of, “Why you sneaky rat, you! I hope it works well for you, and them!”


#12

when I left Mormonism and became a Catholic that pretty much ended all communication with my entire family.

Jesus was/is worth it!:thumbsup:

Steph


#13

I’m personally formerly Church of the Nazarene. My great-grandmother was staunchly anti-Catholic, which had a lot to do with how long it took me to start the conversion process. I’ve an aunt and uncle who are some type of independent Baptist (we don’t talk about it) that actively evangelizes Catholics, which has made for a couple of interesting holiday meals since I starting attending Mass :smiley:

Most of the rest of my family is socially Christian of some stripe, so they aren’t bothered. I think they’re sort of hoping I’m going to be a cafeteria Catholic, though. I’ve definitely gotten the impression that they’re afraid to ask.


#14

My family was pretty shocked, but thankfully they were also really open about it. I think my mom mentioned something about disagreeing with my decision a few times but once she realized I was very serious about it, she fully accepted it. Her and my sister were at the Easter Vigil mass and were both happy for me, even if they felt a little uncomfortable. Since then she buys me religious books, pictures, magazines etc.


#15

My family still doesn’t know :o And what they don’t know won’t hurt me. :stuck_out_tongue:


#16

Like many others here, I am a former Protestant. I was a “Protestant’s Protestant” - deeply involved in the church, steeped in Calvinist/Reformed theology, daughter of an elder (leader) in the church…we even celebrated “Reformation Day” (celebrating when Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the door).

So you can imagine my family’s shock and dismay when my husband and I converted last year. His family was even more shocked - his mother is ex-Catholic, and she has some interesting opinions of Catholic doctrine that have made me wonder about her catechesis growing up. Anyway…

My parents are doing okay. They are very uncomfortable during Mass, but they do come with us when they visit. My inlaws haven’t visited since we converted, but my MIL is coming this week. It will be interesting to see how this goes…

For those who have family or friends giving you hard times over converting - continue praying for them. Ask the saints to pray…you never know what may happen. I am a good example of that.

I will tell you, I was a hardheaded one to convert, although I THRILLED to be Catholic. As part of my upbringing, I’d been taught all about how heretical the Catholic Church was. God forgive me, I even taught it when I was older. In fact, my animosity to the Catholic Church’s teachings (I never hated Catholics as people, only the doctrines) was so great that, after my conversion, a Catholic friend e-mailed me to say, “YOU became Catholic??” in utter shock.

Ironically, our Blessed Lord decided to use His Mother and St. Paul to bring me to the Catholic Church. I say “ironically” because, of course, I did not believe in all that “Mary worship,” and I had been taught that St. Paul’s writings were the basis of Protestant beliefs. But I had a fascination I couldn’t get over with our Lady, and I wanted to know more about her. I started researching, and eventually stumbled upon Catholic apologetics books and this site. Imagine my surprise when I realized that St. Paul was not “the first Protestant” but was in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church!

Our Lord is very patient…but He finally had to hit me over the head, figuratively speaking. After most of my questions were answered, and I realized my error, I had a St. Paul-on-the-road-to-Damascus moment - “So, why are you still protesting my Church? Why are you protesting me?” I could do no other than convert at that point.

So, on Easter Vigil 2009, my husband and I were received into full communion with the Church. And I chose St. Paul as my patron saint because I, too, once persecuted the Church (vocally, not physically) and his epistles led me home.

Those of you who are on this journey, know that you are in my prayers. :crossrc:


#17

Wow, all I can say is wow. Thank you, everyone. Your stories are inspiring.

My family is very liberal. If I wanted to be something more exotic, they’d accept it. If I announced that I was a lesbian, they’d accept that. My mom changes religions every couple of years. They accept that.

I feel pulled to join the Catholic church, though. When I think about it, I have been supportive, or at least tolerant, of all sorts of stuff that my family does. My attitude has been, “We’re family, I Iove you.” I think that they owe me the same respect.

I’m going to have to read this thread again. It’s inspiring.


#18

I was also a Protestant for many years. My oldest daughter attended a Southern Baptist school from pre-school through second grade. She was 16 almost 17 when I converted and she did not accept it. She is 19 now.

At her age, I would never dream of forcing her conversion. My middle daughter attended RCIA with me and received all the sacraments, and my youngest daugther received infant baptism. I am still praying for my oldest daughter, but she is not practicing any religion, though she claims to still believe what she learned as an evangelical Christian.

Nobody else in my family gave me any problems, but then, I’m the kind of person who doesn’t care about anyone’s opinion so it isn’t surprising nobody would say antying.:wink:


#19

Thank you for sharing that, Angels Unawares.

I have two kids, nine and twelve. The twelve-year-old and I have epilepsy. We take medication, but we both still have seizures. She feels abandoned by God. She says that if there were a God, we wouldn’t have epilepsy. Also, my ex-husband, my children’s father, is a violent, perverted drug addict who doesn’t take care of my kids. She feels that if there were a God, stuff like this wouldn’t happen.

So, I know that this is going to be a hard sell for her. She isn’t the kind of kid that is satisfied with ‘because I said so’. I also know that if she does find God, epilepsy and abandonement (by her stupid dad) will be easier to deal with.

I wanted to add that I am so impressed and pleased with the local church. I told them that I want to take RCIA classes, but I don’t have child care because I just moved here and my child has seizures. The priest is doing so much to make it possible. We may be able to have one-on-one classes. I feel so welcome. I’m so happy.


#20

All of you are in my prayers in converting to the catholic faith


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