Going to mass AND protestant service

This is where I’m at. I reverted in 2004, and I’m married with one child and one on the way. When I first joined the church I was on fire. There were lots of opportunities for growth as a Christian with young adult groups, bible studies and general gatherings. Now that I have a family, I am dissapointed with the lack of family involvement. I can barely pay attention during mass because I’m wrangling a 3 year old, none of the bible studies or groups provide childcare, so I’m unable to attend those, and the saddest thing is that if I stopped showing up at my parish (which I’ve been attending for 4 years) no one would notice. I know I could get more involvement at a protestant church. My son attends a preschool at a protestant church and they have so many opportunities for growth and drawing closer to Christ. There are women’s bible studies scheduled at the same time as a kids club mission, there are small group communities that enable people to grow closer in Christ. There’s Sunday school so parents can focus during the service and kids can learn about Jesus at their level. Not to mention men’s bible studies, community involvement and most importantly building relationships that are encouraged. I should also mention that my husband is not Catholic, and gets nothing from mass, and I want him desperately to be closer to God, and grow into the spriitual leader of our family.
Having said all of this, I still believe in most of the teachings of the catholic church, and therefore intend to continue attending mass, with the addition of attending the protestant church. Any comments,suggestions, helps?

Perhaps you could take the lead and talk to someone in the parish about becoming more involved.
Especially, if you were “on fire” at first, don’t lose that fire, pass it on. That’s the Holy Spirit.

I was ready to drop out because no one knew who I was at my parish, and then I had to take that first step and reach out-- it was very, very difficult.

Going to two churches may confuse things. There have to be others who are in your same situation who would join with you.

The women’s Bible group has been a life saver for me.

Jesus would notice!

He started the Catholic church and wants you there.

It is very hard with a little one, no question. If there is nothing available for you, could you talk to the priest and try to get a mothers group together? When you attend the baptismal classes try to connect with the new moms.

Maybe a Bible study could be started when your husband is available to babysit. You aren’t the only one who may feel isolated, especially with a small child. Your parish may need you to get something going for the young parents, but with another one arriving it is going to be even harder!

Maybe going to Mass alone once in awhile would give you a chance to pray in peace.

Keep reading different threads here and you’ll learn why the Catholic Church is important. So many teachings and “rules” in the church will make more sense and will be easier to agree with when you learn the background of the teachings and that they weren’t pulled out of thin air or “made up.”

Is there another parish nearby that you could check out? If not, please don’t let the lack of programs slowly take you away from the Eucharist. The Eucharist is much more important for feeding your soul than study groups and the Protestant church doesn’t have

:hmmm:Anni, You know that celebrating mass with your Catholic community on Sunday and during the week when ever you are able is all about Jesus, not so much about us!
Your little 3yr old will soon outgrow the stage she is in, teach her at home before leaving for mass how important it is to be quiet and well behaved for all the other people attending the Mass celebration and of course for Jesus. Unless your husband attends Mass with you , perhaps he would be willing to mind your little one on occasion and also help with her so that you can attend Bible study and other church activities.
I am sorry , Anni, but I do not think it is at all necessary to attend a Protestant service as well as your own…no matter the reason. God bless and Peace, Carlan

Mass is more the point in this case. I don’t know if she’s receiving the Eurcharist, but admitting to believing only most of the Church’s teachings, and attending Protestant (heretical) services is a problem. Those issues should be resolved before receiving communion.

Thanks for all you comments. I have looked into other Catholic churches in my area, and there are opportunities there. So I guess I have to go to two or three different churches in order to get what I need as far as a community of believers? I am going to attend a new Catholic church tomorrow that does have some programs that I’d enjoy such as a mom’s group.
Thanks for your encouragement. I’m going through a faith crisis right now, and praying a lot for guidance.

Alexander: If I started attending a protestant service in addition to Catholic mass, would I be prohibted from recieving communion? I hadn’t thought about this.

