How should I as a young Catholic deal with this in my Anti Catholic family?


#1

Hello,
I'm a young 16 year old Catholic and I'm coming into full communion on Easter Vigil. What I'm dealing with is anti Catholicism in my family. My mother supports me being a Catholic but the rest of my family dosent. Whenever I mention I'm going to a Catholic Church they get very upset and alert that they get to the point where they begin yelling. They use to be Catholics before I was born and when they attack the Catholic Church I always defend it because I know how to defend my faith, but they just talk over me and tell me to stop saying what I'm saying because they do not believe. This reminds me of how Saint Raymond nonnatus lips were sealed together with a lock, because the Muslims wanted him to stop preaching. However, I feel very uncomfortable being around my family now because they are very ashamed of me being a Catholic and going to Mass every Sunday etc. They keep asking me " when am I coming back to Christianity" when I mention I am still a Christian but they refuse. Plus sometimes they mock how Catholics sing in church and laugh and this is just very embaressing. Its really not fair how whenever the topic of religion is brought up in my home or at my grandmothers, they can talk about there Church, but when it comes to me my parish and religion is just mocked and made fun of. Plus of the fact I'm african american ( Cape Verdian which is a 98% Catholic country) they tell me that my parish dosent want me there because its an italian parish. I know its not true because I have many friends and acquaintances there and other races go to my parish too and I mentioned that, but my family rejects it because they believe Catholicism to be European only. What should I do? Thanks and God Bless you all for the help.


#2

=BVMFatima;10064915]Hello,
I'm a young 16 year old Catholic and I'm coming into full communion on Easter Vigil. What I'm dealing with is anti Catholicism in my family. My mother supports me being a Catholic but the rest of my family dosent. Whenever I mention I'm going to a Catholic Church they get very upset and alert that they get to the point where they begin yelling. They use to be Catholics before I was born and when they attack the Catholic Church I always defend it because I know how to defend my faith, but they just talk over me and tell me to stop saying what I'm saying because they do not believe. This reminds me of how Saint Raymond nonnatus lips were sealed together with a lock, because the Muslims wanted him to stop preaching. However, I feel very uncomfortable being around my family now because they are very ashamed of me being a Catholic and going to Mass every Sunday etc. They keep asking me " when am I coming back to Christianity" when I mention I am still a Christian but they refuse. Plus sometimes they mock how Catholics sing in church and laugh and this is just very embaressing. Its really not fair how whenever the topic of religion is brought up in my home or at my grandmothers, they can talk about there Church, but when it comes to me my parish and religion is just mocked and made fun of. Plus of the fact I'm african american ( Cape Verdian which is a 98% Catholic country) they tell me that my parish dosent want me there because its an italian parish. I know its not true because I have many friends and acquaintances there and other races go to my parish too and I mentioned that, but my family rejects it because they believe Catholicism to be European only. What should I do? Thanks and God Bless you all for the help.

Dear friend; WELCOME HOME! [soon]:)

Keep uppermost in your mind and heart that IT IS YOUR SOUL!

It's a very sad and difficult position your in. STAY close to God and His Sacraments, and He WILL stay close to you.

IF they have specific reasons for leaving let us know and we'll share additional advice.

PRAY MUCH!

God's continued Blessings,

pat /PJM


#3

[quote="BVMFatima, post:1, topic:306346"]
Hello,
I'm a young 16 year old Catholic and I'm coming into full communion on Easter Vigil. What I'm dealing with is anti Catholicism in my family. My mother supports me being a Catholic but the rest of my family dosent. Whenever I mention I'm going to a Catholic Church they get very upset and alert that they get to the point where they begin yelling. They use to be Catholics before I was born and when they attack the Catholic Church I always defend it because I know how to defend my faith, but they just talk over me and tell me to stop saying what I'm saying because they do not believe. This reminds me of how Saint Raymond nonnatus lips were sealed together with a lock, because the Muslims wanted him to stop preaching. However, I feel very uncomfortable being around my family now because they are very ashamed of me being a Catholic and going to Mass every Sunday etc. They keep asking me " when am I coming back to Christianity" when I mention I am still a Christian but they refuse. Plus sometimes they mock how Catholics sing in church and laugh and this is just very embaressing. Its really not fair how whenever the topic of religion is brought up in my home or at my grandmothers, they can talk about there Church, but when it comes to me my parish and religion is just mocked and made fun of. Plus of the fact I'm african american ( Cape Verdian which is a 98% Catholic country) they tell me that my parish dosent want me there because its an italian parish. I know its not true because I have many friends and acquaintances there and other races go to my parish too and I mentioned that, but my family rejects it because they believe Catholicism to be European only. What should I do? Thanks and God Bless you all for the help.

