How do I convert my Protestant girlfriend?


#1

My girlfriend and I have been going out for almost two years now, and in that time both of us have become much better Christians. I was raised a Catholic, and always considered myself to be Catholic, but a non-practising one. She was never really a Christian, but didn’t really have thoughts one way or another. However, she then decided to attend a Presbyterian Church with a friend of hers, and has since been “born again” and become a Christian. This influenced me to learn more about Christianity, and in particular the differences between Protestantism and Catholicism, as I found it strange that some of the members of her church thought that Catholics aren’t Christians. Anyway, my research opened up my eyes to the world of Catholicism, and I can say that I am now a practising Catholic.

Things with my girlfriend are going really well, however we seem to have some big problems with religion. I want to ask her to marry me, but she is adamant that we will not be able to marry if one of us doesn’t convert. I think the differences in our religion are a lot smaller than she thinks, but she disagrees and says that is yet another thing that we disagree about!

At the moment she has exams, and so I don’t really want to burden her with a lot of work, but after her exams I have two weeks before she travels overseas to Mauritius. In this time I want to have a big effort at converting her. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I should do this? One of her biggest stumbling blocks is in the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, and in particular, the Pope. How can I convince her that the Roman Catholic Church was the church that Jesus founded, with Peter at its head, and with Peter’s successors maintaining that authority? This last point seems to be her biggest stumbling block. Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer me their advice!


#2

[quote=Atreyu.
]
The differences are great.If you are both convinced about your respective religions,you will want your children brought up in that religion.A catholic cannot just say,"let the children make up their own mind about religion when they become adults."Let your girlfriend go to Mauritius and pray while she is away.Her remark that your religion is just another thing you disagree about makes it sound like she is not that interested in marriage.In addition,your new-found enthusiasm for your Catholic Faith is going to get tested here.Are you prepared to give up this woman for your Faith?
I got talking to a young woman on another website about a year or so ago.Her boyfriend had a catholic background,she had only quite recently become a Protestant Christian.According to the way she was talking,he seemed to think it was ok to ignore the Catholic Church Teaching on birth control before they were married,but not to use contraception after they married.She was obviously a liberal protestant who was disagreeing about this,she
thought it was all about the woman’s right to choose.
[/quote]


#3

first of all, be very patient, and pray alot. if God wants her to see the truth of the CC, He will show her. give her time, and work through one stumbling block at a time, i am in a very similar situation, though my girlfriend has been pentacostal all of her life. it is challanging, but dont give up. there are lots of great resources on the catholic.com website, as well as many many great books, study and learn, and teach her. if she is not ready to marry you, she will use this as an excuse, so be patient with that as well. heres a few of the things i’d reccomend really really start learning lots, and learn how to teach and defend these, because they are usually the biggest stumbling blocks:

Real prescence in the Eucharist
Confession
Necessity of baptism/infant baptism
Mary and the saints
Purgatory
Authority of the Church

i have to run, ill post again later


#4

This sounds like my situation five years ago. I fell in love with a wonderful Catholic woman. I was born and raised in the Church of Christ. I knew that there was no way I would ever become Catholic! We knew that we were meant for each other so our “compromise church” was a local, conservative Methodist church. However, last year I decided on my own (and no doubt the Holy Spirit calling me) to explore Catholicism. I could not ignore the truth. After much research, soul searching and prayer, I told my wife that I wanted to become Catholic and she was overjoyed. She became my sponsor and I was confirmed at this year’s Easter Vigil. Our love is deeper, our marriage has been strenghened and we could not be happier (unless we had children and hopefully that will be soon!) :slight_smile:

I would start by sharing Protestant conversion stories. There are many books that I have read over the past year. “Crossing The Tiber” and “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic” are must reads, IMO. If your girlfriend is not a reader, watch “The Journey Home” on EWTN together. It’s on Monday nights at 7:00 central time.

God bless and good luck!


#5

First, I would reccomend pre-evangelization. This is living the faith, and setting an example. Perhaps telling her that you want to spend some time with the Lord in Holy Adoration, then she might just want to know what is actually going.


#6

First of all, you can’t convert her. That is up to God, although he might work through you. I would hold off on my plans to ask her to marry me and spend a lot of time in prayer. You have to leave yourself open to the possibility that this might not be the woman that God has in mind for you.

It should be easy to open up a discussion of Catholisim with her. Ask her questions about what she believes and why. In a charitable way, share the differences in Catholisim and why you think that Protestantism falls short. Don’t push her. The worst thing that could happen is that she convert just to please you. She could end up resenting both you and the church.


#7

Kimberly Hahn once said at a conference that her and Scott’s relationship was a lot better when he learned the difference between being a husband and being the Holy Spirit. Conversion is the Holy Spirits job.

Sooner4Christ has the right idea. Live the faith, partake of the sacraments. Let her and others* see the Catholic faith lived out in you.

*others is important. If you make this all about her it’s manipulation. If it’s about who you are it could be very attractive.


#8

Pray a lot about this particularly when you go to Eucharistic Adoration.

Jeff Schwehm
www.catholicxjw.com


#9

I can relate quite well with this situation. It is almost verbatim with mine. All I can say, is don’t let much time pass. You both know what eventually needs to happen, so decide together to work on it soon.

My girlfriend is Baptist and I am the Catholic. We were dating for almost 4 years and she was on a slow process of conversion to the Church. We were planning on marriage in the near future. Then 2 weeks ago, she went to a Baptist camp for a week, and when she came back, she said she could never be Catholic and split up with me. I would never have taken it so slow if I could do it over again. That, and I would not allow any camp attendance :nope:

Have a list of topics to discuss, such as the Eucharist, the papacy etc., then study up on it and go talk to some professionals down at the local church with your girlfriend like a priest.