I’m praying for you and your family— God bless you with whatever you need at this time!

The reason you would want to begin attending a Protestant Church could be something you need to discuss with your confessor Priest. Peace, Carlan

Raising a toddler, and a soon to be new infant is a busy job, in and of itself. This too shall pass, they do grow up; ) Don’t give up Mass just because things “are not” convenient for you, Mass isn’t about you, it is about hearing and being taught The Word of God, and it is about receiving our Lord’s body, blood, soul and divinity…He will nourish and strengthen you…

May I suggest attending a Ladies Society meeting, perhaps they could help…

Your husband may not be catholic now, it may take twenty-years, but I have seen it happen. With God nothing is impossible…my husband is living proof of that


Perhapse God is testing your faith.

The Catholic Church is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church established by Jesus Christ himself, as God"s instrument for salvation in the world. The Catholic Church alone possesses the real presence of Christ made possible through the hands of its priests and alone possess forgivenss of mortal sins through the hands of those same priests.

Do you believe that? Are you willing to give that up? If you are willing to give that up, what are you willing to give that up for? Does your heart lie with God and the one Church he himself established as his kingdom on earth, or do you give that up for fellowship at a Church started by some guy? Remember that it may be a mortal sin for you to worship at a Church which you know teaches errors in regards to the true faith.

I think God is testing you, to see where your loyalty lies.


If you believe in the CAtholic church and teaching then you have no choice. No you may not leave over something such as child care.

Every parish I or my daughters have belonged to that has a good preschool program is one that was started by parents. Get together with other parents in the same situation. This will prove invaluable as your children grow older together you have a built in support network as they start CCD-RE, prepare for sacraments, go through jr high and high school. Some of my most solid life-long friendships started with preschool, through Catholic school, scouts, CCD, confirmation etc. I have been godmother to the babies of some of those original preschoolers. Half of DD’s girl scout troop started with her kids in preschool at their parish (which she started).

Catholics can have anything they want in their parishes, they don’t have to go elsewhere, they just have to be willing to step up to the plate == in time, talent and financially–and make it happen.

I should say that I don’t want to attend this other church for reasons of child care. I want fellowship, a community of believers and something for all members of my family. I’m not leaving the catholic church, but I will attend the women’s bible study that is offered at this other church.
Also, I work part-time, attend school and am a full-time mom. Starting something in my church is a lot to ask. Although I have found other catholic churches that offer mom’s groups, which I mentioned above.
I appreciate those of you who have been supportive and encouraging.

Believe me, we all want fellowship in our parish communities, but sometimes the people aren’t too nice, or nobody wants to be friendly, or the groups are all scheduled wrong for you, and you feel alone. You just have to ask yourself, do you want the Mass more than fellowship, or do you want fellowship more than the Mass? Be confident and consistent in your belief, and even if people aren’t warm to you, you can still be comforted by the fact that you are doing what God wants you to do.

Also regarding attention during Mass while dealing with your child, I say, just don’t worry about it. You are not sinning just because your attention is being drawn away by your child, it happens to moms, dads, and anyone dealing with children in church. Just try to be respectful, and focus your attention on Mass as best you can. It’s not your fault you are being distracted. I’m sure God understands.

It would be best for you to talk to a priest about this, but attending both would definitely cause a conflict considering the strong division between Catholicism and protestantism. I think it would benefit you to leave that behind, and commit yourself to finding peace in a Catholic parish.

This sort of thing is exactly what my wife and I are dealing with right now. Minus the troubles with a 3 year old. Our son tends to behave rather well knocks on wood.

The trouble we’re finding is there are no means to grow as a Christian in this parish, save for sponsoring someone in RCIA. There was a Catholic Apologetics program, but the leader was asked to shut it down due to her poor understanding of the Catholic faith. There are no bible studies, there are no CCE classes, or anything else. And that goes for most of the parishes in our area (within 1 hr driving distance).

