Is protestant church better than no church?

I was received into the Church a few years (I was a baptized Christian prior to going through RCIA). I feel like I’m really at a crossroads right now. I’m not sure what to do. I have two special needs children and some physical limitations myself that make attending Mass very difficult. I cannot go to Mass by myself anymore because my husband doesn’t like to watch the children by himself while I go and while my husband does not forbid me taking the children to Mass, he does not help either. Finding someone to watch the children isn’t really an option either; my younger son’s medical needs intimidate people and we have an extremely difficult time finding childcare as it is. I can just imagine how my husband would react if I were able to find someone to watch them for Mass when we haven’t been able to find someone to watch them so my husband and I can go to marriage counseling or even on a short date. We haven’t had time to ourselves in long time.
I have taken my older son to Mass by himself several times, however it is challenging because he covers his ears and rocks backs and forth saying it is too loud and then the rest of Mass cannot sit still and repeatedly has to be told not to lay down in the pew or get up and wonder around (he is on the autism spectrum). I’ve received some very dirty looks and the whole experience is draining and anxiety producing. My older son is almost seven years old and has yet to be baptized. My husband, while a baptized Christian when we married, has drifted away from Christianity the last few years and now believes in some ancient alien theory (don’t get me started on that one).
One of my husband’s brothers is a youth pastor at an evangelical (protestant) church and about half of my husband’s family attends there. My husband’s family is supportive and loves having my children at church. They help us get there (drive me and the kids because I can’t drive) and help keep an eye on the kids during the church service. My children enjoy learning about Jesus with their cousins (my older son feels comfortable because of all the familiar faces) and the other children and the whole experience is peaceful and relaxed.
If we didn’t go to my brother-in-law’s church, at this point we wouldn’t be attending any church at all. And part of me thinks it’s better for my children to at least attend this church (although it doesn’t contain the fullness of the Truth) than not to attend anywhere. I’m just not sure what to do.

Better to ask your parish priest if what you’re thinking is acceptable. From my understanding of the Catholic faith, we are supposed to go to Mass every Sunday and the Holy Days. If you can’t attend Sunday Mass yet go to Evangelical services, I’m not sure that’s acceptable but your priest would know.

Perhaps there’s a group at Church that can watch your children while you attend Mass. A couple of points concern me: why wasn’t your son Baptized and why did your husband turn to a pagan religion if his family attends Protestant church?

I am sorry for the difficult situation you find yourself in right now. I also admire you for coping with so many challenges, God bless you. If it were me, I would rather go to a Christian church than no church at all, but I think you need to be able to receive the Eucharist, as it will strengthen you - and as a Catholic, you don’t have the opportunity to do that anywhere other than as part of Catholic worship.

Does your church offer a visit from a Eucharistic Minister, for people who simply are unable to attend Mass? I know my parish has an army of people who visit the housebound to make sure they can receive. In effect, with your domestic circumstances you are simply unable to attend Mass, so I really hope that might be an option for you.

However, that doesn’t really solve your problem long-term. I would have a chat with your priest on the phone and explain your concerns. Personally, I think all people should be welcomed into Mass - if they have behaviours which other people find distracting, well, that’s just how God made them. We have an altar server who is an elderly man with Tourette’s and he shouts out frequently, wanders around and sometimes interrupts the priest, who treats him with great respect. We have another regular attender who is also autistic and he yells the responses at the top of his voice. They are valued members of our congregation and no-one would want them to not attend.

I hope things improve for you. I wish you lived in England, you could come to our church with your boys and no-one would mind at all. :slight_smile:

Before you do anything else why not see if the parish you attend can help you out. There are many wonderful people in our Church and I am willing to bet that there is a possibility that someone would help you out so you can attend Mass. People help others get to Mass for a variety of reasons and you may be pleasantly surprised at what they can provide. I will pray for you to find some help.

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