I need a little help on this one...


#1

Hey guys!

Well some of you may have been kind of following the saga of my girlfriend and her insane father. Well, things are about to get interesting. For those of you who are just joining us, my girlfriend’s father is one of those Evangelical Fundamentalist types. He was none too fond of the idea that his little girl was going to begin dating a Catholic. But, after a year and a half, and quite a few email exchanges between him and myself, he has calmed down a great deal on the idea. Thank the Holy Spirit for that. I also gave him a Catechism, as I got tired of him “telling me” what the Catholic Church was teaching. That has helped a lot.

Ok, so enough background information. Here is the deal now. My girlfriend entered RCIA this fall. At first, I thought that this was just her way of finding out more about it, but that has changed. She is now talking about going through with a conversion at Easter. As you can imagine, this is like sweet music to my ears!

However, there is a problem in paradise. She is not the most assertive person in the world, and she sucks at making verbal arguments. She knows that if she tells her parents about her conversion that they are going to hit the roof. I am not sure what to tell her to do. I was wondering if anyone had some advice or experience in dealing with this one. My conversion was simple in comparison to the way hers may turn out.

All opinions are welcome.

Thanks!


#2

Brad

You can only do so much,you seem to know your Faith well and thats a big help.Trust the Lord,Pray and be there for her,the bulk of the job will fall on the Holy Spirit.There may come a time soon when this is out of your hands.

One thing I hear over and over in RCIA is how the one thing that really made an impact on folks comming home to the Catholic Church,was some person that impressed them by living their Catholic Faith.Be an example.

I ll be Praying for you two.God Bless you for trying to bring her home.

Frank


#3

Gee, I have been kind of following along with what’s been happening with you guys. I hope you can get some good advice because the fact is, when I converted I just didn’t tell them. My dad didn’t know until I told him where I was going to be married. :o Still my family doesn’t seem anything like the in-laws you are dealing with. God bless you in this!


#4

I would say to find a way to convert her dad. That way all will be well! :thumbsup:

Good luck widdat!

Subrosa


#5

Now that IS a job for the Holy Spirit. But, I have seen things that are more strange than that happen when the Holy Spirit got involved. We shall see. The funny part is that if her Dad converted, her entire family would probably follow.


#6

All any of us can do is use the gifts God gave us, and try to overcome any hindrances we or others have put in our way. For this we need the power of the Holy Spirit. If we try to rely on ourselves, we will make botch of it. All God asks is that we love him, be ready to answer for “the hope that lies within us,” and then allow the Holy Spirit to speak through us. I believe you will be surprised at how the Holy Spirit will work in the life of your gf. The whole thing could end up with the entire family entering the Church one day.


#7

Just keep long vision. Whatever goes on between now and any wedding and/or conversion will be ancient history soon enough. As long as you and she do the right things and for the right reasons you will be an aid to the Holy Spirit and not a hindrance.

God bless.


#8

I haven’t been keeping up with this situation, but I’ll put my two cents in if it means anything.

When I converted a couple of years ago, I didn’t tell anyone until about three weeks before Easter. I was sure, but I didn’t feel the need to tell my family too early because I knew they would spend time trying to talk me out of it and I just didn’t want to hear it. I wanted to focus my time and attention on what really mattered at that time-learning all I could about the Church before my conversion.

I suggest you two do the same. It’s several months before Easter. Don’t tell her family she’s converting. Let her spend that time building her faith and learning all she can. Then, when Easter is at hand, she can tell them then. Or, if she feels she’s not ready, have her wait until after Confirmation. Some may see this as being dishonest, but I see it as being prudent. In the early days of the Church a person thinking about becoming a Christian didn’t announce it to anyone outside the Faith because they knew they could get thrown to the lions. For your girlfriend, it might be the same situation. Announcing to her family that’s she’s converting could be the same as voluntarily throwing herself to the lions. She’s not ready for that.

Just my opinion. I hope it helps.
Scout :tiphat:


#9

Wise words! I entirely agree. :thumbsup:


#10

Well, basically here’s how I see it:

First, she’s an adult and under no obligation to tell them anything at all. I wouldn’t “tell” them or “announce” it. I’d just let it be a de facto thing. It just is. One day they’ll figure it out.

Secondly, if and when she does officially “tell” them or if they confront her when they figure it out-- she should repeat the following, “I am happy with my decision, and this is not open for discussion”. She should be a broken record with this technique. If the conversation turns belligerent then I would say “If you continue to disrespect me and my faith I will hang up/leave/ask you to leave…” and then do it.

Your girlfriend sounds as if she needs to learn to establish and enforce boundaries with her parents. This is not always easy, but must be done.


#11

This is good advice.The family and ext family I come from is pretty much Catholic,although non-practicing.Theres a few in my family,that have gone over to the fundamentalist side.As I was going through the RCIA process,the a-C attacks where very common.As the Easter Vigil approached one cousin really intensified his effort to topple my Faith.Thats really not something you should have to deal with during such a joyful process if you can avoid it.

Also,I agree 100% that she needs to be ready before she can deal with the attacks that will come.She should atleast have the RCIA process under her belt,or most of it before she does address it.


#12

There should be no secret or hiding the truth because our faith is all about the Truth. Fundamentalist are all about Biblical Truth and that is something that our faith is very well founded on, even more so than any other denomination. They just don’t realize or recognize that.

I would get your future father in law a couple of books about prominent protestants that converted. Several entitled Surprised by the Truth would be appropriate.

No one should be afraid to learn about what Catholics are really about and what we really believe, and we should never be afraid for someone else to learn that we are Catholic. More than likely your father in law is confident that his faith is strong enough to hear the truth or at least he should be. Most fundalmentalists are very closed minded, holding on fast to hearsay and rumors about what they think our beliefs are.

