Marry the Preacher's Daughter


#1

I have met a wonderful girl and we are going to get married (I'm 43 and she's 35). I am born and raised Catholic, she is born and raised Evangelical (Pentacostal offshoot). Her father is the Minister (very erudite, charismatic, and knows the bible), and her entire family runs all aspects of their church: music, liturgy, bible study, children's programs, funeral directing, etc. They are very faithful to a fault, yet down to earth (not cult-like or in any way strange). I feel very comfortable with the people in her circle of friends and family. Through her, I have returned to Jesus, and enjoy participating in their Sunday celebrations. I have also started attending Mass again (on my own).

As a Catholic, I do not want to renounce my faith, and I do not want this to stand in the way of a happy marriage. Because of her extraordinary involvement in her own church, I do not expect that she will become Catholic, nor would I expect her to, since her church is her world in such a big way. All the same, I am concerned when kids enter the picture. They do not believe in infant baptism, but I feel I would be untrue to myself to forgo this sacrament for the (future) child, and later on holy communion. Other than that, I would be happy to let the children be brought up in her evangelical faith, yet hopefully exposed to Catholicism now and then, especially as they get a bit older. My feeling is that we could have a house of faith and prayer, and teach strong faith and morals, which is a better environment for family life than many I see in nominally 'catholic' households. I believe the Love of God is shining down and giving us His blessing.


#2

Congratulations on your engagement!

Which church will you marry in?


#3

Before you do anything else, go talk to your priest and arrange pre-cana. These days it is not at all unusual for a couple to be of two faiths. There are many issues that should be considered as you go through the process but they are not insurmountable. You will need to apply for permission to marry a non-Catholic so you may as well start the process now.


#4

To Corki: thanks, yes I plan to discuss this with a priest. The only person I imagine to have misgivings on this is my mother, as she is a devout Catholic. To KopyKat: my fiancee has expressed the desire to be married in her own church (with a minister other than her father). Considering the unique situation she is in regarding her own faith and church status, this is what I choose too. Also,had it not been for her, I would still be adrift faith-wise.


#5

[quote="ebanjolist, post:4, topic:245591"]
To Corki: thanks, yes I plan to discuss this with a priest. The only person I imagine to have misgivings on this is my mother, as she is a devout Catholic. To KopyKat: my fiancee has expressed the desire to be married in her own church (with a minister other than her father). Considering the unique situation she is in regarding her own faith and church status, this is what I choose too. Also,had it not been for her, I would still be adrift faith-wise.

[/quote]

If you plan to get married in her Church, you will need a dispensation in order for the marriage to be valid. Another thing to put on the list for speaking to the priest.


#6

[quote="ebanjolist, post:4, topic:245591"]
To Corki: thanks, yes I plan to discuss this with a priest. The only person I imagine to have misgivings on this is my mother, as she is a devout Catholic. To KopyKat: my fiancee has expressed the desire to be married in her own church (with a minister other than her father). Considering the unique situation she is in regarding her own faith and church status, this is what I choose too. Also,had it not been for her, I would still be adrift faith-wise.

[/quote]

As Corki said, you will need to have dispensation to be married outside a Catholic Church. Also after reading your first post, you mentioned that the children will be raised in the wife's faith, and introduced little to the Catholic faith. This will most certainly cause problems with receiving dispensations. One of the agreements is that children will be raised Catholic. They may go to the other Church as well, but Catholicism must be their first religion. This includes baptism. :sad_yes:


#7

ebanjolist,

God bless you and I wish you the very best during the two of you becoming one. The reason I asked about which church is for the same reasons that were mentioned regarding the dispensations and the requirement of your intended to agree that the children will be raised catholic.

I also understand your feelings regarding her playing a role in your rediscovering of your own faith. When I met my fiance over two years ago, I was faithless but deeply in love. While I loved him and respected his faith, I was unwilling to convert FOR him. I did extensive research on catholics marrying non catholics and tried to understand as much as I could about the churches teachings on how such a marriage would be/would not be recognized. Somewhere along the way, God chose me very loud and clear and I've been on fire ever since. Now baptized, this makes our future plans much less complicated. However, despite a lot of the advice I've seen on here about mixed faith marriages, I don't believe that you just cut someone loose that God put into your life because there are hurdles.

If my fiance had done that, not only would we both we heart broken, but I wouldn't know the faith. I am so grateful that God entered my life and that my fiance was an instrument in that.

Definitely talk to a priest and get some guidance. She should most certainly be with you so she can hear what he has to say and so she can express her concerns and get her questions answered as well.

God bless and many prayers for you!