Good luck,
Michael


#10

I can also relate to your situation. My husband did not convert to the Catholic faith until a year after we were married. I was patient and respectful of his beliefs, but steadfast and persistant that I felt the Catholic faith was the right religion for me. He agreed then to be respectful of my choice because he said he truly loved me. I never pushed the issue of him converting, instead I just planted seeds and prayed, and most importantly lived my faith to show him the fruits of my religion. He went to church with me and questioned the things I did (saying the rosary, going to confession, etc.). In his search to understand why I did these things, he ulitimately realized that he wanted to be Catholic as well. Live the faith, pray and answer questions. The Holy Spirit will do the rest.


#11

you cannot convert anybody, the Holy Spirit does that. What you can do, and the most effective obvious way that many apologists forget about, is to live fully the Catholic way in every aspect of life. Become immersed in the prayer life and worship of the Church, especially the Eucharist and adoration, and carry it out to every aspect of your life - work, family, this relationship. If you are conducting your romance in any way that goes against Church teaching, end it and tell her why (please no details).

let her see the fruits of your own conversion, because those who have undergone conversion are more convincing witnesses.

Search and Rescue by Patrick Madrid is the classic, essential guide for you.


#12

[quote=puzzleannie]you cannot convert anybody, the Holy Spirit does that.
[/quote]

My thoughts exactly!! smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_1_67.gif


#13

[quote=Atreyu]. In this time I want to have a big effort at converting her. Does anyone have any ideas as to how I should do this? One of her biggest stumbling blocks is in the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, and in particular, the Pope. !
[/quote]

Dear Atreyu,

  1. Pray, say the Rosary. Devote time with our Lord Jesus in Adoration. Did I say PRAY?? I have found the hard way that WE cannot convert. But through the Grace of God, HE will convert her.

  2. Pope Fiction is a great book on the history of our Popes and how Jesus began and is still part of His Church using Popes.

  3. Pray some more. Your example will speak VOLUMES! Live as Jesus would have you live.

  4. If she isn’t ready and willing to listen and ask - you can’t make her. God gave each of us Free Will. Ask and Ye shall Recieve. Seek and ye shall Find. So if she isn’t asking or looking only Divine Intervention will work - Pray. And ask our Blessed Mother for help in praying!!!

  5. Beware of “I want her to convert” I want, I need. God is not about I. Ask God to make her as He would have her - Thy Will be done.:gopray2: :gopray2:

God Bless,
Donna


#14

I was raised lutheran and am married to a catholic,although i,m a member of my wifes parish and attend mass with her every week as well as participate in parish life(volunteer at parish food bank,etc.)i have not officially converted,although i feel i,m definitely in communion with the church in my heart.have respect for one anothers beliefs,emphasize the things you have in common as christians first,take her to mass,get involved in parish activities,i was blown away by the way catholics lived out there faith at our parish by feeding and housing the homeless,etc.although i consider myself a "traditional christian"i have fallen in love with my catholic christian brothers and sisters and they welcomed me with open arms as well. in christian unity, celt


#15

When my wife and I married 4 years ago we were both dedicated Protestant Evangelicals. I converted to Catholicism two and a half years ago and my wife was not happy at all at first. She began going to mass with me and got involved at the parish and even got involved with a woman’s Catholic bible study. She is still a Protestant Evangelical.

I would be lying if I said that it has always been easy. The truth of it is that it has not been. We did baptize our son in the Church and we have learned to live with our differences. We do emphasize the things that we do agree on. That is what is important. You have to understand that Christians who are not Catholic look upon the Church with suspicion, even the most open minded.

But to some degree I agree with your girlfriend one of you is probably going to have to convert. And it does not sound like she is going to do that any time soon. In the meantime the best you can do is be a great example and pray for her. I would even suggest fasting. Don’t and I repeat don’t try and convince her that the Church is right and that she is wrong. You will get nowhere fast.

I wanted to make one last comment and I certainly do not mean to sound cynical or negative, but did it ever occur to you that her holding off on marrying you may have nothing whatsoever to do with your religous differences and maybe due to the fact that she just doe not see you as a marriage partner? Just a thought. It has been my experience that most people do not hold off marriage for philisophical or religious reasons. Most folks just don’t operate that way.


#16

[quote=michaelgazin]I can relate quite well with this situation. It is almost verbatim with mine. All I can say, is don’t let much time pass. You both know what eventually needs to happen, so decide together to work on it soon.

My girlfriend is Baptist and I am the Catholic. We were dating for almost 4 years and she was on a slow process of conversion to the Church. We were planning on marriage in the near future. Then 2 weeks ago, she went to a Baptist camp for a week, and when she came back, she said she could never be Catholic and split up with me. I would never have taken it so slow if I could do it over again. That, and I would not allow any camp attendance :nope:

Have a list of topics to discuss, such as the Eucharist, the papacy etc., then study up on it and go talk to some professionals down at the local church with your girlfriend like a priest.

Good luck,
Michael
[/quote]

Did you really say that? :eek:


#17

[quote=MistyF]Did you really say that? :eek:
[/quote]

:yup:


#18

I agree with the others. Your job isn’t to convert her. Your job is to live your life as you should (which it seems you are doing). My boyfriend played a huge role in my conversion. The single thing he did that was the most valuable to me was that in everything he does, he shows me true, honest love. And one day during a conversation about religion, he made the comment that “God is love” - at which time I had to take an aspirin because I was hit upside the head with the knowledge that He really is love, the Church is evidence of that, and my bf’s love was because of his background in the church.


#19

P.S. He didn’t do anything else to actively convert me. In my case, I know it would have been a mistake for him to do so. I would have closed my heart and my ears.


#20

Take her out to Applebees after mass and buy her a nice steak dinner. Girls like to be wined and dined, even on Sundays.


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