Drawing Brother back to Church and Confession Issues


Hello all and apologies if this thread is in the wrong place,

Recently in my life I have been strongly moved back to my Catholic faith which I drifted away from somewhat during my teenage years. I believe this has been immeasurably beneficial for me and would like to my inspire my brother to connect with his Catholic faith as deeply as I have mine.

My brother is a confirmed and somewhat practicing Catholic, but was poorly catechized and is not particularly religious. I believe he is a good man who lives mostly by Gospel principles, but is fairly agnostic about the actual truth of the Church, or even of the existence of God. I also believe that in his heart, he wants to believe as he does occasionally attend Mass, expresses interest in the sayings of Jesus, etc.

I would like to invite him to Mass with me, encourage him to read the Gospels, and more, but I have one small issue. I know for certainty that he has not attended Confession in many years and I am worried about leading him into the mortal sin of desecrating the Eucharist. I myself am fairly scrupulous and he has attended Mass with me where I have chosen not to receive the Eucharist due to an unclear conscience. I think it is possible that he has committed a sin of grave matter (of this I am almost certain) but I do not believe that he has necessarily committed a mortal sin due to the criteria of full knowledge and full assent, because I don’t even recall learning this information growing up nor do I think he has ever researched it up himself. Therefore, I think he probably doesn’t know what constitutes a mortal sin.

Any advice on how to evangelize him/ get him to more deeply access his faith? And since I cannot for certain say he has committed a mortal sin, I am leaning towards not saying anything about going to Confession before attending church as I afraid that knowledge of the rules before the saving presence of Christ will only turn him away. But I also do not want to disrespect the body and blood of our Lord.

Thanks in advance and God Bless!


It is very noble of you to be concerned about your brother’s faith. However, remember it is his faith to develop. I think the best we can do is to pray for others and to invite them to the Mass, bible studies or any other events we might attend that help us grow in our faith. Otherwise, we run the risk of souring those towards the truth. We have to be careful to not try to run ahead of God’s grace. He has a plan for all of us and He grows us at different rates. God bless you :slight_smile: I will pray for you and your brother :slight_smile:


You need the patience
of st monica. Only by prayer and setting an example will he come to his faith. Always be open to answering questions and if he is in the car make sure you are playing catholic radio or a catholic cd. Above all, patience. Father richards cd on confession.


I would invite him to whatever is going on in your parish. Mass, Bible Study, Christmas concert, or whatever. Beyond that, let the Holy Spirit work. Advent is fast approaching and there are often extra times for confession, so that is a good time for someone who wants to to truly “come home for Christmas”, so invite him to that.

Side note: I have a friend who had married outside the church 30+ years ago. Even though the marriage had ended, she did not return to church…lots of hurt feelings, misunderstandings about things, and “problems” with confession. I spoke to her often about matters of faith, and she would tell me that she wasn’t ready, but to keep talking. So I did.

This went on for years. I invited her to musical events and she would come. Daily Mass, and she came for a little while (never receiving Communion, because she knew that would be “wrong”.) Sunday Mass. She came…and continued to come nearly weekly. Bible study…she signed up and attended one, then another.

I often spoke about my experiences with confession and encouraged her. I answered questions and tried to correct misconceptions. After 10 years, she came to me one morning and said, “I need to talk to that man (our priest) before Christmas.” I offered to make the appointment for her, and the rest is history. But truly, try let the Holy Spirit lead, and know that God’s timing is perfect, not ours.

Editing to add: As I posted this, I got a text from this person. She is in her 70’s and is looking for a house - something she never planned to do - because she just bought a trailer about 10 months ago, but someone wants to buy the land where the trailer is. She is stressing a bit. She ended by saying, ’ I’ll find a house, but only in God’s time not mine. You taught me that." Actually SHE taught ME that!


You could give him the warning of Jesus in Revelation, that He will “spew out of his mouth” the lukewarm. It sounds like your brother is lukewarm.


Yep…that’s sure to inspire his return to the Church.


Well, I am not opposed to a “tough love” approach in general, but I feel that in this particular case it wouldn’t be effective. I am not sure that someone who doesn’t definitely believe in God will be swayed by the threat of Hell. Especially when I am trying to reveal the love that Is God which is in his life.


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