Non-Catholic parents: how much is too much?

I’m a disabled adult who lives with her parents. They were formerly very anti-Catholic but have mellowed out a good bit in the last few years. But I always feel a bit guilty over things like the Easter Vigil. Mom’s my only possible transport and she does it, but she winced when I reminded her of the length. I feel like I’m adding extra work even doing things like no meat on Fridays (very limited use of hands so no meal prep). I’d like to do things like the Divine Mercy celebration or First Friday, but it feels wrong to ask. I’m even nervous about putting up a crucifix or sacred art or getting a medal, though that part may just be bad memories of the years when they were more strongly anti-Catholic, though Dad did ask me recently if we believed in “the Bible, John the Baptist and all that” and is convinced I’d be much happier going to church with him.

So what’s reasonable faith practice, both at home and in terms of public worship?

They are elderly but in fair health. Right now, I only ask for transport to obligatory Masses, though I did ask about Holy Thursday or Good Friday. Mom hasn’t made up her mind yet. She doesn’t complain beyond thinking no meat on Friday is silly, but she does miss the Sunday afternoon Mass and flinched a bit when I reminded her the Vigil was long. I’m in a power chair and live a fifteen minute drive from the parish and there is no way they’d trust someone to drive me. I do kind of envy my Dad (in the colloquial sense, not the sin). He goes to church every time they have anything. Twice on Sundays and on Wednesday night.

If you are in the US, many towns have special transportation services for the disabled.

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Does she have to stay with you? Or can you be dropped off and picked up later?


That’s what we do now. I go to Mass, she does part of the grocery shopping. It works out more or less. I only feel anxious over things like Easter and Christmas, and I wonder what to do with the desire to do more than the minimum and an increasing sheepishness that I have nothing but a rosary.

Ah, dear one You bring your heart and soul to Mass with you That is all the Lord requires.
Seriously, I would advise the Pastor of your dilemma after Palm Sunday but before Holy Thursday, and I think he may know of people who would happily provide rides to Mass. This is a common thing, and if you don’t require special equipment to ride in someone else’s car don’t worry about asking.
There are who enjoy this type of ministry. Ask. I will say a prayer that some good smaritan comes forward to assist you, and may you have a very Blessed Triduum and Easter.


Dear J,
It seems as if reasonable practice for you would be attending mass on Sunday and days of obligation, and saying the Rosary. Do you say it daily? It’s probably the strongest sacramental.
I’m sure our Lord is very pleased with you and the efforts you are making to be closer to him.
It would be nice for you to have a crucifix or picture of the Divine Mercy on your wall. Perhaps, since your dad is a Christian, he would put one up for you. It sounds as if he doesn’t know much about Catholicism; perhaps you could have some helpful discussions with him, focusing on the beliefs that you and he have in common. I’m sure they are many.
God bless. Please pray for me for an increase of patience. I’m sure your prayers are effective since you are dealilng with so much, so graciously.

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I find this troubling. How hard is it to have a salad, a baked potato, and a grilled chicken breast or steak for those who want it? You can eat the salad and the potato, they can have their meat, and everyone is happy? And if she doesn’t want to stay for the Easter vigil, can she just drop you off and then come back and pick you up?

I would suggest having a sit down and asking what the limitations are all the way around. It is important they understand how important your faith is to you, and important you understand their limitations with all of this. I second the previous poster who suggested tapping into some friends from church for transportation, etc. I know I wouldn’t mind a bit picking you up and bringing you to the same place I was already headed to, anyway. The more the merrier!

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