How To Deal With A Disappointed Family?

While I was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith, through my Catholic schooling - when my family left the Catholic church I was 14; and since then they’ve become staunch Reform Presbyterian.
I left that church about 6 years ago and have been going to evangelical churches with my husband.
Recently I’ve been making my way back to the RC church.

I know deep down that I’m disappointing my family, that they see my icons as idols and the rosary as pointless.
I am enjoying this rekindling of faith - but it’s extremely difficult to stay encouraged.

How can I talk to them about this?

~ PetiteFoi

You must honor your father and your mother, for that is a commandment.

However, you should also remember that you were baptized as a catholic by your parent’s will. No one can take this back, not even your parents.

So, even if it looks that you are going against their will, you should understand that you are actually being coherent to a (irreversible) decision that they made for you when you were just a baby. If they committed to that, they can’t just take it back. Also, if they married in the catholic church, that means that they also committed to raise their children in the catholic faith. They can’t just take it back either.

What is an oath good for, if you just take it back when it doesn’t serve you anymore?

Pray for them, ask God to open your parent’s eyes so that they can realize the incoherence of raising a child as catholic just to become something else at some point.

Pray so that they come back home, as you are doing. But honor your father and mother, never forget that.

You’re an adult, married, and with a family. Your parents’ disappointment in your religious choice is irrelevant. “You go to your church, and I’ll go to mine,” seems the only appropriate response to any expressed disappointment.

If it comes up, I say, “I found my way back to Truth. I am sorry that upsets you. How about those Giants? Do you think they will take the penant again this year?”.

In other words, I accept the fact that my family does not like me and has rejected me. It makes me cry and feel lonely but it is what it is and nothing, I mean NOTHING, is going to keep me from the Eucharist ever again.

When they get abusive, I stop them. I put up my hand in the universal sign for “STOP” and I say, “I would prefer you not attack me for my religion. If you would prefer I leave, I will.” when I am in their homes. If they are in mine, and they start with the pedophile priest jokes or the nasty remarks about stupid Catholics, I say, “I would prefer you not attack my religion while in my home. If you need to leave, I understand. If you stay, the subject will be changed”.

Twice, in a row, a family member stormed out of my house because I said this. Tough toe nails. When they left, I cried. It hurt like heck. Oh Well.

Guess what…they no longer do that and I do not attend functions in their home in order to make life easier for them. They have actually stayed through several family dinners in MY home and not attacked me. Good for them.

I pray every day for my family. I am old and lonely. Tough toe nails, again, I say. There are worst things in life than being lonely.

:hug3: Thank you for your words!
Though I am sorry you are so disrespected by your family members.
I think the worst I’d get is them insisting it’s not a “biblical” church, but I strongly doubt any of them would make outright rude or crude comments.
I do admire your strength to stand up to your family members - I can be my own worst enemy when it comes to self-assurance. :blush:

Is it wrong that I haven’t deliberately brought it up? I see my sister all the time, but rarely in my own home. (neither of us have cars so we walk to eachother’s homes, and she has more kids!)
I have yet to bring up my research or beliefs I’ve found in the Catholic church, for the exact reason that I don’t want to be “convinced” I’m wrong, or misinformed.

However, if she were to come to my home - you’d see it as “Catholic” right away.
I have a cross, crucifixes, an icon of Christ, another of Mary and the child Christ, as well as a Lenten centerpiece with a crown of thorns.

So I’m not “hiding” but I’m not bringing it up either. I wonder how big of a coward that makes me…

~ PetiteFoi

It doesn’t make you a coward. I prefer not to confront people or argue about religion myself. I have baptist relatives, but thankfully they know better than to talk about religion around me. If they don’t like my catholic faith, or the catholic items I have in my house, tough. But it’s not a subject I will pursue myself. And I don’t think you have to either. If they are curious, talk to them. If not, leave it be. At least until you are confident in your faith and ability to defend it.


You are truly doing the right thing. The Catholic church is the right one. Pray for your family and love them as they are without expectation. If anything, they have now a wonderful soul that will pray for them. I can never say it enough please pray the rosary and the mystery. Mother Mary is so wonderful.

Don’t forget to say the Divine Mercy novena on Holy Friday up to the next Sunday after Easter.

Blessings and love!

What day is Holy Friday on??

Good Friday is tht 29th, this next Friday.

I agree with the people who say you are old enough to do what you want. I don’t think you owe your sister to tell her, but I do see how you could feel like a fraud because she does not know. Perhaps something like ‘I know this is off topic but I feel perhaps you have the wrong impression of me and just to set things straight, I no longer attend the evangelical church I am back at the Catholic church’

I don’t think you have to broach the subject yourself and I certainly don’t think it’s cowardice if you don’t. If someone asks a question, simply answer the question. There has been a certain amount of hostility from my beloved sister over my decision to be received into the Catholic Church, so I have prayed about it a lot. At first my prayer was “oh, please, God, soften her heart” until one day I realized after much prayer that it was MY heart that needed the softening toward her. I tell ya, the moment I breathed that prayer, my first prayer was answered, too. A wise woman gave me these words to use: I know in the depths of my soul this is what God is asking me to do and I must be obedient. God is Good and He will give you the words and He will strengthen your heart.

God bless you in your journey.

Correction. It isn’t this next friday, but three weeks from yesterday. Sorry about the goof up.

Man, I was about to get all excited! LOL :wink:

I can have a tendency toward being a bit of a smart-mouth about things. However, when my (then fiance, now husband) and I were going to NFP classes a parent made a snide comment about it. I promptly reminded the parent that “I can’t help the fact that they chose to raise me Catholic and send me to Catholic school for most of my life and then I happen to turn out Catholic”.

That kind of shut the snide comments down…

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