Fallen (from the Church) Relative



I could use any information/advice possible for a relative of mine (SIL), who has fallen away from the Church. I have run out of ideas of my own to try and talk with her/help her.

She has a lot of issues, regarding alot of the Catholic church teachings (ie: contraception, sex before marriage, annulments). I undertsand one possibility is therapy. I also know NO ONE can help her, until she wants to be helped. She said she KNOWS she has a problem. I’m just looking for anything any one out there may have experienced or found something that worked that we may not have though about yet.

Backstory: She has been baptised and confirmed Catholic. I’m not sure when she stopped going to church, but I have known her for about 5 years and she was not going when I met her. Her parents got divorced when she was in her teens. She does have issues with alcohol. She believes that Religion and the Bible are MAN MADE and no one has a right to tell her how to live her life. She currently has a live in boyfriend, who has been separated from his wife for awhile (years), but not divorced. My MIL gave her the book “23 minutes in hell” to read and she read the first 20-30 pages and said she found it comforting that there are different levels of hell and that hopefully she will be in one of the least harmful levels.

I understand this seems like a very difficult situation and in the very least anyone who reads this please take the time and at least say a prayer for her and her family. Thank you and God Bless!


What you describe can be frustrating and painful. I have some similar situations in my own family. I would only suggest that you pray for the intercession of the Blessed Mother that her heart is softened and she recieves the grace of repentence. Remember, ultimately, there is nothing you can do. It will be the work of the Holy Spirit who heals her. As Padre Pio says “Pray, hope and don’t worry.” Be joyful in your suffering for her.


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