Ready to share conversion with my family


#1

My husband is a Protestant minister, and I am a stay at home mom to our four children. We were both raised in the same denomination, and I’ve loved it. It is a holiness denomination.
Through our time in his ministry, we’ve discovered problems with protestantism in general, and in the last several months, our hearts have become Catholic. We’re ready to convert.
My husband is intensely trying to find another job (since we cannot start rcia while still pastoring a Protestant church), but we are at the point where I feel that I need to tell my parents.
This is a huge issue for me. I hate the idea of hurting them or having them feel rejected. I’m also scared that they will ask questions that I can’t answer, and I will feel like I can’t explain why I want to be Catholic.
I’m planning to call this week and talk with my mom. Any suggestions to help this conversation, process, etc?


#2

I will pray for you. It’s okay to tell your family that you don’t have all the answers to their questions, but you will get back to them. Thank them for instilling in you the importance of faith and loving Christ. Your husband and you need to contact the Coming Home Network, www,chnetwork.org, Jim Anderson helps former non-Catholic Clergy. His email is jim@chnetwork.org. This is part of the ministry of Marcus Grodi. You may have seen his television program (The Journey Home) on EWTN. If your parents enjoy reading, there are many books written by former protestant converts. Prayers.


#3

From what I’ve heard from people in RCIA, a lot of parents do see the idea of their children becoming Catholic as a rejection of the parents and their values. My suggestion is to make it clear that you’re not rejecting them, but appreciate the way you were brought up and the values you inherited from them.

Your parents gave you the gift of faith. I don’t know your exact background, but they may have taught you how to pray and made that a part of your life; they may have taught you about the Bible and made you familiar with the story of our salvation. They may have taught you what it means to belong to a worshiping community. They may have encouraged you to help and serve others.

These are all experiences that you grew up with and will continue to build on. So you’re not rejecting them, you’re continuing the faith journey they started you on.

Prayers and best wishes.


#4

If they’re going from completely ignorant of your journey thus far to knowing you’re convertying they may feel very blind sided and hurt.

I don’t want to assume that’s what you’ve done, but I must confess that I lied to my parents about this up until a few months into my RCIA and it didn’t make things easier. Maybe since you’re earlier on in the process, include them in smaller ways first before telling them you intend to fully convert.

I just made a point of making it clear that my choice was not a rejection of how I was raised, or a poor reflection on how they parented me. In fact, I tried to emphasize that while they might not agree, I was doing the very thing they had taught me to do my whole life: follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. That helped a lot.

There were of course questions. My advice is answer those that you’re sure you have the Church’s true clear answer on and can communicate well. I’m sure that’s quite a bit as it sounds like this is quite a long and well-prayed about choice. Have faith in yourself and trust in the Lord to supply you with the words. However, don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.” Read up on it and get back to them later or send resources directly to your parents.

EDIT: My other advice is that there will probably also be snarky comments and baseless accusations against your new faith. My approach was generally to give a short and calm answer so it’s known you disagree, but then take your lumps. A couple years out they no longer make such comments and we still have a great relationship.


#5

God bless you. I will pray for you and your family. I became Catholic 10 years and one month ago today. The best decision I
ever made. I have not looked back.


#6

It is so wonderful God called you here together. He can become a permanent deacon in the Church, with many of the responsibilities of a minister, once he turns fourty. Just be thankful to God you don’t have to convert separately, in what would be a nightmare scenario. I can imagine the struggles this entails.


#7

I converted from a Protestant faith and in telling my family I found it difficult to explain why. It got easier with time, explaining the why of it, but the simplest reasoning was much of the faith I learned growing up remained (I did not belong to a Catholic hating bunch), but through Catholicism I learned the rest, the fullness of the Truth.


#8

You often give good advice but this is a couple struggling to tell their family of their decision to convert. The concept of possibly being called to the deaconate in the future is way way off. Is it a possibility, sure, in a few years, if they are called to it. Right now they need support telling family and starting RCIA. First things first.

