Only catholic in the family


#1

I’m not exactly the only Catholic in my family, but it sure feels like it sometimes. My mother and sister attend mass with me, but that’s where their faith stops. They hate being inconvenienced by holy days of obligation or doing Friday penance.

I know it’s wrong to hate people, but I get so upset when my mother makes fun of me for believing what the Church teaches.

We fight about birth control all the time. I have some PMS problems (the usual–a little cramping, some irritability. Nothing that ibuprofen won’t cure.) and she says I should go on the Pill. I tell her no, I will not support a birth control company when there is nothing really wrong with me and that I do not believe in BC. I know what is right, but she laughs at me and says I’m crazy.

We have fights about these sorts of things all the TIME! :mad:

I doubt that this is real persecution, but I do know that we Catholics will be persecuted for our faith sometimes. I know that Jesus warned us about this, and that it shouldn’t make me angry, but it still does.

And don’t even get me started about going to public high school. I feel so alone sometimes. I just want to be around people who believe with me. Sometimes it seems like there are so few faithful people in society nowadays.

I’m glad I have these forums. It makes me feel not so alone. I wonder if there’s a part of the US that is really Catholic. I’ve heard there’s a high population of Catholics in Michigan…hmm…

**Surely some of you guys have experienced being “the only Catholic in the room” at some point, right? What do you do?
**


#2

I am converting and trust me, I am literally the only Catholic in the family!

I avoid all discussion of religion at all. They refuse to believe Catholics are even Christians so I will not let them berate me. Just this evening I mentioned something about the morning after pill and my thoughts on it and my mom didn’t get it. She sees no problem with it. Or birth control. Or getting sterilized. I won’t even try to discuss it or share my beliefs because I will just get made to feel like I am stupid and wrong.

I know whats right and whats right for me. I follow God the best way I know how, as do they, we just see things differently. I love my family, but this has created a large gap and I don’t know how to fix it.

All I can do is live my faith and embrace it. God is more important than having my family understand or even accept me.

As for public high school, it is very hard. Once high school is over it does get easier to find like minded people. Unfortunately, those who truly want to live their faith are still hard to find even at college. But there are groups and clubs to join. Either way, you can always try to get more involved in your parish. Its wonderful that you want to obey God and He will bless you for it.


#3

I’m a convert and the only practicing Catholic in my family. I used to always go to mass alone, and later I sat with friends who I met at my parish. Now I sing in the choir, so I never sit alone at my home parish. When I visit family, I’m alone again at mass! I suggest joining some activities at church where OP will make a new “spiritual” family after some time passes.

If there is a high school ministry at the parish that has its own meetings or activities beyond the required religious ed/confirmation classes, then I suggest checking it out. My parish has an awesome Lifeteen ministry that has literally hundreds of very active teens, but even a small parish has got to have a few faithful Catholic teens around. It may take more of an effort to hook up with them.

You can at least find more active Catholic teens online at www.lifeteen.com

Just showing up for mass once per week is not the way to get plugged into what is happening in the parish. It can be harder if someone can’t drive yet or lives really far from the church. However, I knew a great teen girl who used to walk about five to six miles from her house to church in order to do an hour of adoration every week when she could not get a ride. (Her family did not give her rides or ever come to church with her.) I know another family where the kids ended up having the strong faith that was a witness to their own father. He became Catholic and very active because of his children after a number of years.

God can make a way for each of us, but we have to give Him the opportunity. We cannot sit in our house and complain about not having friends. We cannot show up at church once per week for an hour and then leave and expect to connect with others who have a strong faith. Strong faith usually results in some type of outward sign like a person doing more than the minimum at church.

OP be strong in the face of family members who give you a hard time. Seeing someone whose faith is strong can make a lukewarm Catholic lash out because they see how weak their faith is in comparison. If you find some Catholic group that you want to join, then don’t worry about someone giving you a hard time. If you can get a ride from family the first couple of times, then you might meet someone who can give you a ride at the group. Maybe your church is close enough to ride a bike if you don’t have a car/ride?


#4

May I make a suggestion? It really helped me when I went through my ‘re-conversion’…and found out my mother and I are the ‘last Catholics standing’ in the family (so to speak).

Whenever someone would criticize me in regards to Catholic teaching I would say, “Thank you so much for caring about me. I appreciate it, because I know you would never say anything to me like that unless you were really concerned about my welfare. Now, how about those Dolphins, did you think they would EVER win a game this season?” or something else very generic to change the subject.

