I'm confused what does Family Comes First *really* mean?

Or does that even exist anymore? How far does it extend? Does it include non Catholic members? Is immediate family a wife, husband and children only? Where do brothers sisters mothers and fathers fall?
I do apologize for what is a complicated question, however, I am having a very difficult time understanding something, I thought was important to being a good person let alone a good Catholic.
Short overview. I am Presbyterian, my brother who was also, became Catholic for his wife. Our parents as well as myself were very proud of him, and have never had issue or cause to have issue with his decession.
Back to my question. Maybe I am wrong, but I thought the Catholic teachings were to (simply put here) put ones family before all else, meaning when a mother or father is extremely sick, and needs immediate help, you do all you can to help. That means cancelling a camping trip with good friends, or not attending the baby shower of a friend of a friends daughter. Who should be a priority, a sister or mother or a friend wanting to go camping?
Does a Catholic not attend an informal memorial service for their mother in law because it wasnt held in church?

God first, family second. being Catholic doesn’t make us perfect. of course the right thing to do is help your parents. but we all struggle to do the right thing at times. not making an excuse, but we see these issues in families all the time, some children are more helpful than others, and daughters more than sons typically. i would forgive him and pray for him if i were you. sorry, i can’t help on the mum in law thing. God bless, i know how difficult taking care of sick parents can be. i will pray for you.

You are clearly hurt by your brother’s actions.

We must love God and love our neighbor. Charity certainly would dictate that we honor and help our parents and our siblings.

Not knowing the details, we cannot say what your brother was thinking or why he made the choices he made. You need to ask him. It is not healthy to be angry at him and come here with passive-aggressive attacks on his choices.

This isn’t a Catholic issue. This is a family issue.

God first
Family second

Some of your examples have to do with personal choices and are not driven by faith.

Regarding attending memorial services for your mum at a location not a church. There is no problem with that, I have done this with the knowledge of my Priest at a memorial conducted at the site of a car crash.

I’ve never heard “family comes first” as a Catholic teaching. However, we are commanded to honor our father and mother, and marriage is considered a vocation, so to shirk our responsibility to our parents or spouse sounds like a pretty big deal to me. I can’t think of a specific teaching regarding siblings.

I am not sure there is enough information in your post to give you a direct answer to your question.

But a few observations:

There are a few elements within those who call themselves Catholic which hold that a Catholic must not attend a non-Catholic religious service. I was an altar server in the 1950’s, and that was pretty much a given (though not an absolute, but considered so by many). Depending on who your brother speaks to/consults with/has been taught by, it is possible that he was told that going to a non-Catholic service is a no-no. Not all Catholics are well and totally catechized, and beyonbd that, it is hard to say. There may have been other issues afoot other than that; but without information from him, it is at best difficult to say.

Being or becoming Catholic is not an immediate introduction to sainthood. Yes, family should in general come before camping if there is a crisis. Generally being the operative term, I can think of numerous reasons (not excuses - reasons) that one might go camping. Sometimes the issue is selfishness. Many times, it is other issues, and is perceived as selfishness by the one remaining behind. The dynamics of that are far too great for this thread; I would only point to Martha and Mary with the understanding that one who is deeply involved with a family member (busy) can often criticize those who are not being involved with the family member also.

I would also point out that the Catholic Church is there for sinners. We all fail. That does not justify the failure; but being Catholic is not, as noted, immediate sainthood.

My mother died this Spring, and one of my brothers and I were named co-executors. My sister has not had a single thing to do with settling the estate - and for many reasons that is a plus. Someone had to lead and someone had to follow, and because my co-executor brother had handled her finances, I let him lead, and I took care of whatever was assigned to me. As my mother was aging and in need of assistance, we sorted out who did what; two of us visited often, one did not visit often, and one hardly at all. A good deal of that(but not all) had to do with when we were young, and how we reacted to all of that. I choose not to criticize; they had whatever relationship with their mother that they had; I had mine, and I am only responsible for mine and how I responded and when and where I interacted with her. When we become involved in caring for a parent or a sibling, we have a tendency to feel others should do likewise. The reality is usually other.

And ultimately, that is an issue between the other person, the one cared for, and God, and best left between the three of them. Hard to do, if you are the caregiver, but none of us are going to change who someone else is and how they react.

It is not a Catholic teaching to hurt or neglect one’s family. It would be impossible for anyone on this forum to judge your brother one way or another or judge your response to your brother’s actions. But forgiveness is an important teaching in all Christian Churches and denominations. Your brother may or may not deserve your understanding or forgiveness but God will look at your faith and be pleased if you can find it in your heart to love and forgive him.

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