My sister will not associate with us anymore


#1

My sister has decided to disassociate with me and my family because we are Catholic and follow what the Catholic Church teaches. She has many issues with the Catholic faith, including how the church stands on abortion, homosexuality, the structure and function of the family, and many others I’m sure. We will continue to pray for her, but what else can I do? Any advice?


#2

There’s more to the story here…no one wakes up out of the blue and decides to have no further association with their family. Is there some issue that has come up for which she has been criticized or repreimanded by the family on the basis of Catholic teaching? How old is she?


#3

[quote=jennypekny]My sister has decided to disassociate with me and my family because we are Catholic and follow what the Catholic Church teaches. She has many issues with the Catholic faith, including how the church stands on abortion, homosexuality, the structure and function of the family, and many others I’m sure. We will continue to pray for her, but what else can I do? Any advice?
[/quote]

Until your sister can discuss the differences with an open and objective mind, the best thing you can do is pray for her. God Bless you.

:slight_smile:


#4

[quote=jennypekny]My sister has decided to disassociate with me and my family because we are Catholic and follow what the Catholic Church teaches. She has many issues with the Catholic faith, including how the church stands on abortion, homosexuality, the structure and function of the family, and many others I’m sure. We will continue to pray for her, but what else can I do? Any advice?
[/quote]

All you really can do is pray for her, love her, and share the truth with her whenever the situation calls for it.

For yourself you should remember that Jesus said that he came to divide not to unite. He also told us that following him would not be easy and that the world would hate us just as it hated Him.


#5

[quote=Island Oak]There’s more to the story here…no one wakes up out of the blue and decides to have no further association with their family. Is there some issue that has come up for which she has been criticized or repreimanded by the family on the basis of Catholic teaching? How old is she?
[/quote]

Yes there is a lot more to this story, we have many problems in our family, but I’d rather not go into details. We’ll just say that a number of these issues apply to her or other members of my family personally. She is 27.


#6

I am so very sorry to hear that your sister has disassociated herself from you and from your family. It must be heartwrending. I pray that healing will happen, and that she will have a conversion on the issues she is struggling with. I hope that both you and she are holding up well under what must be terrible emotional pain.

Yours,
Jessica


#7

[quote=jennypekny]Yes there is a lot more to this story, we have many problems in our family, but I’d rather not go into details. We’ll just say that a number of these issues apply to her or other members of my family personally. She is 27.
[/quote]

I could be wrong, but it sounds like Catholicism is just a convenient stick she can pick up and beat you with.

Scott


#8

[quote=Scott Waddell]I could be wrong, but it sounds like Catholicism is just a convenient stick she can pick up and beat you with.

Scott
[/quote]

You could be very right, I’m just trying to stay strong in the faith and pray, pray, pray, pray, pray. . .


#9

Write her a short letter telling her how much you love her and tell her how much you love God and His Church. Tell her how Gods church only teaches the Truth in faith and morals and that through letters and if possible over cups of coffee you can discuss these issues one by one. You may want to have her list why she is so against the Church and her teachings and then iron out. So in time if dialogue is open God will work on her heart and convert her back to Himself through His Church.


#10

I may be off track since we have little detail, but to decide to disassociate probably means that she has been hurt in some way. I think apologizing for these injuries might help. Maybe she has been judged, when God should be the judge. With sins such as homosexuality or abortion, we should never make any statements like she is going to hell for her sins because we don’t know where her journey is going to take her. As a Catholic, you are to show love to her and not condemn her.

If you are able to follow EVERYTHING the Church teaches us, then I think you’ll be able to work this out with her through love. However, if you are anything like me, you will find your temper and your frustration getting the best of you and perhaps saying things too harshly.

