How do I handle "anti-Catholic" family & friends?

Well gee, from someone who doesn’t like to cook , I might take up the dinner offer lol, And when questions come or comments you can always be chewing ,and raise a hand like motioning your chewing , and say " em " well let me think of that few days, or just say, Oh, em . and then ask about receipe , Jesus said to the Apostles , be as humble as lambs, and clever as a serpant. Smell the trap , and go to the Bathroom. When you know it is set up to harass you , just say NO. if the situation comes up you can use some of the above things,One way to deal also is know your not alone , close your eyes and ask the Lord give you the grace and words you need. And remember again Communion, what words can be said to take the Glory of God from your sou. :slight_smile: , Bless You

While it would be soooo hard, for a moment – put yourself in their shoes. They see what you are doing as wrong, and they do love and care for your spiritual well being.

Yes, meet new friends at the Parish – but continue to be a shining example of Christian love to your family and old friends. When the first reaction is to tell them that you have found the Truth – in all charity try to avoid putting down or making less of their faith. Focus on the commonalities and eventually, they will see a that you are still a Christian and that you are growing as a Christian. For dinner with then inlaws, gently steer conversation to common topics – if they mention Peter say “you know, I was reading 1 Peter the other day and the passage about …” If they become combative, smile and say a prayer inside and say “I appreciate your concern. Pass the potatoes.” Soft answers with family are my recommendation.

And choosing to speak Christian-ese really softens those family discussions. While my family was not vehemently anti-Catholic, they were not well informed either. I’d say “we ate at blah blah after Church on Sunday” or tell what cute thing some child did “at Church” – one day my mom said “you mean you can still call it going to Church? I thought you had to call it Mass.” It made it clear to her that I WAS going to church – I try to speak their language.

When all else fails, react to accusations like they are joking. If they say “Catholics worship statues” reply with a big grin “I’ve heard that one too! Just don’t know where some people get those ideas. Remember when…” and go to another outrageous shared funny thing your family will remember.

Does any of that make sense?

[quote=RonWI]One last tip. Avoid raising any of the following topics during dinner:

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What a very strange response to a serious and sincere question! :rolleyes:

[quote=sparkle]I love this advice and I hold so closely to this!!! And what everyone has said so far. Yes, I know I am being persecuted, and I know to expect it too!

OK–now one more thing here…how do I handle when they start inviting me to dinner, etc., to “come for the weekend”, etc. I know it’s only to blast into me for my conversion…I think whoever said “make new friends” is in a way right. For don’t you just know your true friends when they start getting nasty in a time like this? I haven’t realized how truly uncharitable supposed Christians really are. Their true faces are becoming so visible in this time. With God’s help, he will help me and continue to help me in being kind, loving, and always willing to account for the hope that is within.

I suppose just say “I’m sorry but I cannot make it for dinner”, etc…but thx for the invite…etc…what would you all do? Have any of you come from a totally anti-Catholic Prot. environment?
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Why don’t you beat them to the punch and invite them over to your house for dinner with a nice statue of Mary and candles on the table. Be sure to cross yourself before and after saying grace and then launch right into the small doings of their children or grandparents. In other words, don’t be intimidated by these people. Go on a loving attack to show them that you are a perfectly normal Christian of the Catholic persuasion, and that you are not going to take any more lectures or nasty anti-Catholic emails or other such things from them if they want to remain your friends. As for family, practice your faith before them in a loving gentle way as you pray, pray, pray.

One set of relatives actually will pull my hubby and kids aside and tell them not to listen to me…that “I’ve gone off my rocker…and am trying to steer them away from the truth”, etc…I really resent that…how dare him speak to my kids against me, their mom? No surprise though, this particular couple has done this very same thing with other relatives. It is not out of love and concern but out of “they’re right”…This is how they are, for example. I really don’t think I want to associate with them any longer, particularly. They’ve laid into me before, and they see it just as another opporunity to prove their point. This is most sick, don’t you all think? Very non-supportive and combative actually. Very un-Christian too.

For long-time friends and family they are not being very charitable, are they?

If it were me, I might reply to such material with something like the following:

“Ever since I have become Catholic I have been bombarded with “help” from family and friends seeking to convince me that I made the wrong (very wrong!) choice. Please, stop “helping”! I have gone where I believe Christ desires me to be, and I will not read these continuous assaults on my Catholic faith. I have no interest in continuing to fight the Protestant Reformation 500 years later. I ask you in all charity and friendship to stop sending me material of this nature. I will not read it.”

Then say something nice. And keep sending the same reply each and every time, until they get the message. And remember you have sought out the Truth, and the Truth is to be followed regardless. Take solace in Christ.

Oh, and if you need something stronger (not stronger than Christ :smiley: ), tell them “I don’t obsess over your religion, please don’t obsess over mine.”