The Methodist church I came from was full of it. Sunday school classes for everyone, bible studies throughout the week, a booming youth group, and the ministries we had. It really seems that what I’m running in to is “I don’t need to do all that. I’m Catholic and go to mass.”

I grew up up in a very sheltered all Catholic school etc., which kids don’t have now.
I didn’t know what “Sunday school” was. Our parochial school was “immersed” in religion, every subject was taught from a Catholic perspective-- it was the 1950’s!!!

You HAVE to have more than just Sunday Mass, or you can easily slip into “church should be a Social Club” thinking.

My sister left the Church and is a fundamentalist now because they have something going on almost daily, they also have over-simplified beliefs, no doctrine, loud music, regular “entertainment” and “good ol’ hellfire and brimstone preachin’.” (Her words, not mine).

We do need the fellowship, but we need the education, too. Our women’s Bible group morphs from support, to learning, to fun, sharing, praying-- everything.

Young people will be pulled into “youth groups” at Protestant churches because of the social aspects, (Pizza?) then they start dating a non-Catholic, and it goes on from there-- you see it on CAF all the time.

I guess it depends on the parish. Some parishes have a lot of resources, a lot of people, and have more ability to offer lots of programs and activities. Some do not. It also depends on the congregation there and sometimes the priest and council. The church I attend does not have a lot of programs like that, but I know of a lot of other local parishes that do. I have stepped up and help to create a couple of different christian services programs that people seem to like and take part in. The thing is, unless folks step up and create these programs, there will be none. Our priests are so overworked these days that they can’t be expected to do everything.

In any case, don’t let a lack of programs or activities chase you out of the catholic church. Work to make things different or better for you. There’s more to consider than the programs, especially when you consider the sacraments. And the fact that the catholic church is the church Jesus founded. All the sunday school programs in the protestant church can’t change that.

I have a suggestion about the Bible Study, if you can locate 8 or 10 similarly minded ladies, check out Catholic Scritpture Study International, pick a study. Meet at someone’s house every week, rotating is fine, also take 1/4 of the group and assign them to child care each week. So every 4 weeks each person has childcre duty. It’s a workaround but it might work-if everybody is committed.

CSSI has somne 8 week studies, these come with video lecture, notes, questions and answers. Give it a look see.

If I’m not mistaken we can go to a Protestant service only as an observer and not be a participant. We also cannot forgo our obligation to attend Mass on Sundays.

I know of this guy that his parents were always active in Church and so was he. Once he became of age and went off to college he joined the FOCA. I told him he needed to be careful and to not be in a position that he would stop going to mass and face the possibility of being converted. He started dating a non-catholic and he said if there was any conversion he would see to it that his friend would convert and not him.

Well to make a long story short, even though he would go to mass he also started attending services with his girlfriend at her church and attending “bible studies” which meant others knew he was a Catholic and pretty soon they started pointing to scripture and saying such and such and the Catholic Church was wrong.

I have sorta lost contact with him and don’t know if he is still attending Mass but the last contact my son and his fiancee had with him, he said that he believed that in order to get married all he had to do was get together with his girlfriend, make a vow to each other and they would be considered married in the eyes of God, because in scripture it says that where two or more are gathered, He will be there too and that God will marry them.

So no matter how much your Protestant friends will say that all they are doing is studying scripture, pretty soon they will start picking verses here and there in order to prove the CC wrong.

----Bad news—

Well, I went to a non-denomination service this morning, and almost cried by the lack of substance. My husband really liked it, and until we get a bible study at my parish, I’ll be going to their bible study. Although I am convicted in the truths of the Catholic church, if this other church helps my husband be closer to God, I’ll go with him.

You are definitely in my prayers, because this is risky behavior. If you are outnumbered,
“they” can be very aggressive.

Pray some Catholic Prayers, make the sign of the cross when you start, don’t let them do this to you. You said you were on fire at first-- keep the flame alive.

Please, please, stay on CAF and let us support you.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.