How to tell your parents you've converted?


Anybody have any advice about this? (I am 16.)

Parents didn’t care when I told them I was an atheist, but I fear they are slightly anti-C.

Any thoughts much appreciated!


Are you struggling to tell your parents you’ve become Catholic? I just want to be sure of what you ask.


What age does the Church allow minors to convert without their parents’ consent?

As for you question, it’s very difficult. Parents don’t like it when their teenagers form values and beliefs differing from their own. It’s very touchy. You should talk to your priest or spiritual advisor. Posting this here will only get you a slew of different opinions of strangers, whose credentials are uncertain.


OK, I just checked some of your other posts and can assume that you’ve become Catholic. That’s GREAT! Welcome to the fullness of the Church established by Jesus Christ in 33 AD.

How to tell your parents. I’ve got several suggestions. One, just blurt it out. ‘Mom, Dad, I’ve become Catholic.’ Just let the chips fall where they may. My guess is they’ll be OK and besides, if they really are anti-Catholic, let them challenge you. The discussion will help you learn more and them too. As you pray for their conversion, made possible by your example in Christ, maybe you can bring them into the fullness of the one, true Church.

Maybe you could just put some things around your room. Maybe a nice little home altar, pictures of Jesus and Mary, keep your rosary handy, prayer cards, you know, stuff like that.

I’m not sure you even have to tell. If it would really jeopardize your situation with them, is there really any need to tell?

Whatever the case, you’re Catholic now and always will be. Just keep learnin’ everything you can about it.


Here’s one way to be the bearer of “bad” news.

Before you blurt it out…start by thanking your parents for the things they’ve done for you (give as many examples as you can remember), the (good) values they instilled in you, the fact that they raised you. It’s not easy. Remind them of their love for you and your love for them. etc.

Then blurt it out. :slight_smile:


I would certainly not want to do this. Pretty big violation of No. 5!

Are you struggling to tell your parents you’ve become Catholic? I just want to be sure of what you ask.

Not so much struggling, as thinking of the best time, place and manner in which to do so.

Thanks for your advice so far, anything more would be also appreciated!


I will pray God gives you the perfect timing and all goes well.


I’m not understanding you. You say you are 16 and you imply that you have converted to the Catholic faith and wish to have advise on how to break this news to your anti-Catholic parents. With this information, I summise that you converted to the Catholic faith without your parent’s consent, am I correct?


How about telling them all the things you’re not?

"Hey mom, dad, I just wanted to let you know that I’m NOT a drug addict. I’m also not running a gambling ring out of my locker, have not even once today tortured a small (or any other sized) animal, and have refrained from all forms of theft. Aren’t you glad?

Oh, and by the way, I converted to Catholicism! Yay me!" and start doing a happy dance.

Ok, so probably not. But I have a hard time with people (not just your parents, I know others like this) who have an easier time with someone being an atheist than embracing Catholicism. :rolleyes:

Good luck.


I asked my Mom for a crucifix. She said “Isn’t that more of a Catholic thing?” I said “Well Mom, I might be Catholic.”

The ‘might be’ was just to soften the blow. I knew what I was. :stuck_out_tongue:

You know your parents though, and you’ll know the best way to handle this. Strangers probably can’t offer the best advice in this situtation.

Although as I contemplated how to ‘break the news’ I did think it was funny/ironic how it seemed like I was ‘coming out’ to my parents. :smiley:


I’m not understanding you. You say you are 16 and you imply that you have converted to the Catholic faith and wish to have advise on how to break this news to your anti-Catholic parents. With this information, I summise that you converted to the Catholic faith without your parent’s consent, am I correct?

Sorry, yes: I meant to draw the distinction between converting and actually being received into the Church, which are two quite different things (IMHO, of course).

Thanks everyone for your advice; I’m home this weekend (from boarding school) so will hopefully tell them today. I’ll let you know how it goes!


Thanks for clarifying this, Katholicos! I was very concerned how you could be confirmed, as a minor, without your parents support or knowledge.

Do I understand correctly that you are drawn to Catholicism and want to become Catholic? Quite different from being a ‘convert’. Have you had any training such as CCE?

I imagine not, and perhaps this is your path. You are not necessarily a ‘convert’, but share the desire with your parents to become better educated in Catholicism, & determine if its what you seek.

God Bless on your journey.


Sorry, yes, you understand correctly! I am not yet in full communion with the Church; I used the word ‘convert’ to describe my state of mind.

I am, however, certain that it is what I want to do. And yes, I am having some training (not CCE, haven’t heard of it, but having an individual RCIA course at the local cathedral) and I’m now pretty familiar with what it is to be Catholic (having read much of the CCC, and being very familiar with the Bible).

Thanks again for your help!


I salute your desire & fire! :thumbsup:

And since you are familiar with the CCC & Bible, I know you’ve contemplated the 5th Commandment, perhaps why you’ve posted.

Since your parents “didn’t care” when you told them you were an atheist, several thoughts came to mind: first, your parents have no concern about your spiritual upbringing, second, perhaps they themselves are either agnostic or atheist leading to their lack of concern, and third, they may view this atheist declaration, and your present interest in Catholicism, as a ‘phase’ or rebellious act.

You need to address your extreme swing from atheism to Catholicism honestly within yourself if you haven’t already done so, and explain this shift to your parents. Believe me, they will wonder why. I’d avoid the use of the word ‘convert’, you are not one (yet), but more importantly, it has negative connotations to many, particularly to non-religious, and brings to mind cultism, brain washing, etc. Explain that you wish to pursue formal Catholic training via RCIA, and want their support and blessing.

I thought RCIA was for adults over 18, I could be wrong, or it could differ in your Diocese.

And most importantly, pray for your parents, and for your journey. You will be in mine.


Thanks for the clarification. God Bless you in your journey. :slight_smile:


It might also help to mention the 5th commandment, and tell them that since you really respect and honor them, you are being open and honest, rather than trying to hide your beliefs.

Congratulations on becoming Catholic! :thumbsup:


Re: honor your mother and father/conversion

Actually, once a person’s over the age of reason (usually age 7), one has responsibility for one’s own soul. (A minor’s parents still have responsibility for the child’s body and education, of course.) If any person over the age of reason recognizes that Catholicism is the revealed truth, it becomes that person’s responsibility to enter the Church as soon as possible. So from the very beginning of the Church, there have always been a good number of minors who did become Christian against parental wishes.

This is not to say that people should generally run around getting converted behind their parents’ backs. Heck, telling the parents what’s going on might well lead towards the parents’ conversion.

I kinda like the idea of listing the horrible things you’re not doing. :slight_smile:


Well… I did it!

I kind of did the ‘tell them the things you’re not’ thing, by trying to get them to guess what it was I wanted ‘to tell them’ (“You got a girl pregnant?!” “You’re gay?!”).

My dad eventually guessed correctly (after a bit of prompting).

And, after expressing a bit of shock, and asking me about my motivations and making sure I hadn’t been brain-washed, they told me they respected my decision, were very proud of me for making up my mind, and wanted to know when I would be received so they could come to the service!

Also turns out (I didn’t know this until they told me) that one of our neighbours is Catholic and goes to mass every Sunday, and so could drive me (we live in the middle of nowhere and I’m too young to drive).

So, thank you all for your advice and prayers!

Next thing is to tell my Godfather (evangelical protestant… :o)


How totally and incredibly wonderful!!!:slight_smile:


:clapping: :dancing: :extrahappy: :hug3: AWESOME!!

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