Question for Non-Catholics...


#1

Just wondering…

If you had a child, whom you raised in your faith, and then as an adult they decided to convert to Catholicism; would you still support them in their decision, such as attend their confirmation? What would you think? What would you say to them?

I’m in the process of converting from Baptist and I really haven’t let my family know yet that I am in the process of doing so(though they know I have been thinking about it)

I guess I’m just frightened because I feel like I’m seperating myself from my family in a way. They won’t listen to why I’m doing this, and I’m afraid if I go too far with discussions it will just make them hostile toward me. Right now its a subject thats avoided. I really would like for them to attend my confirmation at Easter, but I’m not real sure how or when I should approach the subject. Any ideas of insight into what may be best is appreciated.

Thanks


#2

My husband waited until weeks before Easter to tell his Mom. (She in many ways is anti-catholic).

I would check out the Coming Home Network. They may have many resources that may be helpful to you.

The purpose of The Coming Home Network International (CHNetwork) is to provide fellowship, encouragement and support for pastors and laymen of other traditions (Protestant, Orthodox, etc…) who are somewhere along the journey or have already converted to the Catholic Church. The CHNetwork is committed to assisting and standing beside all inquirers, serving as a friend and an advocate.

The Coming Home Network’s web-page is: chnetwork.org/


#3

My husband waited until weeks before Easter to say anything to his family, espeically his Mom. (She in many ways is anti-catholic)

The Coming Home Network might be able to help you. They may have resources and tools that you may find helpful.

The purpose of The Coming Home Network International (CHNetwork) is to provide fellowship, encouragement and support for pastors and laymen of other traditions (Protestant, Orthodox, etc…) who are somewhere along the journey or have already converted to the Catholic Church. The CHNetwork is committed to assisting and standing beside all inquirers, serving as a friend and an advocate.

The Coming Home Network web-page is: chnetwork.org/


#4

My husband waited until weeks before Easter to say anything to his family, espeically his Mom. (She in many ways is anti-catholic)

The Coming Home Network might be able to help you. They may have resources and tools that you may find helpful.

The purpose of The Coming Home Network International (CHNetwork) is to provide fellowship, encouragement and support for pastors and laymen of other traditions (Protestant, Orthodox, etc…) who are somewhere along the journey or have already converted to the Catholic Church. The CHNetwork is committed to assisting and standing beside all inquirers, serving as a friend and an advocate.

The Coming Home Network web-page is: chnetwork.org/


#5

When hubby did say something… He just said this is what I’m doing Easter Sunday and I would like you to be there. :slight_smile:

Everyone of his family came :slight_smile: So that was good, but they didn’t stay around afterwards, and they didn’t come to the house for cake and drinks afterwards. :frowning:

Hubby a lot of ways was just thankful that they came, espeically his Mom :slight_smile:


#6

From my standpoint, the important thing would be that my child knows Christ as Lord. If that is in a Catholic Church, a Baptist Church, or some other Christian Church…so be it. That’s not to say that I don’t have my own views on these various Churches. I think the response is going to vary a lot by the individual family though.


#7

My Baptist family’s response was even more disappointing than hostility. Apathy… It’s like they didn’t care.:frowning: That was nearly ten years ago and now my sister comes to my church with me;)
Eventually I hope that all my family will come to the catholic faith because of my love for them.
“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1Corinthians 13:13

Peace,
+Nathan


#8

I would do my very best to convince them of their error, but it isn’t like I would disown my child because he/she became a RC.


#9

I think this is a reasonable way of approaching this issue. :thumbsup:


#10

On a related note… I was thankful that my grown children and my teen attended my First Eucharist/Confirmation (none of them Catholic).

Then again, I attended my older daughter’s adult baptism although I had baptized her as a child - I also attended my father’s LDS baptism. I wasn’t Catholic then, I think now I might attend these things as family support but I for sure would make my beliefs and feelings known.


#11

Hi,
I have to be honest here. I would be upset but I would talk with my child and try to understand why they would want to become catholic. I would listen, pray and then go from there. I would hope your family would do the same. One thing I will say that you should give your family the same courtesy and let them say what they feel. It should be mutual respect for each other.

