Need advice on what to display..& what to say


hi all- quickly…DH is a convert and chose to do so before we said our vows 8 yrs ago. We have a pretty solid faith and are trying to raise our child in a quite old-fashioned style. She will start school next yr at a small but very orthodox Catholic school. When DH converted, he got a lot of heat from 3 nieces. They called him terrible names and as a rule, I have not gotten along with them at all. NOW…one niece lives in a small town and I find out that she has “joined” the nearby Catholic church just so she can send her kids to school there. She actually made that statement.DH’s dad reports that they didn’t “have to go through those classes or anything to join”. And they “joined” two months ago-not during Easter. I know for a fact that neither she or her husband were previously Catholic, so I wonder what exactly is up. I have been Catholic life-long and my faith is so deep that I weep many times at mass for my love of Jesus and Mary. I cannot verbally put it into words. Now DH’s sisters are coming over for a get together. I would like to display a few things about the house to convey my faith better to them, and possibly ignite some conversations. be it books, a holy water font, etc. any suggestions? I am praying that I find forgivness for the niece, but I think she is making a sham out of our church. maybe some lively discussion with other family members will help. twk


If your niece is so anti-Catholic that she called your husband nasty names when he converted, why are your niece and her husband so interested in having their children attend Catholic school? Is it just because of troubles in the local public schools?

You don’t mention what your niece’s faith background was, maybe some kind of non-denominational Protestant? It’s my understanding that they “shop around” for a church based on how they like the music and preaching, how welcomed they are made to feel by fellow-worshippers, how the church’s theology agrees with their own personal beliefs, etc. It’s possible they may just truly not understand that there’s MORE to being a Catholic than just showing up at a Catholic church on Sunday. They MUST go through RCIA instruction (in a group or individual instruction from a priest or catechist doesn’t matter) and MUST believe in the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist in order to receive. It pains me to think what blasphemy is taking place (in honest ignorance or otherwise) each Sunday if they are receiving the Blessed Sacrament merely for the convenience of sending their children to the parish’s private school.

Please, please explain this gently to your niece and her husband. We don’t want to discourage them if they are honestly and sincerely drawn to the Catholic Faith for the “right” reasons. For their information (so they know it’s not just your opinion) the policy on receiving the Eucharist is published on the cover (inside front or inside or outside back cover) of the missalette with all the Sunday readings in it. Non-Catholics (even non-Catholic Christians) must NOT receive the Eucharist; it implies a oneness and unity in belief that we must pray for and strive towards, but is just not there yet. Your husband can describe the whole RCIA and initiation processes to them, so they can understand what’s expected of them to “become a Catholic,” in actions and heart-felt beliefs, much more than just showing up on Sunday.


I don’t know that I would display anything different than you normally have up. However, if you have a picture, statue, holy water font that you planned to hang or display, now would be the time. :wink:
We have always had a crucifx over our front door and a Holy Family statue in the dining room–even before dh’s conversion. Of course, his family notices these things more now. But I feel it is a more athentic witness, than ‘decorating’ for a visit from them.

As for your neice who ‘joined’ to send her child to the parish school, you can just pray that she receives many graces from this. If she is tithing (or at least using envelopes) at the parish, be glad about the income they are receiving. I assume they are also recieving her tuition money. Pray that her children receive a good Catholic education from their classroom teachers and the priests there, no matter what paperwork disasters are going on at the parish office that she could ‘join’ without RCIA or baptismal certificates.

You can certainly initiate conversation by asking about the school and the reasons why they chose to put their children there. And always, of course, pray for them.


She slandered your husband for converting, then “joined” the Church so as to get a discount on an education from an institution she despises?

Sorry, I have no helpful advice. This makes my blood boil. I’d unceremoniously boot the unprincipled hypocrites out on their butts if they tried to cross my threshold. In my experience, putting books or items out in hopes of getting a bite does nothing. If the woman is so unprincipled as to be able to do such intellectually and morally inconsistant things, not much is going to change her heart.


Probably all she did was fill out a new parishoner registration card. :shrug: I’d call the pastor and let him know what’s going on.


This is what I was thinking too… I am sure she has absolutely no respect or understanding for the Catholic faith… And your FIL sounds like a spiteful jerk for trying to rub it in…


thank you, thank you, thank you…amen to all! This is exactly how I feel (as you all do) and of course I kept thinking to myself that I was just being a jerk for having these thoughts about her. how sad that someone who 8 yrs ago thought my religion and faith were a farce can now make a sham of that same church. I am saddened because I know that the ONLY reason they “joined” is to go to the school- she feels that the public schools there are unacceptable. oh- and BTW, DH and I are paying $5200 per year for our child to attend Catholic school in our town, but she gets FREE tutition because of financial need just two towns over. I hope that she comes to realize that you CANNOT send your child to a Catholic school where they will make sacraments and receive the catechism every day and eucharist every friday and remain a Methodist…idiots. twk


There is hope. I have seen several families whose children go to our Catholic school - for some unknown reason - become faithful Catholics. It starts with the kids - then the parents join - it’s quite amazing actually. Maybe this will happen with your niece.


I don’t know how much conversation you’ve had with them regarding their sudden “change of heart” :rolleyes: , but I would go up to them and say “Is it true? You’ve decided to join the Church? How wonderful! When will you be received? Have the kids started CCD classes yet?” If THAT doesn’t open the door to dialogue, nothing will! And I think they might be more open to instruction this way than if you just go at them, point-blank: “Hey! You can’t just walk into a Catholic Church and ACT Catholic for the tuition break!”

I’m praying for you and for them!


Could we please make sure they’re not receiving the Blessed Sacrament? Please? Please? Not that you can force them to abstain, but please explain to them how important it is not to receive if/when they don’t believe in the True Presence? Take it to the parish priest if you have to.


You haven’t talked to your neice in 8 years ? I would hope they’ve had a change of heart. I see no issues with someone who is not Catholic attending a Catholic school. At some point they’ll either have to have a change of heart (1st communion etc) plus if they’re going to mass in order to get free tuition at least its a start in the right direction.


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