Resources I can use to show my dad why I am converting to Catholicism

I am so excited to have found the Truth in the Catholic church. I will be converting soon!! I did not grow up in a very religious family, but it has come to light recently that my dad has some ill feelings towards the Catholic church, as many Protestants do who don’t know much about why Catholics do what they do. I have gave him a copy of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity a while back to hopefully ease him into the idea without just bombarding him with it, but he has not read it. (By the way, I know C.S. Lewis was not Catholic, but that book really helped me, as it has many other Catholics, in my walk to the Church.)

I am hoping to find some articles online that kind of spell things out in plain terms for beginners, and dispel some myths about the Church. Some reasons I have heard him say he doesn’t like Catholicism are, he has unfortunately known a couple of bad priests (one that was gay and one that was an alcoholic) so he has a bad view of priests, he thinks all Catholics are “cafeteria Catholics” who just sin all they want because they can just go to confession and erase it, etc.

I have tried to inform him that these are examples of people within the Church who are, of course, sinners and very wrong-headded and not The Church itself or somethng it condones/teaches, but we have a very strained relationship and conversations like that seem to always ends in a fight.

I am an adult and do not need my fathers permission to convert, but I would like him to at the very least accept it.

My plan is to send him an e mail telling him my personal reasons for converting and attach a few articles for him to read, then talk to him about any questions or concerns he has.

Thanks for all your help, and God Bless you!


I was confirmed in the Church at Easter Vigil and I was in your position not many months ago. I was elated to become a member of the Catholic Church, but I dreaded having to tell my very Protestant family of my decision. When I made that first phone call to my mother to tell her, I let her know of the journey that I had been on that had lead to my decision to become Catholic. This was important because it let her know that this was not a decision that I made lightly and it was a decision made by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I also told her that because I love her I wanted to let her know of my decision; that I did not expect her to like the decision or accept it—because that would be unfair of me to expect that—but that as a grown man I would simply ask that she respect my decision. Not only did she respect my decision, she was happy for me and attended my confirmation. The rest of my family was very supportive as well. I know everyone’s family is different and will react differently, but I was truly amazed by God’s grace and the way my decision was received.

Is he against the supposedly non-biblical practices in Catholicism? If that’s part of the problem, then here are two sites that I love which give biblical references to Catholic dogma and practices:

And about the thing with him knowing some bad-Catholics, remind him that Jesus had a bad apostle.
pray for his conversion, and ask for the intercession of Saint Monica.

Congradulations on finding the truth of Catholicism, I’m a convert too(it feels so great to be able to say that finally, I’ve been Catholic for 2 1/2 weeks now lol)

That’s a tough one. Of course, there are many great resources out there (, the faith tracts here at Catholic Answers, the Faith Facts tracts at Catholics United for the Faith, etc.) which do a great job at addressing some of the common misconceptions about Catholics and Catholic teaching.

That said, how you go about conveying this information to your father depends upon many factors. We could have the best resources in the world, but if the person isn’t going to bother reading them – or if they aren’t open to what the resources have to say – it isn’t going to do much good.

Every situation is going to be different (so my musings may or may not apply directly to your situation), but I would just point out that it may take time for your father to accept your conversion. There may not be a magic article you can point to that will erase all his misgivings instantaneously. That’s okay.

The best evidence is for him to see a change in you. That is what is going to open his mind to giving what you have to say a fair hearing.

I would recommend the book Search and Rescue by Patrick Madrid for you to read. It gives some good pointers on how to approach the important topic of our faith with those closest to us.

God bless you on your faith journey. I will keep you and your father in my prayers.

My first thought is, instead of giving him something to read, give him something to experience. Take him to a reverent Catholic Mass. Introduce him to a good (holy) priest who is also personable. Take him to a parish bible study or a prayer group. Show him how the parish participates in helping the poor and in social justice activities. Attend a parish festival or ice cream social or similar event to experience the fellowship with other parishoners. The point is, let him see what true Catholicism is, in action. Dispel his negative views with real people and real events that will show him that, while not all Catholics are good role models, there are plenty of good Catholics; and furthermore, the Church trancends us all and we aspire to imitate the saints, not the sinners.