[quote=sparkle]One set of relatives actually will pull my hubby and kids aside and tell them not to listen to me…that “I’ve gone off my rocker…and am trying to steer them away from the truth”, etc…I really resent that…how dare him speak to my kids against me, their mom? No surprise though, this particular couple has done this very same thing with other relatives. It is not out of love and concern but out of “they’re right”…This is how they are, for example. I really don’t think I want to associate with them any longer, particularly. They’ve laid into me before, and they see it just as another opporunity to prove their point. This is most sick, don’t you all think? Very non-supportive and combative actually. Very un-Christian too.
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I’d say in this case it would be up to your husband to tell them that if they want to be welcome in your home they will stop doing this, especially to your children. Sheesh!

The worse thing of this sort that happen to me was my brother (a Lutheran convert from basically nothing because of his wife) siddled up to me and told me quite earnestly that he wasn’t going to become Catholic. I told him that was fine, I didn’t expect him to. He looked surprised at that. I’m sure his wife had told him to expect me to try to win him over or something like that. Now days they don’t go to church anywhere except when they feel like it or for a wedding or funeral. Makes you see how fickle people can be when they have no reason to go apart from family ties or because it makes them feel good, doesn’t it?

Thank them for blessing you then move the topic to baseball.

st julie

Being a non christian myself there is one thing you can do that might work quite well. You must question them. Make them realize why you believe what you do. In the world there are so many people of blind faith, it is hard to have respect for the average appearnce of such a person. Explain to them why you believe what you believe. If they argue, argue back. Fight for what you believe.

If, then, your beliefs still hold strong, and they do not understand why you believe what you beleive either:

It is a dying effort.
You are too conciously ignorant to explain how you feel and why.

[quote=sparkle]I love this advice and I hold so closely to this!!! And what everyone has said so far. Yes, I know I am being persecuted, and I know to expect it too!

OK–now one more thing here…how do I handle when they start inviting me to dinner, etc., to “come for the weekend”, etc. I know it’s only to blast into me for my conversion…I think whoever said “make new friends” is in a way right. For don’t you just know your true friends when they start getting nasty in a time like this? I haven’t realized how truly uncharitable supposed Christians really are. Their true faces are becoming so visible in this time. With God’s help, he will help me and continue to help me in being kind, loving, and always willing to account for the hope that is within.

I suppose just say “I’m sorry but I cannot make it for dinner”, etc…but thx for the invite…etc…what would you all do? Have any of you come from a totally anti-Catholic Prot. environment?
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This looks to me like a semi-organised campaign. I’ve heard of things like this before. The annoying thing is that if you’d dropped out of Church and become an atheist, you most likely wouldn’t have half this hassle from these people. It’s generally all about having their belief-system threatened.

The invites to dinner may be a set-up where there can be a several-onto-one debate, with prepared arguments. So passing-up or delaying such events for a month or two may be a good idea. Or invite **them ** round with a learned catholic supporter or two present.

As for the e-mails. they’re obviously just cut and pasting stuff to send to you. I would be tempted to send them some cut and paste back from catholic apologetic sites. It might even make them think.

Hi Sparkle!

I’m in the same situation so your in my prayers. Well, as far as the life-long friends, I’d try to be nice, thank them for their concern, but let them know that this is where you have found the Truth. (Or just thank them and state you’d rather not discuss anything right now.) As far as family? That’s always the tricky one, isn’t it? Just let them know you love them, but you must follow where the Lord has lead you.And if they’re Southern Baptist, you could always quote the Gospel in Matthew about leaving family behind to follow our Lord.
I admire your courage in dealing with your family.( After confronting my family initially, I decided to not tell mine when I finally finish RCIA. And only Catholic friends will know. )
God Bless you and prayers for your family and friends to become more open and accepting to your faith. :slight_smile:

[quote=sparkle]Thanks so much “Snowman” and “JimG”–for your replies. How I treasure what anyone says, for I am truly going thru a trial here…

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Remember also that Peter was tested and tried. But the important thing to remember is how Jesus specifically prayed for him so that when he returned he would strengthen his brethren. You will be strengthened by these trials (as I have). Whatever you do keep your cool. I’ve encountered the same response from family but what I’ve realized is the best thing to do is pray and be charitable at all times. Remember also the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel always, and use words when necessary.”

Peace…

[quote=matthew1624]Remember also that Peter was tested and tried. But the important thing to remember is how Jesus specifically prayed for him so that when he returned he would strengthen his brethren. You will be strengthened by these trials (as I have). Whatever you do keep your cool. I’ve encountered the same response from family but what I’ve realized is the best thing to do is pray and be charitable at all times. Remember also the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel always, and use words when necessary.”