In other words, I just refused to argue with people any more…I know what Truth is…and I am not going to fight anyone over it. If my brother wanted to know how I could live a celibate life (Aren’t you lonely not having a man?) I would no longer say I was trying to live by Catholic teachings and then get drawn into some sort of weird argument about it. Instead, I started saying, “Oh don’t worry about me. I’m so loved by all of you I couldn’t possibly be lonely” and then change the subject. If my cousin said something like, “I can’t believe you still belong to a Church that won’t let women be priests!” I would answer with, “I know…weird of me, huh? So, how are the kids doing?”. When a male aquaintance made the mistake of saying, “How can you go to a Church with all those pedophiles in it?” I answered (with a smile), “well, I can sit here next to you even though 90% of the violent crimes committed against women and children are committed by men so I guess it’s not a stretch to attend Mass when maybe 5 or 6 percent of the priests in my Church have been implicated in the sexual scandals”. (for some reason he never brought that up again…hmmm).

When your mother makes a statement like “You should be on the pill” try thanking her for loving her and then change the subject. Don’t argue with her. If she insists on talking about it, recite the Hail Mary in your head until you see her lips stop moving and then say, “I’ll have to think about that, thanks Mom” and change the subject.

There cannot be a argument if you won’t ‘play’.


#5

For years my DH and I were the only Catholics on his side of the family. It’s hard, they always wanted us to go to church with them, and didn’t understand why we would go with them only when we were able to get to mass as well. They thought their service should be good enough. My DH also has a cousin who is a Baptist Minister, he and his wife have told us before that they would pray for us because they were worried about our souls, I always respond with thanks that I can always use prayers.


#6

Leslie has given you some excellent advice. Don’t let yourself be drawn into arguements. Just take your ibuprofen at the right time and don’t talk about your cramps. See what’s up with the youth group at your church or contact one of the priests and offer to get soemthing started if nothing is happening. Pray for your family and do all you can to support your own faith.


#7

Tell me about it. DH and I both work for the Church in addition to practicing. Sometimes we’re like aliens because of it, even to members of our family.

I get really frustrated with certain members of my family who are very casual about their faith, but I try to follow the example of St. Monica and turn to prayer for them. I am not their yet AT ALL, but I’ve heard that she said you need to spend more time talking to God about your loved ones and less time talking to your loved ones about God. This is a real challenge for me, but it is my goal.

God bless you in your life of faith. If it feels like a challenge, you’re doing something right!

I live in MI too. There are lots of Catholics here. Some/many may seem casual in their faith, but there are also many who are very dedicated. My prayer for you is that you will find some people to learn and grow with. God bless!


#8

I hear what you’re saying, mediatrixx. There are going to be MANY times in your life where you are the only Catholic in the room. There are going to be people who question and even laugh at your faith. The trick is to figure out who is actually asking because they want to know the answer, and those who are asking but don’t actually care, they just think they’re being clever and putting you in a tight spot. It takes experience to figure out who is who. Prepare answers for those who actually want to hear the answer. For those who don’t, stick with something simple, and then tell them that you don’t wish to discuss it further, and change the subject.

Keep strong in your faith, and know that even if no one else agrees, Jesus and your guardian angel are nodding emphatically next to you when you defend the Church’s teachings! :thumbsup:


#9

I feel with everyone here in the same situation. of 5 people I am one of 4 confirmed catholics and the ONLY one who regulary attends church. I will admit sometimes I can be rigid and scrupulous because of anxiety I suffer, but when people accuse me on religious issues of being “fire and brimstone” or “too rigid” I think they need to get more serious about the faith. So many catholics are into the “catholic lite” trend where you can only go to church occasionaly and thats it. I practice the traditional catholic spirituality. I dont think that is being too rigid or deep. I always have fights around my house on church teachings like birth control and stem cells and things like friday penances outside of lent. I usually just get ignored. :frowning:


#10

I’m kind of in a funny situation.

I’m not Catholic yet, but I’m the only one of my family and close friends who is religious in any way. None of them knows that I’m considering converting, and when my friends say something about religion, I occasionally speak up and I often fall silent. My family doesn’t say anything against religion, so there I’m lucky. When I tell them I’m converting, they’ll probably be surprised, because they always figured it would be my younger sister who’d convert - she’s always dated Christians.

On the other hand, I’m the only one of my boyfriend’s friends who’s not religious. At first, they just assumed I was Catholic like them. Then one day I went to pick up my boyfriend from Church, and his cousin was there. His cousin asked me why I hadn’t gone into the church to say a prayer while I was there, and I answered that I wasn’t religious. Since that day, whenever I’m with my boyfriend’s friends, the topic of Catholicism comes up regularly, and they’re always either asking me about what I believe in or telling me what the Church is all about.

My boyfriend doesn’t bring it up - he’s letting me make my own decisions - but his friends are certainly enthusiastic about looking out for my soul and making sure I’m the kind of woman they want him dating. :slight_smile:


#11

I’m the only Catholic in my family (which is large and very anti-catholic). I wasn’t even allowed to tell certain family members I had converted. Somehow it got out so this Christmas should be interesting :rolleyes:

I agree with Leslie’s advice. I have a quick temper so I’ll stop and say a Hail Mary to myself to give me a little time to calm down and then I’ll say “Thanks for your concern, I’m glad you care so much for my spiritual well-being. This isn’t the right time to discuss this though because…”


#12

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