I've fallen in love with the Catholic faith, but my husband....


#1

Our family is currently Protestant. ( Me, hubby, and 6 kids under 11) I have discovered, and fallen in love with the Catholic faith. I am currently in RCIA. My husband is only moderately supportive. He likes our Baptist church, and has little desire to change. I often attend Mass alone. For RCIA, I have to attend morning Mass (which I love) so I miss worshipping with my family. This greatly upsets my husband. I feel now, that I cannot worship at the Baptist church in good conscience any longer anyway. My older children do not want to leave either.

What is my responsibility? I want to be subject to my husband, but my children’s souls are at stake. Should I forgo my new found faith and just stay put with my family?


#2

I can appreciate what you’re going through right now, but don‘t lose heart. God will give you all the graces you need to persevere. Perhaps you can discuss your situation with your RCIA instructor and ask if you can substitute a vigil Mass for those times you go to your husband’s church on Sunday mornings. If this means missing an RCIA class, maybe your instructor will allow you to make it up later. If the instructor is unreceptive to the problem, I recommend you talk with the pastor.

But, when you do attend your husband’s church it’s important to remember that you cannot participate in their services (e.g., receive communion, sing songs that are contrary to the Catholic faith, do a reading). The Holy Father in his encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia states, “The Catholic faithful, therefore, while respecting the religious convictions of these separated brethren, must refrain from receiving the communion distributed in their celebrations, so as not to condone an ambiguity about the nature of the Eucharist and, consequently, to fail in their duty to bear clear witness to the truth. This would result in slowing the progress being made toward full visible unity” (30).

In the same way, the Pope stresses, Catholics cannot satisfy their Sunday obligation by attending Protestant services: “It is unthinkable to substitute for Sunday Mass ecumenical celebrations of the word or services of common prayer with Christians from the aforementioned ecclesial communities, or even participation in their own liturgical services. Such celebrations and services, however praiseworthy in certain situations, prepare for the goal of full communion, including eucharistic communion, but they cannot replace it” (30).
catholic.com/library/cag_ecclesia_de_eucharista.asp

Meanwhile, maybe you can give your husband and kids a lot of extra hugs for their loving support. With six kids under the age of eleven you probably don’t have much time to read, but if you can work in some time, I recommend you read the book *When Only One Converts * by Lynn Nordhagen.

Caryll Houselander, one of my favorite Catholic authors, wrote this to a friend who was experiencing great personal trials. It still encourages my heart whenever I read it. I pray it will do the same for you.

“For the moment, the precious and only now, you alone are the bearer of the Blessed Sacrament into your own little world. You are the monstrance, the priest giving Communion, the Real Presence, to your husband, your children and your friends; and the reason why, or one reason why, Christ has given Himself to you, is because He wishes to be with them, and can be with them, as things are, only through you.”

*The Letters of Caryll Houselander * Sheed and Ward. 1965

Continue to pray for your family and keep loving them in the Lord. Ask the angels and saints to pray for you, especially the Blessed Mother who understands most perfectly a mother’s heart. I will keep you in my prayers.


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