Peace…
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Thx Matthew! Yes, I’m always charitable, and always pray before I respond to them to make sure I don’t say anything in anger. The few words the better! Even in being very very gentle, it’s as if it makes them even more mad! Weird!!!

It’s also true though, that I could never be the type of person to never talk about my new-found conversion! It sure would be alot easier if I was this way-----I’d get no hassles, etc…Because I’m so excited about it, I so much want to share what I’ve discovered with Protestants.!!! Because I used to share their views pretty much, and also was very in the dark about so much. And I’m not anymore. YAY!!! I see so many friends and family believing these weird “cult” ministers, and changing denominations over and over, etc… So, now that I’ve discovered so much truth, beauty and fullness, I’m bursting! I know they can just SEE my joy and excitement, and this aggravates them I think! It’s almost as if God knows how much I want to share this, so He’s bringing it into my life, almost like a test. Yes, it is true, as Caristi said: it’s threatening to them perhaps!!! Maybe God is counting on me to become more of an apologist to testify to the True Church. Quite a job! I so much want to learn how!!! Do they have training for this somewhere? Just curious!!!

Wow, I’m really soaking up the advice here - 'cause I know it’s going to cause some real waves among some of my family and friends when they find out that I’m converting! LOL!

Thanks for all the food for thought! :slight_smile:

Elizabeth

[quote=sparkle]JimG: Do you have some specific recommendations or tracts or places I might direct them?
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Catholic Answers has a variety of short tracts covering nearly every conceivable objection to Catholic doctrine or practice. They are informative and helpful; but I would only hand them out to those who are sincerely interested in what you believe, not to those who would just throw them away:
shop.catholic.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.exe/online-store/scstore/c-Tract_Paks.html?E+scstore

[quote=sparkle]Maybe God is counting on me to become more of an apologist to testify to the True Church. Quite a job! I so much want to learn how!!! Do they have training for this somewhere? Just curious!!!
[/quote]

Check your local parish. Perhaps they have a parish library. Check out as much material as you can. I’ve been doing so for about 4 years now. I always have a book in my hand or I’m listening to Fulton Sheen or something. By the way, grab as much Fulton Sheen materials you can get your hands on. Also, read the church fathers at the New Advent web site. It sounds like you are going through training right now. It’s on the job training :slight_smile: . I have to admit that if it wasn’t for those who challenged me I wouldn’t have been blessed with such a journey. At one point I had no idea why I believed, but now the Holy Spirit has enlightened me and has prepared me. Open yourself up and the spirit will flow. I love my faith too and I can’t keep it to myself either. Keep on fighting the good fight.

Shalom…

[quote=ElizabethJoy]Wow, I’m really soaking up the advice here - 'cause I know it’s going to cause some real waves among some of my family and friends when they find out that I’m converting! LOL!

Thanks for all the food for thought! :slight_smile:

Elizabeth
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I once heard someone say the following, “Converts make better catholics!” As a cradle catholic myself I can see why this is so. We usually take all the treasures of the Catholic church for granted until someone (Holy Spirit) knocks us over the head so that we can wake up.

Welcome to the universal “catholic” family. God Bless!

[quote=matthew1624]I once heard someone say the following, “Converts make better catholics!” As a cradle catholic myself I can see why this is so. We usually take all the treasures of the Catholic church for granted until someone (Holy Spirit) knocks us over the head so that we can wake up.

Welcome to the universal “catholic” family. God Bless!
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Thank you. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure that converts are better Catholics, (and in my case, I know for sure that won’t be a better Catholic, but I’m going to do my best to be a good one!) but maybe we have the additional tests of defending our new faith to a degree that many cradle Catholics don’t?

I mean, “coming out Catholic” in my family is going to be like “coming out Conservative” was! LOL! Ah, well, I did my homework in order to support my political stance and I’m doing my homework to support my religious life, too. :slight_smile:

Oddly enough, one of the things that made created this final draw into the Catholic Church was that as an admin on a political bulletin board, I was prompted into making Catholic apologetical posts. (As a pagan! Oi!)

I was just completely sick of the “open season on the Catholic Church” mentality in the media and the whiny insistence that the Church MUST change to accommodate this special interest or that. So I boned up on a couple of topics in order to answer those posts and kept reading - and everything that I was reading was speaking to my heart.

Then, Terri Schindler, losing JPII who I admired so much, and then the selection of one of the great defenders of the faith all just pointed me home. All it took was one tiny nudge after that and I did a 180º. The remaining vestiges of my new age pagan relativism flew out the window. I had resisted the call for so long, but when things started falling into place for me, it was a matter of a couple of weeks, maybe?

And now I’m listening to EWTN almost non-stop, reading when I can, studying the Bibles and Catechism and praying the rosary at least once a day and learning to do it with meditation and intentions. I’ve got bedrock, for the first time in my life.

