How to Tell My Parents I'm Converting?


#1

Hello All,

I have my orientation for RCIA this upcoming Tuesday and I’d like to be able to tell my parents that I’m converting so that I won’t have to avoid the question of where I’m going every Tuesday night.

My parents are charismatic Protestants and have a negative view on the Church, and so me telling them that I’m converting could come across almost as a betrayal.

Any advice on how to tell them would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Nathan


#2

I have no advice, SearchForGod, but I’ll add you to my prayer list.
May the peace of Christ fill your heart, and your family’s.


#3

Are you an adult living on your own, or an adult living with your parents, or are you still underage? Some of what you say and how you say it depends on the degree of control your parents have over what you do.

If you are an adult, then you should give start by giving your parents your own personal emotional, spiritual, and intellectual reasons for joining the Church. Surely this has been a journey for you to un-learn certain things you have been taught? You will have to walk them through those things. Pentecostal Christians tend to be highly influenced by subjective spiritual experiences and individual relationships and experiences with God, so you might emphasize your own unique, individual, personal experience of God in the Catholic Church.

They will be concerned that you are turning to a “works righteousness” religion full of “man made doctrines”, and that you are turning away from the baptism of the Holy Spirit. So, the first issue to approach will probably have to be sola scriptura, but after giving your reasons for rejecting sola scriptura, I would also explain to them how you experience and apprehend the movement of the Holy Spirit in the Eucharist. Another issue they will have is that they will believe you are worshipping Mary, but I would save that for later.

You might also tell them that you are willing to trust God with them, and pray with them for your own spiritual direction. They might feel differently if you are actually sitting down with them praying with them for direction and they see you are still drawn to the Catholic Church.

You should also invite them to Mass. They may be very surprised to see and feel and hear how scriptural Mass is, and how present the Holy Spirit is.


#4

God bless you, Nathan. I was very chickenpoo in comparison to you. Waited until the Rite of Sending. :smiley:

Expect that they might be unhappy, or probably more likely (as in my situation) completely dumbfounded with an occasional sprinkle of sarcastic commentary :smiley: But do know as time passes, it typically gets better, and they appreciate our decision more.

Would it hurt to let them ask where you’re going (or have been) and go from there, just sorta “feel it out”?


#5

You have so much courage! Welcome home!!! :heaven:

I completely agree with AngelsUnaware. Be emotional, and pray with them. If they begin to interrogate you, answer what you can but be very careful what you say to them. Show them this:

[quote=Acts]29
But Peter and the apostles said in reply, "We must obey God rather than men.
30
4 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.
31
God exalted him at his right hand 5 as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
32
We are witnesses of these things, as is the holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him."
33
**When they heard this, they became infuriated **and wanted to put them to death.
34
6 But a Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up, ordered the men to be put outside for a short time,
35
and said to them, "Fellow Israelites, be careful what you are about to do to these men.
36
7 Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important, and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed, and all those who were loyal to him were disbanded and came to nothing.
37
After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census. He also drew people after him, but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered.
38
So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself.
39
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God." They were persuaded by him
.
40
After recalling the apostles, they had them flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them.
41
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
42
And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Messiah, Jesus.
[/quote]

Matching biblical quotes with your emotional experiences which have led you to the Church should speak to them. Also let them know how much you appreciate them raising you to follow Christ. If you’re still a teenager, then you should pray for the strength to act with maturity beyond your years that will convince them of your sincerity. And do not take offense at anything they say. And Hopefully someday they will understand and follow in your footsteps:D
I hope this helps! Praying for you!!

Ljubim


#6

I appreciate all the great input I’ve gotten so far.

Just to let you all know, although most of it is in my profile, I’m a 19 year-old living with my parents; that’s why I feel it’s so important to tell them about my conversion. Plus, I’d like them to see me on the eve of Easter making my proclamation of my faith.


#7

Gotcha.

I did have one parent attend mine (Rite of Sending is approx. a month before Easter Vigil, I think) one parent boycotted (don’t be hurt if this happens; parents can struggle with this). It was fine, I was glad that at least one came :slight_smile:


#8

Oh good luck!

I went through the same process a little over 3 years ago. I was also 19 at the time. But I was away at college. I told my parents when I came home for a weekend. And I was in much the same situation. Parents are Protestant, and of a Lutheran type that teaches falsehoods about the Catholic faith.

One day at lunch I think it was, I was sitting across from my dad and said “Dad, I’m going to become Catholic” He was actually pretty upset about it. I don’t remember doing much talking that day because he was so upset, but I just told him the truth, that I felt a calling to the Church. My mom was more accepting and it wasn’t a big deal to her.