The whole 40 years old may be a rule in your diocese but is not the same in every diocese.


#9

Second contacting the Coming Home Network.

I never had a big conversation with my folks and my father is an evangelist. It simply happened, I talked about it a little bit along the way.


#10

My reply wasn’t a direct response to the main premise of the question in itself. My comment stems from the loss Protestant ministers often feel when they convert at not being able to exercise what they feel is their vocation any more, and a desire to inform the OP of the full scope of options available. The age is pretty uniform around most diocese, though there are of course exceptions. I just felt it would be instructive to provide, apart from the obvious answer of attending the RCIA and having an honest conversation with their families, a more general welcome into the Church. Can that include making the OP available of the future options available? Sure it can. My response as a whole aimed to communicate to the OP the uncommon gift from God that a joint conversion is, and the role they can both play in the Holy Mother Church within the bounds of their holy matrimony. I can only hope it was in some way helpful. If we were all to give the obvious answer to posts, this forum would be a very dull place indeed. God Bless!


#11

Are you a convert?


#12

No, why? I have family members who are.

Is that necessary to speak on this topic?


#13

You have to do what is BEST for your souls. Others may not understand but that is their issue. God Bless and Welcome Home.


#14

I feel it is very difficult for cradle Catholics to fully understand the conversion experience. Especially for those who come from active church membership in a fairly mainline Protestant tradition. I am the only Catholic in my immediate family and there are only 5 of us in the extended family of about 150 folks. While there wasn’t real direct opposition from family when I converted I’ve had to answer questions about why I converted many times. I have one relative who has told me I am heading straight to hell if I stay with the Catholic Church.

As a cradle Catholic you just can’t know how it feels to follow God’s call to come home, knowing there are family members who may condemn you or believe you have gone off the deep end. For some converts there is a deep feeling of conflict and at times anger. We know the Catholic Church is right & true, we know we doing the right thing, however will this hurt some in our family.

Another issue for converts with family active in their faith is knowing they do not know the fullness of truth. Their belief of salvation is not quite true.

I was angry at the church of my youth. They should have known what Jesus Christ suffered, what He went through to claim me, how horrible it was for Jesus, and they never told us. We just got the glossed over version.

I understand your motivation and it is wonderful that you are encouraging and offering possible opportunities. I get so frustrated when I see posters ask about converting and other posters responded with suggestions that are way too deep and/or ludicrous for a normal person in that particular stage of conversion.

The response should be go to Mass and observe, follow along as best you can, do not get in the communion line, and call the parish to find out more about RCIA and who to contact for enrolling. Telling someone who is thinking about converting to call “their” priest and speak to him about it is not the way to go. I don’t think they can imagine how intimidating the thought of calling a priest for an appointment is to a non-Catholic. If someone had told me to call my priest, I would have stopped right there. It is just a different mind set.


#15

Well, first of all, I’m grateful to you for providing me with a glimpse of your experience of conversion. Your post was a fascinating read. I’ve never quite appreciated the feeling of isolation from loved ones it must entail. I don’t think any cradle Catholic can, fully. It must be a very lonely journey, with only (though this is infinitely too weak a description) our Lord to see us through. I am not among the ‘call a priest for any problem’ crowd. I myself could hardly bring myself to use up a Priest’s valuable time outside of confession- I thankfully haven’t had to do so -and I can hardly imagine how difficult this must be coming form another faith community. Please do not get frustrated at me or my fellow cradle Catholics. Perhaps we should more often realise where we really have no place to speak. God Bless.


#16

I try to never let the frustration show as I know it very often a matter of ignorance of what it feels like to convert. I work for our parish and am in the office daily with our priests, they are extremely busy. If they had to answer all the calls suggested here, they’d never get anything done.:woman_facepalming: Of course there are times when only calling a priest will do. :grinning:

To the OP - God bless you on your journey. Please know that many of us have converted and made it. We are here for you at any time. Welcome Home!


#17

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