[/quote]

Go about the business of your faith quietly when they are around. Not that you aren't at the moment but I'm hearing that any engagement about the Faith seems to get antagonistic. Don't discuss it with them unless they want to discuss it in a civilised and mature manner, let that be known.

Your family sounds very immature.

I have two very close Baptist friends from primary school, we are the best of friends. Through our late teens, both of them at different times had a go at Catholicism in subtle and not so subtle statements, I firmly let them know that unless they were willing to respect my faith as I do theirs, then we should not discuss faith when we are together. And if they had any questions with the Catholic faith they should know by now that they can come to me in a civilised manner and discuss it with me and not make rude, snide remarks. They know where they stand with me.

All relationships are mutual creations, they thrive or die depending on what you are feeding it.

Ask yourself:

When they comment on or ask about Catholicism is it coming from a curious and interested mind or a narrow,preconceived, judgemental mind? Once you figure that out you will know how to engage with that person.

Sometimes it is better to keep to keep quiet rather than to open our mouths and remove all doubt. Something maybe your relatives have not pondered. I use that tactic to devastating effect with anti-Catholics, they love to hear themselves talk. Let them. They usually self-implode and you have lost nothing except time.

Do not respond to insults, remove yourself from the situation.

Engage them positively if they are genuine in their questions and comments. We train other people how to treat us.


#4

These people you are describing are just being rude. When they go rude on you, Just stare at them. Say nothing. Don't look down. Don't look away. Don't run away. Just stare at them with no emotions on your face. Then, with dignity, after a while, say something like, "Excuse me, I've got work to do." Then, no matter what further rudeness they throw at you, do not respond. Remember what Jesus said about not casting your pearls at swine. There is no Christian duty to teach or preach the faith to rude people. As Jesus always said, "They've already gotten their reward."

This all has nothing to do with Catholic vs. Protestant. These are just rude, mean people. There are rude and mean Catholics too, and Mormons, and Scientologists, and atheists. Just don't argue or hang out with abusive people.

This is not a religious issue. This is a family issue. You, alas, like many of us, were born into a natural family that is full of conflicts, hostilities, and power struggles. But you are moving to adulthood, and the mission of adulthood is to go out there and make your own family. Limit time spend with people who refuse to be courteous or are incapable oif basic courtesy, civility and decency.

God bless you!


#5

This is going to bad to say, but - stop talking about religion. Be kind, be helpful, but don't discuss faith with them at all. Don't confront or correct them; answer questions honestly if they are polite and non-confrontational, otherwise indicate that you don't wish to discuss the subject.

Above all, be as helpful and nice as you can. Help out as you can. Listen to them. Let them see your behavior, but do not engage unless they are willing to be polite.


#6

[quote="BVMFatima, post:1, topic:306346"]
What should I do? Thanks and God Bless you all for the help.

[/quote]

Rejoice and thank God that He has seen fit to give you this trial at such a young age. You must be a very strong spirit and special soul to Him. I would recommend bearing this in silence and treating all with humble respect. You will find, later on, that this experience was a huge gift to you.


#7

The other thing you can do in addition to the above is to pray for them. Pray that they may grow in humility, honor, and love as they are currently showing very little of those from the sounds of it.

remember, those who are persecuted for the sake of their faith will receive their reward in Heaven. Stay strong, but don't egg them on