#8

CopyKat: Thanks, the idea of bringing her along to meet a priest is a good idea. However, I don't want to do anything to alienate her from her family. I guess practically, what does it mean to raise a child Catholic, prevent them from being raised Evangelical? On many levels, from what I see, they seem to be doing a better job raising believing, faithful, and chaste progeny. Many Catholics I know, on the other hand, either downplay/dismiss or apologize for the fact, and overcompensate in trying to fit in among the secular crowd. And I think the Catholic school system is largely at fault, as well as accepted liberal attitudes in many parishes (re abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, euthanasia, etc.). My personal feeling is that the Evangelical world may be a better environment in which to bring up a child. So, if being with an Evangelical wife makes me into a better Christian and Catholic, and I pass that attitude onto the kids, then how can this be displeasing to God? I would see it as giving their souls a better chance of achieving salvation. However, I would expect some compromises on my wife's part regarding the children receiving the sacraments of baptism and holy communion (is the such a thing as Christian dual-citizenship?). As the children matured, they would be better prepared to work it out for themselves with God's help.


#9

[quote="ebanjolist, post:8, topic:245591"]
CopyKat: Thanks, the idea of bringing her along to meet a priest is a good idea. However, I don't want to do anything to alienate her from her family. I guess practically, what does it mean to raise a child Catholic, prevent them from being raised Evangelical? On many levels, from what I see, they seem to be doing a better job raising believing, faithful, and chaste progeny. Many Catholics I know, on the other hand, either downplay/dismiss or apologize for the fact, and overcompensate in trying to fit in among the secular crowd. And I think the Catholic school system is largely at fault, as well as accepted liberal attitudes in many parishes (re abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, euthanasia, etc.). My personal feeling is that the Evangelical world may be a better environment in which to bring up a child. So, if being with an Evangelical wife makes me into a better Christian and Catholic, and I pass that attitude onto the kids, then how can this be displeasing to God? I would see it as giving their souls a better chance of achieving salvation. However, I would expect some compromises on my wife's part regarding the children receiving the sacraments of baptism and holy communion (is the such a thing as Christian dual-citizenship?). As the children matured, they would be better prepared to work it out for themselves with God's help.

[/quote]

Yes but here is the issue - once your children receive those Sacraments that you just mentioned both you and they fall under the five precepts - for them not to follow those precepts is mortal sin. For you not to teach them to follow those precepts after placing those indellible marks on their soul is mortal sin. One of those precepts is mass attendance every Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation. Another is giving to the Church. (tithing) Another is fasting. Another is confession (once a year) Another is Eucharist (once a year minimum - but cannot receive in a state of mortal sin.) So here is where the rubber meets the road - you cannot compel a Sacrament and then not live it.


#10

[quote="ebanjolist, post:8, topic:245591"]
CopyKat: Thanks, the idea of bringing her along to meet a priest is a good idea. However, I don't want to do anything to alienate her from her family. I guess practically, what does it mean to raise a child Catholic, prevent them from being raised Evangelical? On many levels, from what I see, they seem to be doing a better job raising believing, faithful, and chaste progeny. Many Catholics I know, on the other hand, either downplay/dismiss or apologize for the fact, and overcompensate in trying to fit in among the secular crowd. And I think the Catholic school system is largely at fault, as well as accepted liberal attitudes in many parishes (re abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, euthanasia, etc.). My personal feeling is that the Evangelical world may be a better environment in which to bring up a child. So, if being with an Evangelical wife makes me into a better Christian and Catholic, and I pass that attitude onto the kids, then how can this be displeasing to God? I would see it as giving their souls a better chance of achieving salvation. However, I would expect some compromises on my wife's part regarding the children receiving the sacraments of baptism and holy communion (is the such a thing as Christian dual-citizenship?). As the children matured, they would be better prepared to work it out for themselves with God's help.

[/quote]

And you could not live a chaste and holy life in teh CC? how come? I think they are already turning you against the Church. This is not a good sign. How come you have to give up your faith and she doesn't?


#11

[quote="ebanjolist, post:8, topic:245591"]
CopyKat: Thanks, the idea of bringing her along to meet a priest is a good idea. However, I don't want to do anything to alienate her from her family..

[/quote]

While you don't need to bring her along for your first meeting with the priest, you can't do marriage preparation without her. Part of the process of getting the dispensation is that the Church, in the person of the pastor, has to be assured that this mixed marriage is not going to be a harm to your own faith.

I guess practically, what does it mean to raise a child Catholic, prevent them from being raised Evangelical?

Not necessarily. It used to be that you had to promise to raise them as Catholics. Now the promise is to raise them, to the best of your ability, with a firm knowledge of the faith.

On many levels, from what I see, they seem to be doing a better job raising believing, faithful, and chaste progeny.

