How to approach further


Ok… I’m Catholic, husband is not. He’s not baptised and doesn’t believe in “man made religions.” Our children are Catholic and are very openly raised as such…

I questioned him that if I was to die tomorrow, would he continue to raise the children in the Catholic faith. I know the Godparents would certianly step in (to an extent, I guess both are kind of timid in “overstepping their boundaries.”) to try to help the kids’ know the Church. His answer was he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know because he recognizes that it would be hard because he doesn’t subscribe to religion.

I don’t want to play the “what-if” game and start an argument but I was actually 1) offended, 2) threatened. I was offended because he knows how much the Church means to me and he couldn’t be definitive in his answer to carry out what is obviously something special to me (and I hope, someday, him). He’s respected me and the Church thus far while I’m alive. I felt threatened because I know his family well enough that they’d INSTANTLY start in on the kids’ to try to convert them. When my oldest was just 4, my MIL started in on her telling her it was a sin to call a priest a father and to pray to Mary. I stopped that immediately but now my SIL has made some comments here and there to my children. I openly stop them, but I’m afraid my husband would not.

I understand his fear of having to raise children in a religion he doesn’t subscribe to. I really can understand that… But how could I break open this discussion even further? I’ve thought of leaving a will of some sorts with very, very explicit instructions for the kids to be raised Catholic.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks in advance!


What your kids learn in the first seven years will stay with them forever. If you have not already get really good teaching resources and instruct them in their faith. The better you do this the better for them whether you live or not.


Would your husband promise, if asked, to block his family from trying to convert the children in your absence?

It seems to me that a promise to protect them from atttempts by others to interfere with what they’ve already been taught, is different from a promise to be proactive himself in rasing them as Catholics.


I’ve struggled with this same question. My husband is not hostile to the Church, but sort of indifferent. This is the answer I’ve come up with. I spoke with a good friend and asked her to take the children to Sunday Mass. And, I spoke with my mom on the same topic. Unfortunately, my brothers and sister don’t practice in the faith. Also, I plan to buy life insurance on myself to cover
Catholic school tuition. Still need to do that. sigh.

Other than those practice steps, I’m leaving it in God’s hands. Hopefully, I’ll be interceding for them in Heaven.

I can’t regret marrying my wonderful husband – I was a very poorly catechised Catholic when we met. But, life is a lot easier for my friends who have Catholic husbands. I am all ready encouraging my preteens to only date Catholics


Hi Tam,

Very good question, one which I also struggle with. My husband is a non-practicing Lutheran who agreed to let me raise the children in my faith. I popped the same question to him, and as an answer was told, “Probably not.” It was a chilling thing to hear.

Like JMJ, I have siblings who come in the non-practicing variety, Catholic-but-absolutely-evil variety (one SIL), and CINO - ultra-liberal. We have not named a guardian for our children because I would like them to be raised by a good Catholic family, and we have none among our closest friends with whom the children are familiar. While raising them Catholic is one of my top priorities for a guardian, I have toyed with asking our Pentecostal friends to raise them because I believe they would be dearly loved and receive a better moral upbringing in their hands than in the hands of any of their aunts or uncles.

It is a scary place to be. I don’t wish to hijack your thread, but can only advise what my conscience has forced me to start doing - make friends with other families in your parish and form a bond that they will understand. I imagine that’s difficult - you are military, right? - but you can and must try.

You will be in my prayers as we wrestle with the same dilemma, sister!


If you got married in a Catholic Church you might try holding them to their word. The Church insists that couples promise to raise their children Catholic. A promise is a promise, and I don’t see that promise as any less important than promising that one won’t sleep around.

I’ve contemplated putting my belief in promises into stronger action and begin refusing to do business with divorced people. If a person can stand in front of an altar, take an oath 'til death do they part, why should I trust them in their business dealings?

Well, I guess I’d be rich since I wouldn’t spend money very often. :smiley:


I would emcourage you and your kids to get involved in some way in The Catechumenate / RCIA in your Parish.
The rich treasures you will discover there will naturally spill over into your husband and into your in-laws.

In other words, it is like;
Since you were baptized into Fort Knox… why not find out what is in the Vault ?

There you will discover the Richness of
The Message
The Fellowship
The Eucharist
The Witness

God bless you in the midst of your noble struggle



I would approach your priest and ask him what he would suggest in terms of a instructions in your will regarding the education of your children. Then I would ask a lawyer or a paralegal how such a thing would be worded.

Then, I would start asking for the intercession of Father Vincent Cappadonno…he was a Marine Chaplain killed in Vietnam in the 1960’s and a missionary never stops working, even after his death…


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