#8

[quote="BVMFatima, post:1, topic:306346"]
Hello,
I'm a young 16 year old Catholic and I'm coming into full communion on Easter Vigil. What I'm dealing with is anti Catholicism in my family. My mother supports me being a Catholic but the rest of my family dosent. Whenever I mention I'm going to a Catholic Church they get very upset and alert that they get to the point where they begin yelling. They use to be Catholics before I was born and when they attack the Catholic Church I always defend it because I know how to defend my faith, but they just talk over me and tell me to stop saying what I'm saying because they do not believe. This reminds me of how Saint Raymond nonnatus lips were sealed together with a lock, because the Muslims wanted him to stop preaching. However, I feel very uncomfortable being around my family now because they are very ashamed of me being a Catholic and going to Mass every Sunday etc. They keep asking me " when am I coming back to Christianity" when I mention I am still a Christian but they refuse. Plus sometimes they mock how Catholics sing in church and laugh and this is just very embaressing. Its really not fair how whenever the topic of religion is brought up in my home or at my grandmothers, they can talk about there Church, but when it comes to me my parish and religion is just mocked and made fun of. Plus of the fact I'm african american ( Cape Verdian which is a 98% Catholic country) they tell me that my parish dosent want me there because its an italian parish. I know its not true because I have many friends and acquaintances there and other races go to my parish too and I mentioned that, but my family rejects it because they believe Catholicism to be European only. What should I do? Thanks and God Bless you all for the help.

[/quote]

You have a lot of courage for a 16 year old. God will bless you for enduring any hardship for his sake. Try to look at this as an opportunity to grow in holiness. Its easier said than done, but an opportunity nevertheless. It helps to just go and sit in Church and contemplate the crucifix. Give it all to him. Go to adoration and ask Jesus to come into this situation. Pray for your family. God can do amazing things.

You will be in my prayers, right now.


#9

They are making you a saint.

Words and Prayers of St. Isaac the Syrian

Let yourself be persecuted, but do not persecute others.
Be crucified, but do not crucify others.
Be slandered, but do not slander others.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep: such is the sign of purity.
Suffer with the sick.
Be afflicted with sinners.
Exult with those who repent.
Be the friend of all, but in your spirit remain alone.
Be a partaker of the sufferings of all, but keep your body distant from all.
Rebuke no one, revile no one, not even those who live very wickedly.
Spread your cloak over those who fall into sin, each and every one, and shield them.
And if you cannot take the fault on yourself and accept punishment in their place,
do not destroy their character.

Prayers and Peace


#10

Honor your father and mother, handle it cautiously with prayer, charity, love, faith and hope. Do not let the sun go down on anger, when tempers flare be the peace maker. Pray pray pray pray pray. My grandmother prayed for me 10 years.

Welcome home to the Church, I guess you will be my younger twin as I too am entering the fullness of the church this Easter.


#11

[quote="SteveVH, post:8, topic:306346"]
You have a lot of courage for a 16 year old. God will bless you for enduring any hardship for his sake. Try to look at this as an opportunity to grow in holiness. Its easier said than done, but an opportunity nevertheless. It helps to just go and sit in Church and contemplate the crucifix. Give it all to him. Go to adoration and ask Jesus to come into this situation. Pray for your family. God can do amazing things.

You will be in my prayers, right now.

[/quote]

This and also ask friends, acquaintances, and family to pray for you.

Shalom
God bless


#12

Dear new member,
Welcome to the Catholic church. People are going to talk badly because they don't understand the Catholic teachings. It might be your worth to have a few books around such as Catholicism for Dummies, Youcat, the catechism of the catholic church plus "why do catholics genuflect" by al kresta. If they say something, you can show them the books and ask them to find it.
Your best bet is to keep it quiet, follow your calling to become Catholic and learn your material in terms of what Catholic teaches, some Catholic apologetics won't hurt either. When they talk bad about the church, you can defend it as necessary. Sometimes it's not worthwhile getting into the discussions because they have been indoctrinated by false teaching which means when they hear someone becoming a Catholic, they believe it's their duty to prevent it. If you were going to join a cult or do something else that could hurt you, their actions would have merit. When they talk badly, pray to God and ask him to help you through it. Sometimes he will encourage you to speak up and other times, it's best to keep quiet. Discernment will be the key when it comes to dealing with your family. You can be thankful that at least your mother supports which is a gift because some people do not even have that.


#13

[quote="hazcompat, post:9, topic:306346"]
They are making you a saint.

Words and Prayers of St. Isaac the Syrian

Let yourself be persecuted, but do not persecute others.
Be crucified, but do not crucify others.
Be slandered, but do not slander others.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep: such is the sign of purity.
Suffer with the sick.
Be afflicted with sinners.
Exult with those who repent.
Be the friend of all, but in your spirit remain alone.
Be a partaker of the sufferings of all, but keep your body distant from all.
Rebuke no one, revile no one, not even those who live very wickedly.
Spread your cloak over those who fall into sin, each and every one, and shield them.
And if you cannot take the fault on yourself and accept punishment in their place,
do not destroy their character.