BUT if they really want to seek God’s Truth, they should be willing to do the research to find out what we really believe in. Bishop Sheen says people hate what they “think” Catholics believe in, no one hates Catholics for what it reallys believes in.

Ask your father in law if he would pray with you for the courage and strength to find out what Catholics really believe in and if the Holy Spirit will reveal to him what Christ’s Church is really all about.

One question I always have for protestants is that they believe the Holy Spirit guides each and every one of them to properly interpret scriptures as each of them is reading it. IF this were true, then why is it that there are literally thousands of protestant Christian denominations. Each denomination is usually started when one minister or group of folks disagrees with another’s interpretation of scriptures.

IF the Holy Spirit inspires everyone to interpret scriptures correctly, then EVERY Christian would have the exact same interpretation for every passages. There should be no disagreement or fractioning of the faith. We Catholics have ONE interpretation for scriptures, one set of teachings by the Magisterium, ONE faith guided by the Holy Spirit.

This is a question that all protestants ought to ponder. IF the Holy Spirit is guiding you, should you not come up with the same interpretation as your Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, AofG and other Christian friends for each and every passage ???


#13

Your words ring True.I never hid the fact that I was was returning to the Faith I and many in my family where Baptised in.Although a few times I wished I had cuz I did’nt want to deal with the hassle.But compared to comming home to the Lord,the hassle is a small price to pay.Although my a-C family was for the most part a rabid fundamentalist cousin,this girls are her parents and that will be a tougher struggle then mine was.

I know from exp that the Holy Spirit is with us in matters such as these and we have nothing to fear.

I reverse my opinion,don’t hide it.:thumbsup:

Thanks for the eye opener and feeding us all.


#14

My advice is for her to keep it under wraps.

But if it does get exposed…hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Option 1: Tell her to tell him that you will answer any and all questions.

Option 2: “Good Books” as Scott Hahn says. Buy him ones like “Radio Replys” and some of Patrick Madrid’s stuff or even Karl Keating’s stuff.


#15

If she converts, be a man, and tell her parents together. I think her father will respect you for being truthful. Yes, they may try to unconvert her. Choose not to make a fight out of it, keep it respectful and gentle. Follow the advice in I Peter 3:15-16

1 Peter 3:15-16 (New International Version)

15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

If they try to “unconvert” her, that will give her a chance to ask questions and give you a chance to answer those questions.

Her parents will see that you are committed to living a godly life and that alone will draw them in your favor.

Emphasize, building family relations so they don’t feel like they will be left out of your family life. They need to know that they will spend time with their grand children.


#16

Dear Sadie

This sounds very similar to my sitaution with my fiance’s father. Except we have already been through RCIA and she is now a devout Catholic. She too finds it hard to discuss her faith (and by that I mean defend it against someone trying to bite off her head). It is hard either way to explain to someone something that only the Holy Spirit can reveal. It is of course unlikely that he will never find out and you will not be able to keep it from him forever so maybe it would be better for him to find out on your terms. I dont know I hate to lend any advice seeing how our situation with my fiance’s father has turned out so bad.

I really dont think there is any one way to handle a situation like this. Or a best way for that matter. Lots of prayer and always be there for your girlfriend for support.

God Bless


#17

I thank you all for your kind words and advice. I promise to keep you all posted on the drama!

Thanks!

Brad


#18

Life is a stage


#19

I think I’ve replied to your one of your threads before, but my story is similar (not quite as extreme) as your girlfriend’s. My family is anticatholic and they pray for me daily that I’ll come to my senses before it’s too late. I don’t advise not telling her family. I also don’t advise you telling her family. If her dad is anything like mine, and it sounds like they’re pretty similar, he will flip out and blame you for taking his baby and corrupting her then he will try and persuade her with all the anticatholic rhetoric I’m sure you’ve heard from him up to this point, and finally he’ll probably say something about he thought he raised a smarter girl or something about how she’s being gullible and tell her to change or else. That’s all assuming he follows the same pattern my dad did.

I told my parents when I first started taking RCIA classes almost two years ago. They blamed my boyfriend (he is catholic) and said I was doing it for him :eek: As if I would suddenly find a faith (I wasn’t raised religious) and join a church as complex as the RCC on a whim for a boyfriend :mad: It ticked me off to no end that they thought that little of me. My dad refused to attend my baptism/first communion/conformation until my mom was killed a month before it was supposed to happen. After that he said that somebody in the family should be there so he came. How generous of him… but he came and I appreciated it. He started dating another lady about five or six months after the funeral and they got married shortly thereafter. He started to go to church with her and has sense found faith in her baptist church. He and his dad both told me that they pray for me on a daily basis that I’ll realize the mistake I’ve made and come to my senses before it’s too late.

If my boyfriend would have been anywhere around for any of this it would have made things easier for me then, but harder in the long run because that would have reinvorced their opinions that he was the one to blame for my “stupidity.” Your girlfriend needs to call her dad about a month before Easter and tell him that she’s going to enter the RCC and if he wants to come XX-XX-XXXX is the date and XX:XX is the time. She’d like him to be there, but if he doesn’t want to come that’s fine. And then she needs to tell him that she doesn’t want to hear any of his nonsense because she’s made up her mind. Goodbye. End of story. This is something she needs to do, her cross if you will, and honestly it’s not something you can help with other than giving her a shoulder to cry on and an ear to vent to. Good luck with the situation and tell her that joining the church and receiving the eucharist for the first time will make up for everything she’s ever been put through by her father :thumbsup:


#20

L I B darn, that’s the best advice I have heard so far!:thumbsup:


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