I’m actually too joyful in my new spiritual “home” (even though I haven’t got an actual church or pastor yet) that it really doesn’t matter to me all that much what my family might say, but I think I’m ready for anything. :wink:

The biggest hurdle (I thought) was going to be my Mother - I told her she’d probably better sit down and she sounded scared and I said, “No, it’s something good, but you probably aren’t going to be very happy - I’m converting to Catholicism.” And she said, “Well, I think that’s great! Whatever you need to do, more power to you!” (I give up on trying to predict my Mother from now on! :o )

One thing that’s really helped is reading “Rome Sweet Home.” I know that whatever I go through because of my choice, it’s not going to be as heart-wrenching as Kimberly Hahn’s struggle.

And the book is an all-around excellent primer on apologetics, too. I ordered his story from www.catholocity.com too, along with several other CD’s and I’ve got more stuff on the way from other sellers.

I really appreciate the link to www.catscans.com/catholicsite - barely getting started there, but it sure looks comprehensive. :slight_smile:

I’ve learned a lot here on these forums and truly appreciate all the thoughtful input.

Have a great day!
Elizabeth

[quote=ElizabethJoy]Thank you. :slight_smile:

I’m not sure that converts are better Catholics, (and in my case, I know for sure that won’t be a better Catholic, but I’m going to do my best to be a good one!) but maybe we have the additional tests of defending our new faith to a degree that many cradle Catholics don’t?

I mean, “coming out Catholic” in my family is going to be like “coming out Conservative” was! LOL! Ah, well, I did my homework in order to support my political stance and I’m doing my homework to support my religious life, too. :slight_smile:

Oddly enough, one of the things that made created this final draw into the Catholic Church was that as an admin on a political bulletin board, I was prompted into making Catholic apologetical posts. (As a pagan! Oi!)

I was just completely sick of the “open season on the Catholic Church” mentality in the media and the whiny insistence that the Church MUST change to accommodate this special interest or that. So I boned up on a couple of topics in order to answer those posts and kept reading - and everything that I was reading was speaking to my heart.

Then, Terri Schindler, losing JPII who I admired so much, and then the selection of one of the great defenders of the faith all just pointed me home. All it took was one tiny nudge after that and I did a 180º. The remaining vestiges of my new age pagan relativism flew out the window. I had resisted the call for so long, but when things started falling into place for me, it was a matter of a couple of weeks, maybe?

And now I’m listening to EWTN almost non-stop, reading when I can, studying the Bibles and Catechism and praying the rosary at least once a day and learning to do it with meditation and intentions. I’ve got bedrock, for the first time in my life.

I’m actually too joyful in my new spiritual “home” (even though I haven’t got an actual church or pastor yet) that it really doesn’t matter to me all that much what my family might say, but I think I’m ready for anything. :wink:

The biggest hurdle (I thought) was going to be my Mother - I told her she’d probably better sit down and she sounded scared and I said, “No, it’s something good, but you probably aren’t going to be very happy - I’m converting to Catholicism.” And she said, “Well, I think that’s great! Whatever you need to do, more power to you!” (I give up on trying to predict my Mother from now on! :o )

One thing that’s really helped is reading “Rome Sweet Home.” I know that whatever I go through because of my choice, it’s not going to be as heart-wrenching as Kimberly Hahn’s struggle.

And the book is an all-around excellent primer on apologetics, too. I ordered his story from www.catholocity.com too, along with several other CD’s and I’ve got more stuff on the way from other sellers.

I really appreciate the link to www.catscans.com/catholicsite - barely getting started there, but it sure looks comprehensive. :slight_smile:

I’ve learned a lot here on these forums and truly appreciate all the thoughtful input.

Have a great day!
Elizabeth
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Elizabeth: Thank you. and Go for it.! Be strong and willing to proclaim your faith sister!!!. No matter how you were raised, you are a child of God, and HE is counting on YOU to make a difference in your part of the world, your friends, family, your life.!!! Do you know and realize this? I hope so.

God Bless

Thank you, sparkle! I am most definitely willing to proclaim my faith! :slight_smile:

Honestly, it nearly bubbles out of me all day - and at completely unexpected moments, at that! :bounce:

I don’t think the girl in the checkout really cares that I am a new Catholic! LOL! I wake up with prayers in my head and I go to sleep with prayers in my head. I don’t think I’ve ever said “Thank God!” so many times in a day in all my life!

With a heart so much lighter, I am not so self-centered and wound up in my own concerns - I think I am going to end up being a better wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend - nothing but good can come from this! (Well, except for the aforementioned family squabbles - but I just realized that God can use even those for his own purposes too, just as soon as I get out of the way! :smiley: )

God bless you!
Elizabeth

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