Hello. I am new to this forum and have a concern which perhaps may have been posted here before but I cannot find any help regarding this issue. I was baptized and confirmed a Catholic as a child but married out of the church, after which I became an active member (and still am) of an independent evangelical church. My husband is an elder of our church and I teach Sunday school, and I consider my evangelical friends my brothers in Christ. However, I have had a yearning over many years to return to my Catholic faith because of some protestant teachings about Salvation, the rapture, Marian devotion, and others, which I cannot embrace. I originally left the Catholic church because the one in which I attended had many wealthy members and seemed more concerned with money than with the God. I have always had a passion for a relationship with Christ and a thirst for knowledge of Him, but could not find anyone in my parish church who shared that same enthusiasm. My friends wanted to party, and I often felt out of place. Upon attending my then future husband’s church, I did find that enthusiasm, along with an outflow of love and compassion among its members for me. My evangelical friends are sincere in their faith and love God, whereas my old Catholic friends (and family) are still Catholic in name only but rarely attend Mass. As a further complication in all of this, my father recently died and for the last 6 months, I have been attending Mass weekly with my mother (she does not drive), and then dropping her off after Mass and attending church with my husband. To leave my evangelical faith would be detrimental for my marriage, as my husband and I are very involved in our church. He was raised in that church, and although he is not anti-Catholic, he has issues with the faith and will not agree to be married by a priest. My parish priest says I must leave my evangelical church and get married by a priest in order to receive the Eucharist again. I am in a Catch-22 situation, so I feel at present, I have no choice but to rely upon God to change my husband’s heart if it is His will. Has anyone here been in my position before? Any advice? Thanks for listening.
Thanks. That is a good website of which I was not aware. I will definitely post there. I appreciate your help.
welcome to the forum…we are here to help you and each other…I hope you stick around a while and join in some of the threads … if you want to get silly, check out the Water Cooler
Remember, you are not the first one to have the problem you are having. God will get you through anything.
OH, By the way, I’m a Catholic Convert from an Evangelical family. I know some of what you are saying.
To return to the Sacraments you do need to have your marriage validated in the Church. You have an invalid marriage right now due to lack of form-- meaning you did not marry in the Catholic form nor receive permission to marry in a non-Catholic Church.
However, your priest overlooked an option regarding validating your marriage. The simple convalidation he refers to does require the new exchange of vows before the priest. However, there is another option that may apply to you called radical sanation. This does *not *require any participation by your husband or a new exchange of vows.
You need to conact your priest or your diocese and discuss this option.
If you are going to return to the Catholic Church his pastoral advice of discontinuing regular attendance at the Protestant church is prudent. You do not want to “pretend” to be still a member of this other church or give the appearance that you agree with their teachings. It will mean stopping the Sunday school teaching, etc. Yes, it will be hard. But, the Lord is calling you home. It does not mean you cannot occasionally attend his Church, as long as you fulfill your obligation to go to Mass.
I would also recommend reading Surprised By Truth by Patrick Madrid. There are many people in there who lost a lost of friends when they left their protestant churches, but what they gained in the Catholic church far out weighted what they lost.
Good luck, & I will pray for you!
I also left Evangelicalism to go home to the one true Church. It can be very hard. My DH had many doubts and for years was unsupportive. But I kept on with what I knew was right for me. Today he is a staunch Catholic who tries to convert other people, something that I would never have foreseen 15 years ago. God has blessed us although the way was hard.
Don’t leave it too late, because now most of my children, though baptized, will not go to Mass because they didn’t see their father go to Mass. Many times I was weak and would take the “easy” way out by going to a Protestant church with my husband. I regret that now. I should have been diligent in taking my children to Mass. It would have made a difference in how they see the Church (although I did make sure they went to Catholic schools).
One thing you never regret, though, is actually coming Home. It is the most wonderful feeling in the world and worth all the flack you’ll get.