Who is "they"?

Many Catholics I know, on the other hand, either downplay/dismiss or apologize for the fact, and overcompensate in trying to fit in among the secular crowd.

In terms of raising your children, the only Catholic that matters is you. Don't worry about what other Catholics might or might not do. I know plenty of secular Protestants too. It doesn't mean anything.

And I think the Catholic school system is largely at fault, as well as accepted liberal attitudes in many parishes (re abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, euthanasia, etc.).

There are good and not good Catholic schools.

My personal feeling is that the Evangelical world may be a better environment in which to bring up a child.

I don't even know what an "Evangelical world" is.

So, if being with an Evangelical wife makes me into a better Christian and Catholic, and I pass that attitude onto the kids, then how can this be displeasing to God?

That would be a good thing if your children see you using your faith to be a better Catholic.

I would see it as giving their souls a better chance of achieving salvation. However, I would expect some compromises on my wife's part regarding the children receiving the sacraments of baptism and holy communion (is the such a thing as Christian dual-citizenship?).

Here's where you might have some problems. Although you don't have to promise to raise your kids as Catholics when you marry, you do have to make that promise if you present them for Baptism as Catholics. Also, you can't expect your kids to receive First Holy Communion if they haven't been practicing Catholicism (going to Mass, Confession, learning Catholic prayers) and attending Catholic religious education. In fact, these are requirements in most parish First Communion programs.

As the children matured, they would be better prepared to work it out for themselves with God's help.

Actually, children who are not given a clear religious identity when they are young are less likely to have one later in life.


#12

[quote="ebanjolist, post:1, topic:245591"]
I have met a wonderful girl and we are going to get married (I'm 43 and she's 35). I am born and raised Catholic, she is born and raised Evangelical (Pentacostal offshoot). Her father is the Minister (very erudite, charismatic, and knows the bible), and her entire family runs all aspects of their church: music, liturgy, bible study, children's programs, funeral directing, etc. They are very faithful to a fault, yet down to earth (not cult-like or in any way strange). I feel very comfortable with the people in her circle of friends and family. Through her, I have returned to Jesus, and enjoy participating in their Sunday celebrations. I have also started attending Mass again (on my own).

As a Catholic, I do not want to renounce my faith, and I do not want this to stand in the way of a happy marriage. Because of her extraordinary involvement in her own church, I do not expect that she will become Catholic, nor would I expect her to, since her church is her world in such a big way. All the same, I am concerned when kids enter the picture. They do not believe in infant baptism, but I feel I would be untrue to myself to forgo this sacrament for the (future) child, and later on holy communion. Other than that, I would be happy to let the children be brought up in her evangelical faith, yet hopefully exposed to Catholicism now and then, especially as they get a bit older. My feeling is that we could have a house of faith and prayer, and teach strong faith and morals, which is a better environment for family life than many I see in nominally 'catholic' households. I believe the Love of God is shining down and giving us His blessing.

[/quote]

If she is not willing to raise y'all's children Catholic and not use contraception, you cannot marry her, FYI.

That means infant baptism is a must.


#13

I don’t think you fully understand your own faith, your obligations as a Catholic, and the requirements you must meet to marry a non-Catholic.

You definitely need to sit down with your priest.


#14

[quote="ebanjolist, post:8, topic:245591"]
CopyKat: Thanks, the idea of bringing her along to meet a priest is a good idea. However, I don't want to do anything to alienate her from her family..

[/quote]

Yet you don't have a problem with upsetting your devout Catholic mother. Sounds like you are getting the short end of the double standard stick

[quote="ebanjolist, post:8, topic:245591"]

I guess practically, what does it mean to raise a child Catholic, prevent them from being raised Evangelical? ..

[/quote]

That definetly is one way to put it

[quote="ebanjolist, post:8, topic:245591"]
On many levels, from what I see, they seem to be doing a better job raising believing, faithful, and chaste progeny. Many Catholics I know, on the other hand, either downplay/dismiss or apologize for the fact, and overcompensate in trying to fit in among the secular crowd. ..

[/quote]

This offends me. How can you assume I am that way. With all due respect, even Dale Carnegy (regarldess of his religious beliefs) would agree, you are not going to win friends if you come on a Catholic website and insult Catholics

[quote="ebanjolist, post:8, topic:245591"]
And I think the Catholic school system is largely at fault, as well as accepted liberal attitudes in many parishes (re abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, euthanasia, etc.)...

[/quote]

Find another parish

[quote="ebanjolist, post:8, topic:245591"]
My personal feeling is that the Evangelical world may be a better environment in which to bring up a child....

