Meals for cohabiting new parents


A young Catholic couple in our parish who are living together just had a baby. Both of these young parents are from devout families and they KNOW this is wrong. I attended a baby shower a few weeks ago. I did feel funny about it, but every baby needs clothes and other things…

Yesterday I was wondering aloud to a friend whether the mother needed anything else. My friend talked to the girl’s mother and called me back, saying that they needed meals. I wasn’t certain that the couple was actually cohabiting but she said yes, they most definitely are. I feel very strange about bringing a meal to them in this situation, as if I’m making the statement that I think their living arrangement is fine. I didn’t tell my friend I’d bring a meal…I told her I’d think about it…but she wants to know if I am.

What would you do?



there is nothing in Christian moral law that says acts of charity may only be done for persons in a state of sanctifying grace. Do we ask everyone who approaches St. Vincent or Catholic Charities for help to go to confession first?


If they are in need of meals, and you stated an interest in helping out, then prepare a meal.

Why must we always judge? Can’t we just help out once in a while with a pure desire just to help? There will be a time down the road when you will need assistance. Would you prefer that someone help or judge you and resist helping?


Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Take a meal. —KCT


Bring a meal. We witness to the love of God for us by putting our love for others into action.



Definitely bring them a few meals, and stash some prayer cards around the house! Leave one or two in the drawers in the bathroom, leave them on the coffee table, in the drawers in the kitchen, stuff one in the TV guide, wherever you can sneak one in :stuck_out_tongue: :wink: . The CA booklet Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth is a great one. Have a green scapular blessed, and leave one in their home, and pray for their conversion! You have been given an awesome opportunity here! Jesus loves sinners, and so should we! God bless you in your efforts!!!


Bring them a meal. Do you know state of everyones soul before you decide whether to be charitable? What about a couple that had previously used contraception and planned on using after the birth? I understand being uncomfortable because they living in a situation contrary to the faith but charity is not reserved for the sinless otherwise we could be charitable to no one.
God Bless.


Fix the meal. You can bet the farm that not everyone who Mother Teresa helped was in a state of grace.


Thanks for everyone’s responses!

I don’t have a problem with bringing the food, extending help where it is needed. I am just not wanting my actions to convey the fact that I think everything is fine and wonderful. I’m not trying to judge their souls, but I feel very sad about the situation FOR THEIR SAKE. I will feel obligated to do something…make a comment in love…give a book or tape…and of course keep praying.

Our desire for every person should be that they live holy lives and be with God forever. That is my motive here…not to point fingers or imply that I’m better because I most definitely am not.

Thanks for the ideas.



Since I’m approaching 50, I always find a way to ask clucking old hen questions of young people, such as “So when are you two getting married, I hope I’m invited?!”. I’m very easy going by nature, so I can pull it off with a twinkle in my eye, probably with cassarole in hand. I figure they can always write it off to senilty. :stuck_out_tongue:


**As a former cohabiting person, I suggest that you start with just the prayer and charity. Save the books/tapes/loving comments for when you get to know the couple a bit better. **

If I were in their position, I would most likely not be as gracious about your acts of charity if I felt there were “strings” attached or that you were “pushing” religion on me.

But, now that I am a faithful Catholic, I can understand your desire to evangelize and “help” this family. But, since I have been on both sides of the fence, I hope you consider my opinion.

They will be more open to your info about the faith if they feel you are friends first.

God Bless you for being so kind and helpful!



Take the food, and go there with Christ.

You say they know this is wrong - so when ARE they planning to get married? Talk about that with them - and if you get any answer other than “We are going to get married” take it from there.

If they really think it is wrong, then they will intend to do something about it. They will intend to move on from their Sin - which means marriage or stopping co-habiting. It is your responsiblity to help them (with food) and help them (by admonishing the sinner.)


It does sound like you are judging their sins and disregarding your own. If you don’t want to give, then don’t. But don’t bring them something and expect dialog about their living situation. If they read this post, your cassarole will taste a bit spoiled.

Your charitable actions will speak louder than any words. That is the real fruit they will see.


<<As a former cohabiting person, I suggest that you start with just the prayer and charity. Save the books/tapes/loving comments for when you get to know the couple a bit better.>>

Ah, but I do know them well. I’ve known the young woman since she was three years old, and the young man since he was about eight or nine. I know their families, esp. the woman’s family, very very well. I could see how it would be more of a problem if i didn’t know them very well.

<<If I were in their position, I would most likely not be as gracious about your acts of charity if I felt there were “strings” attached or that you were “pushing” religion on me.>>

Yes, I thought of that. Even though they know me and I know them, they may be defensive.

<<But, since I have been on both sides of the fence, I hope you consider my opinion.>>

Yes, thank you very much for sharing your view from both sides of the fence. I do appreciate it.



:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

I was going to say basically the same thing… I am an early 40 something!


I am not disregarding my own sins. I am a sinner just like all of us are. However, do we not have an obligation to “admonish the sinner”? It is one of the spiritual works of mercy. If we had to be sinless ourselves to do it, no one would.



It does rather sound as if you are suggesting that the first thing we as Christians should be called to do is social justice - that the Church is a charitable organization no different to any number of charities.

Yes, we are called to offer corporal aid to those who need it. Absolutely. But we are also called to tell them where they are wrong. “Admonish the Sinner” is the first of the Spiritual Works of Mercy.

These people are living in Sin. They know this, and appear to have recognized it. If they wish to dialogue with someone about this, all well and good - but they do not get a “pass” on it because they are in need. Absolutely not. As Christians, our duty is to tell them that they are doing something wrong and to offer them help and advice.

People will quote stuff about beams and eyes, and casting the first stone. I answer with this;

I expect every single Christian to tell me when I am wrong. I expect them to back up their answers with Church teaching and not some feel-good idea, but I do expect them to tell me when I am wrong. And I expect to tell everyone when they are wrong.

It is not a Sin to tell someone that they are wrong - it is a Sin to not do anything to help them.


So, you have a case of early senility, lol!!:smiley: Welcome to the crowd. :rotfl:


This is exactly what I’d do. I am over 50, and it’s a hoot, to boot, to ask such questions and get away with it.

Another tactic is to coo over the baby. I’ve noticed people respond to their babies getting attention really well. And if you happen to slip in, “And when are* you* getting baptized, little one?”, well, you’re a member of the older generation. If the answer is, “We haven’t gotten around to that,” reply, “Oh, but Father Umteefratz would love to dunk this one! What a beautiful child! You should call him right away!” Sometimes, the way to the wedding is the baptistry.


How do you get anything done all day? That would take up my whole day. I’d have to open a booth such as the one Lucy has in Peanuts, and set up office hours for telling me my sins (longer), then for those who need their sins told to them (shorter).

I hope you don’t yell at these sinners, but tell them in a charitable way. You do that, don’t you?:confused:

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