I will pray for you. If I were you I would be nervous too. I pray that your family at least hear’s you out.

I would not be happy but I would not forsake my child either. I would go to the ceremonies but my child would know how I felt in love of course.

God Speed,

AFH


#12

If I had a child and he or she decided to convert to another religion, I would support their choice, and would attend steps such as confirmation etc etc.
I think you should try and tell your family, maybe through hints, you don’t need to get them around the table and tell them "mom, dad, I’m becoming a Catholic. There’s more subtle ways to tell things, and if you are unsure of their reaction then maybe you should try and be subtle. but do try and tell them. you’re still a Christian after all, so I’m sure they’ll understand that you are still walking towards Jesus, just through a different path.
Blessings and good thoughts to you!!!:thumbsup:


#13

I would encourage you to pick a good time to tell them, before it gets too much closer. Well…I guess you have till Easter, but if you go to RCIA, then they will suspect something is up if they know you’re going.

Members of my family are still upset and it’s a painful thing, but you just sort of have to take it as part of the package if you meet with strong resistance. I believe they would prefer you telling them rather than them finding out “by default.”


#14

I would not support them in the decision. I wouldn’t “disown” them or stop loving them or stop having them home for Thanksgiving dinner.

I would attend the confirmation.

I would tell them that I think they are making a grave mistake and urge them to never stop trusting in Christ Alone for redemption.

As time went on I would expand on this.

There are worse ways to go. You are joining a Christian Church afterall.

It’s got to be tough and I don’t know your parents, but, being a parent myself I guess I would urge my child to know that I always, always love them and while I may not agree with every decision they make, and while I will continue to exercize my right of counsel to them, I can’t stop them from making them.

I would hope your family would do the same.

A lot of it has to do with how you communicate. Do you talk with them or do you just argue? If communication is possible then you should bring it up charitably and respectfully as soon as possible.

If not then you should at least let them know and offer them the invitation but don’t harden your heart if they don’t attend.

If you’re a minor you should wait until you aren’t anymore.


#15

My dh started RCIA a couple of weeks ago, and he plans on telling his parents (Southern Baptists) simply that he “joined Ellen’s Church.” I don’t think they understand the, complexity?, for want of a better word, of becoming Catholic. His sister and bil belong to a 'nondenominational" Vinyard church, and they had no problem w/ her leaving the S. Baptists, so dh is hoping it’ll be the same for him. They themselves recently joined another church, after “shopping” for awhile, and although they ultimately remained S.Baptist, they did check out a couple of other churches (nondenom. “community” churches). Of course, they’re not anti-Catholic, so the “as long as you’re Christian” motto applies to them (and, being S. Baptist, they believe that dh was “saved” at age 9, so it really doesn’t matter which church he attends, he’s good to go (to heaven ;)).

Ellen


#16

For me the person I was most scared to tell was someone who thought I was already Catholic. (I didn’t want her to think less of me for being a convert - and also I didn’t want her to get mad because when she had assumed I was Catholic, I didn’t take the time to correct her.)

I was afraid to tell my parents, but my husband let it out of the bag to my Mom - I guess he just needed someone to talk to. (He made the decision to remain Protestant.)

My Mom called the same afternoon and said, “When were you going to bother to tell me?!!” She also wanted to know everything, and she kept trying to show how our Protestant religion has everything that the Church has - anyway, in her case, I should have told her sooner, and at a time of my own choosing so that I could be prepared to answer all of her questions.

(Lesson learned: if you have told anybody who knows your parents, or anyone who knows someone who knows your parents, then they will find out, so try to be the first one to tell them, for the sake of peace in the house.)

I told my Dad about a month later (my parents are divorced, and my Dad lives in a different city) and he was supportive but not all that interested. They all came to my Confirmation, which was really nice of them. They seemed to have a good time - my Dad thought that there were way too many Scripture readings, and my Mom said, “Who’s Teresa?” because Father called me by my Confirmation name instead of my given name, (which I thought was a nice touch - it felt like, “Yes, I am really Catholic, now”).