[/quote]

Again, if that is how you feel, why are you coming onto a Catholic site asking for advice? I don't go to the coffee shop when I feel like eating ice cream

[quote="ebanjolist, post:8, topic:245591"]
So, if being with an Evangelical wife makes me into a better Christian and Catholic, and I pass that attitude onto the kids, then how can this be displeasing to God? ....

[/quote]

If God's way of calling you back to the Catholic church was to first go to an Evangelical church, I am not going to argue with God's plan. But unless you regularly attend a Catholic church and teach you children you only go to the Evangelical one to be polite to your wife, you are NOT a better Catholic

[quote="ebanjolist, post:8, topic:245591"]
I would see it as giving their souls a better chance of achieving salvation. However, I would expect some compromises on my wife's part regarding the children receiving the sacraments of baptism and holy communion (is the such a thing as Christian dual-citizenship?). As the children matured, they would be better prepared to work it out for themselves with God's help.

[/quote]

To bring kids up in 2 different faiths in my opinion is emotionally damaging. They will feel guilty hearing in the Catholic church 'This is the one true church' when they know they go to another one. You are just confusing your kids. Religion can RARELY be compromised. It if it is, chances are, both parties are not taking their religion seriously

So, if you just read my post and are thinking to yourself that I am judgemental and let my post further alienate your from the Catholic religion, I have 2 things to say about that

1-) As a Catholic I am honest. I am not going to sugar coat it to trick you into coming back only to later found out what the church is all about. I am honest and if you determine it is not for you, I have no hard feelings

2-) It is hard enough to live in a secular society where I have to constantly watch what I am saying at work to 'not offend' anyone. On a Catholic website, I don't downplay my religious beliefs


#15

[quote="1ke, post:13, topic:245591"]
I don't think you fully understand your own faith, your obligations as a Catholic, and the requirements you must meet to marry a non-Catholic.

You definitely need to sit down with your priest.

[/quote]

OP, try doing a search on mixed marriages or just scroll down through 1ke's past posts. You seem much more concerned with not offending your nice potential in-laws than finding out what the Catholic church really teaches about marriage, sacraments, and raising children in the faith.

Your plan is very shaky and I can say from witnessing this many times that it will not work out as you imagine it. Especially if your girlfriend's church was founded by her dad or is one in a splinter denomination, it may not even exist through a 3rd generation. Many small churches lose their way when the founder dies or retires. If your girlfriend is part of a major evangelical denomination like Church of Christ or Baptist, you will find their teachings to be inherently anti-Catholic. It is part of their make-up as protestant churches.

As another poster has said, as their father, it is your God-given duty to raise your children in the faith. Once having baptised them as Catholics, it behooves you to raise them that way. Attnding Mass fjust or Christmas and their First Communion is not the way to do that.


#16

Thank you all for the constructive advice. I waited a few days to report because I reacted emotionally to some of what I read, and figured I'd wait for restored balance. Obviously, it is a struggle, and I came here not to offend any Catholics who are living out their faith journey true to Church precepts. Sometimes I write fast and the meanings become obscured by poor word choice. This is the drawback of instant written communication, without vocal inflections, body language, eye contact, and laughter. Emoticons are a poor substitute.

As of now, children are potential, and it will take the consummation of marriage and future matrimonial relations to bring them into the world, if this is God's will. As a young woman, she vowed chastity until marriage, so she's already keeping me in check ;)

Ideally, I would like Mass attendance every Sunday (or Saturday evening). Also, childrens programs to teach the Faith. (I do not trust the Separate School system to do this, at least in Ontario, where they teach children that it is OK to be gay, etc., but I digress).

I am studying more apologetics and theology, to try and understand the differences between Catholic and Evangelical/Fundamental faith. I do not want to be judgmental until my awareness, understanding, and knowledge increases in these areas. Although my initial positions is that we all believe the same Bible, and agree on many points of faith and morals. I would like her (my future wife) to do similar study and try and understand the meaning of Sacraments and other Catholic precepts.


#17

[quote="ebanjolist, post:16, topic:245591"]

I am studying more apologetics and theology, to try and understand the differences between Catholic and Evangelical/Fundamental faith. I do not want to be judgmental until my awareness, understanding, and knowledge increases in these areas. Although my initial positions is that we all believe the same Bible, and agree on many points of faith and morals. I would like her (my future wife) to do similar study and try and understand the meaning of Sacraments and other Catholic precepts.

[/quote]

Lets start here.....You may find her Bible lacking seven books that your Bible has. These seven books have meaning. They were taken out because Martin Luther did not like them. They also hold many of the arguments for our belief in Purgatory, the Eucharist, etc. But just checking in. There is a Canadian writer who just wrote a bestseller "Why Catholics Are Right." You May wish to start there.


#18

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