Now I’m living back at home, so they go to their church on Sundays and I go to mass by myself. Not always easy and sometimes it’s awkward when I get home, but I make it work.

So I say, just be truthful. It may hurt them, but there are some things in life that we just have to do, even if others don’t understand.

For what it’s worth, neither of my parents were there at the Easter Vigil. And I really didn’t expect them to come. They both have a large misunderstanding of the Church, and my dad was pretty bitter about it all. He did see it as a betrayal. However, my boyfriend’s mom and sister did come, which was nice.

Good luck, and I will keep you in my prayers. It’s definitely not easy.
One book I really suggest reading is “There We Stood, Here We Stand” by Timothy Drake. It’s the conversion stories of 11 Protestants, and was very helpful to me.


#9

I will be praying for you!

You’ve gotten some good advice, and you have lots of people praying for you and your family.

Please keep us up to date!


#10

With Liquor! Oh boy, I feel so bad for you, so many people get a bad reception to this. My suggestion is to save it for the end of the visit, just in case things get too political and emotional, that will give you leeway to not try to bicker back at them, you can just gingerly get up, grab your things and leave, optioning to e-mail/snail mail a very elongated letter highlighting your feelings/reasons. This can help depending on if you know your parents enough. I will continue to pray for you.

Maybe find a prayer card or bible passage that both Protestant and Catholic faiths both believe (as we believe in many of the passages together), to smooth over the blow. If you could find a passage that truly went in line for what you want to say or how you feel, you should be able to be more confident in your stance.

Best wishes, and God Bless!
-Hope


#11

First things first, welcome home. You’ve always been my brother in Christ, but now we unite as Catholics. Welcome home!

In regards to your parents, let me tell you something a bit in reverse. I was raised Catholic, but took a strong interest in Protestant churches when I was in my 20’s. I went to a Baptist church, than a Methodist one. My parents (in particular mom) were not happy about it, and we quarrled many times. It ended with my mom writing me a letter basically saying that she loved me regardless of my religious choices.

I came home, and am still a dejected revert. There are still many things about the church that drive me nuts. My parents were happy, but they told me that no matter what I eventually did, they’d love me no matter what.

Yours will too.


#12

Welcome back. In case you didn’t know catholic means universal.before Luther there was one Universal Christian Church. It is a great shame that so many religious leaders over the years have divided those who wish to follow Christ. Being a recent convert, you may want to be carefull of getting into debates with others over the proper way to interpret the bible. And you may want to come back here freqently to get information on how to deal with specific objections your parrents have when you decide to tell them.

You might also want to soften them up with discussions of the appostles and early christianity. Saying that you want to learn more about Christianity in the time of Christ and the apostles. From there you can explain that you want to worship like they did.

Here are some references that may be worth looking into:

Apostolic Fathers: Handing On The Faith

In this new Footprints of God film, Apostolic Fathers Handing on the Faith, Steve Ray takes you on an exciting journey to the Roman Empire and the world of the first Christians.

You’ll sit at the feet of the apostles, celebrate the Eucharist in hiding, and tremble at the suffering they endured for Jesus Christ. Retrace their steps through Israel, Turkey, France and Italy.

All this in a fast-paced, entertaining biography, travel documentary, Bible study, apologetics course and Church history study rolled into one remarkable adventure!

Church Fathers featured in this film areIgnatius of Antioch, Clement of Rome, Polycarp of Smyrna, Irenaeus of Lyonsand Justin Martyr.

Includes a comprehensive study guide as well as special features with Behind the Scenes footage, bloopers and outakes, and an interview with Fr. Benedict Groeschel.

Or

Faith of the Early Fathers, v I, II, and III

In this three-volume set the early church fathers speak for themselves. Readers will be surprised to see how much these men of antiquity sound like the orthodox Catholic leaders of today.

Volume I covers the Pre-Nicene and Nicene eras Volume II covers the Post-Nicene era through St. Jerome and Volume III covers St. Augustine to the end of the patristic period.

This set is a concrete reminder of the awesome majesty of the universal church, transcending geographic location, culture, and even time itself.


#13

You could do what I was very tempted to do… Sit them down and say, “Mom, Dad… I’m pregnant by a guy that I’ve known for a month, and we’re getting married next month. Don’t worry about us supporting ourselves, though, since he makes a ton of money dealing drugs!” After they were about to pass out, I would have added, “Never mind! I’m just converting to Catholicism!” HOWEVER, I DID NOT DO THIS!!! And I don’t recommend doing this, either… But just thinking about this approach before I told them made it easier for me when I actually did.


#14

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