Prayers and Peace

[/quote]

Wow. That's all I can say. Way to go St. Isaac the Syrian! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:


#14

I will be praying for you! I am a convert from a protestant church, and my family is still protestant or non practicing. I know how it can be to feel alone and attacked, and it SUCKS. but, keep the faith, and WELCOME HOME, young man! i believe that things in your family will die down in time, when they see that you are truly in the Church, and have made that choice, and time has passed. don't give up!


#15

When they ask you when you’re coming back to Christianity, ask them when they are going to start acting like Christians. It is terrible the way they are treating you. It is probably best to avoid them whenever possible and seek support from your parish and church community. There are also many books you could read to help you defend your faith when the time comes.


#16

I don't understand why some people feel such a sense of betrayal when those they know convert. I come from an atheist/agnostic family and I've heard some jibes from them that are appalling. And my Baptist mother-in-law doesn't even know that I'm converting to Catholicism, as she'd probably dig her own grave just to roll over in it. I don't even discuss religion or converting with anyone other than my 12 yr old daughter anymore. She loves going to Mass with me and most likely by next year she'll be in youth formation classes.

So, I guess my only real advice here is to share your joy with your mother, who seems to be on your side, and silence to those who want to tear you down. That's it, in a nutshell :) Good luck on your journey! I'm excited for you :D


#17

Thank you all for you're support and prayers and may God Bless you all :) the thing is I love my family so much and want them to come back home as my mom is soon. My mother was going to participate in the RCIA program this year, but we have lost 3 loved ones this year and she is stressed with the death of our friends and uncle and her job at the moment, so next year she wants to try again. Please pray that she will come to the fullest of the faith. Now one little trick my aunt plays with me once in a while is she says " so are you ever going to come back to living word, which is my old Protestant Church," when I say " well no I don't believe in there doctrine" she gets all upset and says " such as what?!" So I explained the whole sola scriptura and sola fide problems etc. And all she did was get upset. She asks the same question over and over once in awhile, for example she asked me in the car this question while she had her protestant christian gospel music on in and I responded again and she just turned up the music because she thinks it will help convince me that I need to be a protestant again. its very childish and silly and I expect more respect and understanding from a 32 year old women.

Plus, when my baby cousin was getting baptized last year, my aunt and other members came late because it was at a Catholic church with Mass. I found that to be very disrespectful, especially for my baby cousins baptism.

All I want to say is I'm glad I found the fullest of the faith in the Catholic Church, and I hope my family comes home. I thank Catholic answers, EWTN, Steve Ray, and may others who helped me deepen my faith when I was considering coming to the Church.

God Bless!


#18

Hey bro, there's a Bible verse that says this but I forget what it is, "He who works to find his own life will lose it, but he who works to lose his life for God's sake will find it." meaning, you could give in to your family and find your life in this world, or you can stay strong and lose your good life in this world, and find it in the next. We've all got decisions to make, and they won't be easy, but we make them, and we die with them. If I were you, I'd be very respectful (respectful doesn't mean you give in to them) until I got 18, then I'd disconnect with them. My family is totally against my conversion, but they aren't ashamed of me, they're not even displeased. To some Protestants, Catholics are "counter-parts" and that's what my family thinks of me as, or at least my Dad's side. The others are disgusted with it and haven't said a nice thing since. Life is tough man. That's all I got thanks for reading!


#19

Catholic=European only? What about the early Church in Ethiopia, Nothern Africa, Egypt, Mesopotamia …etc…etc…!

Where did protestantism spawn from, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Scotland, England, all those places seem awful European to me!

I grew up on the South Shore in Massachusetts, plenty of Irish, Italian, Portugese and Cape Verdian folks were in my parish!

This is a great place to ask difficult question in regards to the Catholic faith, and receive a wealth of knowledge!

Peace and love in Christ!


#20

Hi BVMFatima.

You have been getting good advice here. It is not easy for a sixteen year old to go through what you did in your family where you seem to be doing different thing from the others and are not supported for doing it. I mean as a Catholic.

I thought you are doing well so far. I agree that the best answer to your critiques would be to show your humility by keeping quiet but perhaps show that you are a responsible person in the family especially by taking up responsibility around the house. Usually that would never fail to impress the parents and if you do it better now, it will give glory to your new found faith.

God bless you.


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