Lying to parents about whereabouts


Hi everyone. I’m 18 years old and I often go to church on Saturdays by myself and then go out with my friends afterwards. I am going to college next month, but, as of now, I still live with my parents. Every time I go anywhere, they want to know where I’m going/with whom/etc. I usually just tell them where I’m going with my friends-I don’t tell them about Church.

My mother texted me when I was at Church before Mass last week and asked me where I was, and I told her I was with one of my friends. I felt bad about this because I did this deliberately to avoid a confrontation and received Communion afterwards. I told myself it wasn’t serious because I’m no longer a minor and my parents don’t need to know everything I’m doing every waking moment of every day.

What are your opinions of my situation and how should I go about handling it in the future?


Are your parents not Catholic, or would they not be supportive of your Catholicism?

Good parents know that the health, safety, and security of their children depend on factors like where they are, whom they are with, and what they are doing, so it is natural that they would ask. They might worry that you are getting into “sex, drugs, and rock and roll.” If so, perhaps they would find it reassuring that you are going to church.


They’re lapsed Catholics. They know I go to Church on Sundays but sometimes I’ll go more often and I tell them I’ll be other places. They would think it was weird and I would feel like I’m being holier-than-thou.


They might think it weird, but it’s possible they can already tell that something is off about your explanations. If so, then their minds will probably be thinking you’re off doing something far worse.

It’s difficult being eighteen (and older!) and living with parents. I remember. There was a lot of butting heads and hurt feelings between my parents and me.

Unless there are more complications, I would tell them. They may think it weird, but they won’t be worrying about you doing other things. Remember your confirmation, and draw from that the strength to not worry about what others think of your faith.


I have never encountered this. You are safe in Church and your parents should support you going to Church.


Because they are lapsed Catholics, I would tell them the truth. It could lead to a conversion in them.

If they were anti-Christian or anti-Catholic, I would understand. I don’t tell my Jewish wife that I attend daily mass during lunch because it would cause her heartache and cause “you’re so brainwashed” comments from her. So by not telling her, I’m preventing additional commotion in my marriage, preventing her from sinning by saying anti-Catholic things to me, preventing a headache, and I get to receive The Lord.

However, if I believed that telling her now would bring her closer to God, I would do it.

However, once again, because they are lapsed Catholics, and most likely improperly formed Catholics vs. anti-Catholics, I think you can & should tell them to truth.

NOTE: I obviously do not know your parents. If you feel that it will cause a real fight, then speak to a priest about what to do. But the “being holier-than-thou” reason is actually silly. Being holier-than-thou means that you are a hypocrite or that you brag about your Church activities. You will never be holier-than-thou by simply attending Mass every Sunday (or Sat night) like all Catholics are supposed to do.

I pray this is helpful.

God Bless.


Yes, after posting above, I looked at your past posts and see that your parents brought you up Catholic. So what’s the problem? Just tell them you are at Mass, or planning on going to Mass. This would be a great way to proclaim the Gospel by your actions.

Don’t worry about appearing holier-than-thou. It is not unusual for young adults to experience a resurgence of interest in faith and religion. Don’t expect your parents to share fully in your faith, but who knows what might happen with the grace of God?

There is certainly no need to lie about it. Lying is harmful to relationships. If you speak truthfully about the things that are important to you, even if they do not feel the same way, it will strengthen your relationship with them.

God bless you and your family!


Why are you accepting texts while at Mass?


It was before Mass.


I was hesitant to let my parents know about my going to daily Mass for a similar reason (they’re not lapsed Catholics, so it was a little easier for me.) My parents think I’m a bit of a “religious fanatic” so I was worried they’d think I was weird (spoiler alert- they did). When they asked where I was once, I just said “Oh, I’m at the church. I just felt like going to Mass.” in a casual, no-big-deal kind of way. I got a little teasing about being a “future nun”, but it wasn’t a big deal, because I didn’t make it one. They still think I’m a weird religious fanatic and I have been called “holier-than-thou” by them, but no big deal.

Now, let’s say that you’re parents would, like, punish you or something, or actively try to stop you from going to Mass (not just sort of roll their eyes/think you’re a weirdo), then it’s tougher.


Would I could add to this.
(Phil, praying for you and yours… my the Lord smile upon your family :slight_smile: )


When in doubt, tell the truth.

  • Following the Equator, Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar


Thank you! May The Lord Bless you, your family, and everyone in our Catholic Answers online community. Amen.


Thank you for all of your replies. Should I go to confession before receiving Communion again?


If it is really bugging you, then bring it up next confession.


Why? Were you not with friends…? Or was the church empty of fellow parishioners…? :wink:


I *personally *don’t think it is a mortal sin…so I don’t think that you need to go to confession before communion. If you thought that it was mortal sin before you lied, however, then you might need to go to confession before your next communion since in that case you gave consent to a mortal sin (at least, I think that is how it works- I’m scrupulous myself so please don’t use me as a sole reference on this matter). But Confession is always good, and with the feast of the Assumption coming up, it might be a good time to go!

By the way, let me say that I really admire you. Most people’s parents have to drag them to church to get them to attend during their teenage years. When you go to college, be sure to find a good devout Catholic youth group. I can almost guarantee that you will have TONS of fun and grow in your faith! I certainly did!

Good luck with everything and God Bless!


… in a way… if you said you were with a friend, or at a friend’s house… you really were :slight_smile:
It is of course the Lord’s house and how much more can any friend give you than the peace and salvation of the Father’s love? Maybe a stretch? More likely a convenient truth :shrug:?

IMHO, be at peace, from what I can tell, you had no intent to cause harm - in fact, your heart was trying to keep peace with and honor your parents. Sometimes trying to do right in one aspect has un-intended consequences in another - especially when we are young and still learning. God knows your heart.

If this is really bothering you, go talk with the Pastor - this shouldn’t be his first time dealing with such things and in the Meantime follow Phil’s advice.


It sounds like you are testing the boundaries of your adulthood. Being an adult comes with responsibilities & intent to do the responsibilities respectfully. It sounds like the real issues are that you do not want to have such a short leash in matters of your whereabouts. You need to have open dialog with your parents regarding their boundaries and your boundaries. Yes, this is tension, but the skills will help you in all aspects of life (career, marriage, children, in-laws, and friends). The great thing about family, is we usually biff the negotiation talks a few times, but since it’s family … It’s a good place to practice.

2304 Respect for and development of human life require peace. Peace is not merely the absence of war, and it is not limited to maintaining a balance of powers between adversaries. Peace cannot be attained on earth without safeguarding the goods of persons, free communication among men, respect for the dignity of persons and peoples, and the assiduous practice of fraternity. Peace is “the tranquillity of order.” Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit