Problems with Parents (again)


Ok, to sum it up real fast, my mom is catholic and my dad isn’t. My mom believes some of the catholic practices and says the rest are wierd. My mom refuses to let me go to confession and i’m not old enough to drive myself or get there myself. My mom wouldn’t even bring me to church for a while. My dad is just kinda like “whatever do whatever you want” and he doesn’t put much faith into religion. But he listens to my mom.

Well today, i finally got my parents to bring me to church (in a church i just found, and it’s beautiful and dedicated(i think that would be the word) to St. Francis of Assisi, one of my favorite saints!!! It also has a few statues and all of St. Anthony, who is my favorite saint! It’s a fransiscan church, and i want to be a fransiscan when i’m older! So it’s perfect.) but when it came time to receive communion, i wouldn’t go up because i hadn’t gone to confession and i am currently in a state of mortal sin, as far as the sacrament at least. I had to have a whispered argument with my mom before she finally went up. I tried to explain to her how i can’t go up if i’m in a state of mortal sin. I didn’t tell her all my sins, but i used missing church purposly as an example. She said that nobody listens to that and the church makes it all up. She said nobody would be at church if they cared about that stuff. So now she says she is offended because she had me baptized and confirmed catholic and i refuse to take part in Catholic practices (communion). I tried to explain that confession is a catholic practice but she says that they only did that a long time ago. So now she says that she won’t bring me to mass unless i promise to take communion. And she refuses to bring me to confession. So i can’t do anything.

Should i say i’ll take communion and then just not take it when i get there?
Would i be held responsible for missing mass if i refused to go because i won’t take communion? Would it be a mortal sin?

Well for the good news…i should get my drivers licence in about a year.


Wow it finally posted!!! I had to write it more then once because the webpage went down or something and erased the whole thing.


Do you know anyone else who might be willing to bring you to Church? It sounds like dealing with your mom might not be the best route, maybe there’s a friend or relative who could help?

I don’t think tricking your mom into bringing you to Mass is the best choice. Not only would you be intentionally lying, it sounds like it would cause more fighting between the two of you, and i think that should be avoided. Also, because your mother is keeping you from participating in the sacraments, and you are not old enough to drive yourself, the blame is all on your mother. You are not held responsible and it is not a sin.

Also, you do NOT have to tell your sins to your mother. None of them. Missing church actually involves her, but if she was asking what your sins were, that was very wrong of her.

I hope you find a (peaceful) way to attend Mass, I’ll pray that something works out for you.


First of all, missing Mass is only a mortal sin if you did so purposely. You have not purposely missed Mass, your parents refused to take you and you had no practical way to get there yourself. That is not a mortal sin (on your part) as you had no free will in this situation.

I can suggest a couple of things. First, call a priest and explain your situation to him and ask for his advice.

Perhaps he could arrange a way for you to receive confession if you feel you need it right before Mass starts on Sunday or could arrange some other way to get with you outside of normal confession times.

But, do not keep yourself from Mass or the Eucharist at this time if the only thing you feel is holding you back is the times you missed Mass. Again, you did not have free will or the intent to miss Mass therefore it was not a mortal sin.


It is unfortunate that your mother will not take you to confession. It is also unfortunate that she is really Catholic in name only. Hopefully she will return to the Church in the future. I personally don’t necessarily agree with the Church about everything, but I try to obey it, even when I disagree. The Church mandates confession at least once a year and before reception of the Eucharist if in a state of mortal sin, and it is laudable that you are trying to obey the Church.

Here is a thought. I don’t know how far you are away from the nearest Church, but is there any chance you can get their on your own via walking or bicycling?



Well i’ve committed other sins aside from missing church that do meet the three requirements.

And the church is too far to walk to, i don’t have a bike, i have no relatives in the area, and i don’t know anyone that could give me a ride.


Don’t receive the Eucharist if you’re in a state of mortal sin, not even if that’s the only way to get your mother to agree to take you to Mass.
But it is not your fault if she refuses to take you, and you can’t get there on your own. You are not guilty of any sin in that case.
I’ll pray for you, and may the Blessed Virgin intercede for you.


Call your priest and talk to him. Explain the situation and see if he might be able to come up with a solution.

I am sorry you are having to go through this. Hang in there. You are honoring the Lord above all else and he will not abandon you.


Since you were baptized, you have godparents. If you can, contact one or both and ask them to help you get to church, confession etc. After all, they promised to do that for you at your baptism day. Now collect! And if your parents object, ask your parents to stick up for you since they were the ones who selected your godparents orginally. They are just stepping up to the plate.

With all things pray, pray, and pray some more. And when you cannot receive Communion, say a prayer for receiving Communion spiritually.

*My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. *


If you can call or email your Pastor, perhaps he could meet you before Mass and hear your confession, and then you could appease your mother’s weirdness while not being in a state of sin when receiving the Eucharist. If not I would urge you to PM Father Vincent Serpa here at Catholic Answers and ask him to explain to you the idea of ‘perfect contrition’ and see if that would help your situation.

You and your family are in my prayers.


I have posted a couple of articles of Confession on our parish website …

Also, I recommend where you can order a FREE cd on Confession by the an excellent priest, Fr Larry Richards. Check out their other free stuff.

You can also hear a couple of his talks from the 2005 Young Adults Conference: (on MP3) , “Called to Glory” 14.3 mb and “Eucharist” 21.6 mb, here…

I have saved them to a CD so I can hear them often.


I’m sorry that you have to go through this. I agree with the other posters that you should talk to your priest, but I also had another idea. If your church has a youth group you might try to get involved with that. Maybe you could start with one of the social events like a ski trip or something fun like that. Something that is not overtly faith based might make your mother feel more comfortable. I would bet that there are other kids in the youth group that are facing similar problems(there sure were in my youth group) and that they would be willing to help you get to church and to confession. Also, at my church, the priest often attended student outings, and you could probably ask him to here your confession during a youth group meeting. You and your family are in my prayers.



My godparents live in Philadelphia.

I can’t say the prayer when i am in a state of mortal sin, right? It would be just the same as receiving communion.


NO! Of course you can say it.

You have said an Act of Contrition, telling God you’re sorry because you’ve sinned against Him, and you’ve tried to make it as sincere as possible because you love God, and not just because you fear God’s punishments. It is not your fault you can’t get to confession at the present time. So- that can suffice, as perfect an Act of Contrition as you can make, and Spiritual Communion. Until you can get to confession, make an Act of Contrition every day- esp. if you commit what you think is a mortal sin.

I realize you are a young teenager, but it concerns me that you can’t apply the advice given you, and kind of dismiss it out of hand as not working, even before you try it. As gently as possible, please start looking for ways to apply the advice you are given here. Philly is not that far, esp. by email or phone call. Seriously, PM Father Serpa, today.


Of course you can say the prayer, even when your soul is in a state of mortal sin. You cannot receive the sacrement when in a state of mortal sin because then you are presuming to take the sacrement of your own will. As a result, by receiving unworthely you are desecrating the sacrement. In contrast, in the prayer you are inviting Jesus in, leaving it to Jesus to initiate his enterence into you. In the Gospel Jesus frequently chose to dine with sinners even before he forgave them for their sins. Consider yourself to be in a similar situation.



Sorry, just didn’t think it would work. But yeah, i’ll do that and i’ll also PM Father Serpa right now.


yes of course you can pray, that is how you receive the grace to perservere even in times you don’t have access to the sacraments. In fact, it is vital that you keep praying, that you don’t use your temporary difficulty as an excuse to stop praying.


I want you to remember: You never know until you try. And if you rightly and politely ask for something, the most people can do to you is say no, and all you’re out is the effort of the ask. How they react is not your problem, and not your fault.


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