I was just confirmed Nov 20th. I am 47 and have been a Christian for over 30 years, but as a Protestant in several churches. How do I tell my non practicing but prejudiced Protestant family as well as my dear devout Protestant friends that I am Catholic? It has been a long time coming but I am sure no one suspects anything. Should I send a letter or e-mail explaining my reasons or just wait until it comes up? I don’t want to argue with anyone and know my Christian friends will try and make me see the “error of my ways” and want me to re-convert. It has taken me 16 years to do this and I am very secure in my conversion decision but don’t know how to approach this. Any suggestions?
I wouldn’t suggest e-mailing. I would sit down and talk with them as hard as it may be. Just have resources handy like the Catechism, writings of the Church Fathers, etc. I would suggest explaining to them how the Bible is such a Catholic book. If you are up for it, I would recommend a talk by Steve Ray. You can find it here:
Good luck, God bless, and WELCOME HOME!!!
Jonathan C. Smith
PS - I also started a thread a while ago that might be useful to you as well. Here’s the link:
Thanks Jonathan, I always want the easy way out. I guess I will just have to toughen up and tell them. I will check out your suggested sites.
[quote=SueBCallahan]Thanks Jonathan, I always want the easy way out. I guess I will just have to toughen up and tell them. I will check out your suggested sites.
I think that they will appreciate it if you sat down and told them, but just make sure you’re prepared to answer their objections. It will take a lot of prayer in advance. I really suggest that CD of Steve Ray’s. It was the lecture that really started my re-version (I was raised Catholic but was a fundamentalist in mind and heart). By the way, what denomination(s) are your friends and family?
My family all became Christians in a Bretheren church, (very strict, almost mennonite). My sister stopped going to church right away and hasn’t been since high school. My parents and I switched to a Charismatic Non Denominational church and then when I moved to WA state I began going to a LCMS (Lutheran) church. My younger sister goes to a Baptist church in AZ and my dad doesn’t go anywhere now. For some unknown reason we grew up taught to be Anti Catholic. My mom was raised Catholic but never understood it. She has passed on. I am the only one who has gone to church pretty much the whole 30 years since we bacame Christians so they will be shocked that I “jumped ship” so to speak. It will be interesting!
I can definately sympathize with ya in what your going through. I’m currently in RCIA (though I started last year - long boring story) and not sure how to let family members know. (I did tell a sister and a cousin(who is now deceased), not to mention one friend. They took it fine, but then again, they are/ were Catholic or are sympathetic to the Faith). The rest of the family, well, let’s just say they are practicing Protestant Christians and have little postitive to say about the Catholic Faith (that they think they “know”).
Good luck with your family and friends. And Congrats on your confirmation!
[quote=SueBCallahan]…they will be shocked that I “jumped ship” so to speak.
You did jump ship, but you got in a better one. You hopped off of one of the “auxilliary ships” back onto the barque of Peter, and I’m sure your mother and her side of the family as well as your father’s side (before the Protestant Revolt) are smiling down at your right now. Your reference to “ship” just reminded me of St. John Bosco’s vision and I thought I’d share:
Have you ever visited The Coming Home Network, founded by EWTN’s Marcus Grodi? www.chnetwork.org might have some good info, support, &/or inspiration for you there.
Also, when reading your post, the very first thing that popped into my mind was a Bible passage that I am certain you already know, but I will share it with you:
*13 Now who is going to harm you if you are enthusiastic for what is good? *
*14 But even if you should suffer because of righteousness, blessed are you. Do not be afraid or terrified with fear of them, *
*15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, ****16 **but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame. *
Welcome home, Sue~ God bless you!
Thank you so much Stephanie! I really needed that! 1st.Peter just happens to be one of my most favorite books in the Bible! I am so glad I got brave enough to post here you all have been so helpful. I loved Jonathans picture of the ship. (He posted a link in his reply).Boy do I feel like I am on that ship being tossed by the sea while the Pope is looking so sturdy and calm I am at the rear of the boat barfin!! Hee Hee.
Although it may be a little late for this in your circumstances, I asked those closest to me for their input prior to my confirmation. As for everyone else, I just started living my Catholic faith openly and it just got brought up on an individual basis as people noticed.
I think the most obvious thing I did was placing an emphasis on the Mass. When we travelled out of town to visit friends, we made sure we knew the local time and place for Sunday Mass. When we visited my family for the holidays, we excused ourselves to attend Mass. We would even leave my parents’ house early on Sunday mornings so we could attend Mass prior to meeting them for their worship service. I think most people were reassurred that I took my conversion seriously and that it wasn’t just some whim.
My father did require a separate late-night discussion, however, and you may feel the need to do that for those closest to you who are the most confused about your decision. But I wouldn’t make it a point trying to reason with every person you know. Doing it once or twice for those with whom you have a deep mutual love is difficult enough. Doing it for every friend and relative could be too stressful and unproductive.
I am not going to lecture you on how to tell your parents and friends why you chose the Catholic Church.
Instead I am going to share with you, some mistakes I made. I was so excited to find the Church, I was very excited to go through the RCIA process, with my fundamental background I had it in my blood to try to convert my family and friends.
Now I am just myself, I am happy, when I here something that is said that is incorrect I will correct it, sometimes with valid resources. This is still a struggle for me, and I work on it each and every day.
I would not get on your soap box, but live your new Catholic life the best way you can. Perhaps through the next few years they will see that you are different, the way you carry yourself, as a Catholic goes a long way I think.