She needs to show some respect for your beliefs by not trying to force her attitudes/opinions/lifestyle on you and your family, but you might be able to give her a little room to just be your sister and not “the one going to hell for her sins”. Is she Catholic (fallen away)? Hopefully, if she is Catholic, you will be able to remind her that we all find it difficult to live according to God’s will and we all commit some sexual sins or another that could send us straight to hell (contraception, masturbation, lust, adultery - tons of temptations), but that God forgives us through Confession and repentance. It is trying to improve and trying to understand God’s will that is really important, isn’t it? Many of us have the same sin that we repeatedly commit, but it is a very personal thing. It is between your sister and God (and pastoral guidance) and Jesus will know what is in her heart and judge her when the time comes. Maybe her family has tried to do the judging and has used the teachings of the Catholic Church as a weapon against her. Maybe not.

maybe you need the space right now, but if you’ve been harsh with her, I’d work on forgiving her and apologize if you said hurtful things. She needs to know that you love her and that you know that you are also a sinner and that you know God will do the judging, not you. Does this fit the situation?

If she is misguided about Church Teaching, then get her a book to inform her. Maybe something short like Why do CAtholic Genuflect. If she doesn’t understand what the Catholic Church really teaches, then maybe some info. will clear it up. Knowing that we believe that human life is a gift from God might help clear up things such as abortion. At least she can surely see why we’d be against killing something that we believe God gave to us as a gift. She may not believe as we do, but hopefully she can understand our “philosophy” on the topic of abortion.


#11

[quote=jennypekny]Yes there is a lot more to this story, we have many problems in our family, but I’d rather not go into details. We’ll just say that a number of these issues apply to her or other members of my family personally. She is 27.
[/quote]

Jenny, if abortion is one of the items she has experienced personally, she needs professional counseling and a healing ministry to help her before she will be able to respond to your love or God’s.

I’d suggest contacting Rachel’s Vineyard or Project Rachel (you can find them on the web). If your sister won’t go, you should. All family members are affected by a woman’s decision to abort and many carry guilt at not being able to stop it. The post-abortion ministry can also teach you how to deal with your sister. Contact a local crisis pregnancy center for help (in the yellow pages under Abortion Alternatives).


#12

My sister was raised Catholic, but is now an athiest. I have tried very hard not to be harsh. The strong words have come from her side. I try and turn the other cheek.

The abortion issue: it was another sibling who was pregnant and struggled with whether or not to keep the baby. She did have the baby and gave it up for adoption. I will be forever proud of her for that decision. However, the other sister, the one who will not associate with us, did not like my approach to help direct the other sibling to keep the baby.

On other issues, i.e. sexuality, my sister thinks that I do not accept her for who she is. I told her that I do accept her, it’s what she does that I have a problem with. I tell her that I love her all the time and I do, I truly do. I think this is why this situation is so very difficult.


#13

[quote=jennypekny]My sister was raised Catholic, but is now an athiest. I have tried very hard not to be harsh. The strong words have come from her side. I try and turn the other cheek.

The abortion issue: it was another sibling who was pregnant and struggled with whether or not to keep the baby. She did have the baby and gave it up for adoption. I will be forever proud of her for that decision. However, the other sister, the one who will not associate with us, did not like my approach to help direct the other sibling to keep the baby.

On other issues, i.e. sexuality, my sister thinks that I do not accept her for who she is. I told her that I do accept her, it’s what she does that I have a problem with. I tell her that I love her all the time and I do, I truly do. I think this is why this situation is so very difficult.
[/quote]

My sister was also raised Catholic and is now an athiest. She and her husband think I think I’m holier than thou because we (my husband and sons and I) go to church. My mom is the only other one in our family who is a practicing Catholic. I never bring up religion or the Church or suggest she should go. On the other hand, they often times suggest we shouldn’t go because we would miss (for example) their daughter’s dirt bike race. I don’t make apologies but I don’t preach either. It wouldn’t do any good.

Whenever we disagree on a moral topic I don’t bring up what the Church teaches or say it’s a sin or anything because of where she is coming from. I make it sound like it’s only my opinion and she is free to disagree. She doesn’t understand that morals, laws, and truth come from God and thinks we can all decide for ourselves as long as we don’t hurt anyone else. She isn’t willing to think deeper than that. The way she raises her daughters is terrible but I can’t change that. If I said something it would drive us apart. So for now, to keep family harmony, I keep quiet and try not to sound judgemental. And I pray that one day she (and her family) will come around.

Your sister sounds like she is being defensive. Hopefully with prayer the fences will be mended.


#14

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