Once I explained to her that Teresa is my Confirmation name, she was okay with it - she thought the priest had made a mistake. :slight_smile:


#17

Dear Homewardbound,

Just out of couriosity, what is it that directed you to the Catholic Faith?

Steve


#18

Homewardbound,

Just a few years ago I was in your shoes.

I come from a strongly rooted Baptist family. Infact on both my father’s and mother’s family line there are Baptist preachers, including my Grandfather.

My journey to Catholicism was not an easy one. I fought it freverntly. It actually took me almost five years of question, study, and prayer before I finally made my decision.

All in all they are supportive, but none of them agree. It did take them awhile to grasp it though. At first there were heated arguments, after which we decided to make a point not to discuss such things. (Although I slip things in here and there when the time is right.) One of the reasons I personally think the conversations get so heated is eventually, I would get them to a question that they had no answer for. As a baptist growing up, i was very aware of my beliefs and the theology. As a Catholic I would say I am even more so, infact thats why I am one today.

That is the first part of my advice. Be deeply rooted in your faith, and KNOW the reaaons and the real meanings behind the church’s teachings.

The second peice of advice I can give you is to do your best not to let them make you angry by attacking your faith, this will lead to nothing. Pray for calmness and a clear mind if you are ever in these situations.

The third peice of advice is to be honest. As I am sure you are aware, some things in Catholicism can be quite shocking to a protestant person. Especially one who cares about you. When they ask you questions be honest. Don’t apologize for your beliefs, be proud of them.

The fourth and final peice of advice is prayer. Pray for your family and yourself. In time I am sure most if not all of them will accept your choice and hopefully you may even pull a few of them over with you :thumbsup:

These types of situations are never easy but, I don’t think it will be as bad as you are worried about. My experience was not as bad as I had feared. Ask your family to come, tell them how much it would mean to you. If they do not come, don’t hold hostile feeling toward them. My grandmother could not bring herself to come, but she did give me a card to congratulate my baptism. It may not seem like much but it was big step for her.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I open my arms to you in fellowship, and congratulate you on what I am sure was not an easy journey.

Welcome to the church my friend. :smiley: May God bless you.


#19

I would support him/her, would attend their confirmation, and would have no problem with the idea whatsoever.

I’m in the process of converting from Baptist and I really haven’t let my family know yet that I am in the process of doing so(though they know I have been thinking about it)

If they know that you have been thinking about it, and have not raised any objections, you are unlikely to face any later on. People who have been brought up in anti-Catholic traditions, e.g., Northern Irish Presbyterians, are most likely to tell you as soon as you dare to mention the idea.

I guess I’m just frightened because I feel like I’m seperating myself from my family in a way. They won’t listen to why I’m doing this, and I’m afraid if I go too far with discussions it will just make them hostile toward me. Right now its a subject thats avoided. I really would like for them to attend my confirmation at Easter, but I’m not real sure how or when I should approach the subject. Any ideas of insight into what may be best is appreciated.

The process of watching a child grow up is the process of watching the child separate him/herself from the family. Parents get used to the idea eventually.

They might just be anticipating missing you on Sunday mornings, if you currently attend the same church, or they might fear that you will become a doctrinaire anti-Protestant. Either way, so long as the lines of communication remain open, you really have little to worry about: thus, I would suggest changing the status of this decision from something that will not be talked about. You can, I hope, discuss your ideas with them without impugning their beliefs?


#20

You are so correct. It is a shame when one’s religious prejudices keep children from coming to Him.
Recently, I had a conversation with my mormon husband in reur 9 yr old grandson’s attendance at a local non-denom church (I am a resigned mormon as of last December and all of my children have unofficially left):o
I stated I was glad he was getting the basics: God Protects Us,
Jesus Died for Us, We Can Pray and Be Heard.
Husband’s response was disheartening. He stated it would be better if grandson received NO religious training because if it is not in line with the mormon church…it is trash.:frowning:


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