BravO! Excellent post.

Good for you (from one convert to another - I know what you are feeling, and it is wonderful).

The book helped me also. It always makes my “top ten religious books” list. But, the fact that your father has not read this (thin) book - written by a protestant - is good indication that he won’t read other material. Sending him reading material is probably not a good approach.

IMHO, a better approach is to share with him why YOU are drawn to the Church. Different people are drawn for different reasons. For me, it was largely the truth of the office of Peter, which I found clearly and undeniably expressed in the writings of the Early Church Fathers. I realized that the true Church of Jesus Christ has a Pope - and there’s only one Church that meets that criteria.

I would skip the e-mail and go straight to the talk. This worked OK for me (and my step-father was a protestant minister!). FWIW, my brother also had that talk.

My father has been a Protestant (Evangelical, Pentecostal) minister for 30 years. My mother was raised Fundamentalist Pentecostal and both of them hold very anti-Catholic prejudices. When I told my parents that I was attending a Catholic parish they were pretty upset. For a while, they would lecture me, or plead with me, or tell me of these great Protestant churches they found online in my area every time they would visit. Both of my parents could not breach the topic without crying.

When I started RCIA I didn’t tell them. They still don’t know that I’m Confirmed. I just don’t know why I should add insult to injury. Like you, I wanted them to be aware of my faith, but I don’t see the need to drive the point home.

A book that helped me immensely was “Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic.” I highly recommend it to everyone regardless of their background as it explains so vividly the Faith Deposit of our Church.

RCIA helped me to grow so much as a Christian, a Catholic, and as a man. My parents have noticed the changes in me and have commented on it. While they will probably never validate my decision to become Catholic, they cannot deny that I am better for it. They ask me on Sundays how “Mass” was and what my priest spoke about. I use more Protestant friendly words like “church” instead of “parish” and “sermon” instead of “homily,” etc. and I can see that God, through the changes he’s made in my life, is beginning to chip away at their intolerance.

I guess I’m just trying to echo the words of others by saying that your life will be the best witness of the Catholic Church, not just your words. Be patient with him, let him say what he needs to say, don’t feel like you have to defend a faith that you yourself are still new to. Just pray that God soften his heart and let your life prove him wrong.

Just as those priest gave him a negative feeling about the Church, so your life will turn that around. I’ll pray for you, friend.

Thank you all for your responses! The fact that you all took time to respond so thoughtfully to me really means a lot.

Part of the reason I decided to send him an e mail rather than talking to him in person is that we have a very strained relationship. We do not see eye to eye on many things (this clearly being one of them), and subjects we disagree on quickly escalate into fights. I figure that an e mail will let me spell out my reasons to him without fear of interference or rebuttal before I say what I want to, from there I want to talk to him in person about his questions or concerns. Does this sound ok?

I think the suggestion to show him rather than tell him is a great one too, but we do not see each other all that much, so it would be difficult.



thank you for reading this…now…i’m off to have a lovely bubble bath with my buddy satan :slight_smile:

have a nice day :slight_smile:

I think part of the answer depends on another question - Why do you want to/think you should tell him? While this may seem incredibly obvious, I think it is worth a little drilling down to try and determine and articulate your own motivation.

If you are hoping to persuade him to convert, praying for him without telling him is probably a better approach.

If you are subconsciously saying “so there” by telling him, the best thing to do might well be to say nothing, concentrate on living out your decision, and to the extent possible, try to heal your strained relationship.

If it’s just that you are so joyful that you want to share with someone you love, then it may be a sacrifice for you to hold back that news - but a sacrifice that honors your father as the Law commands.

There are probably a dozen other reasons why you feel it’s essential or desirable to tell him, and it may take some time for you to sort them out. But I think it will be a useful exercise and an appropriate part of your preparation to enter the Church.

Since you live at some distance and don’t interact with him on a daily basis, there is no absolute need to inform him that you’re making an adult decision you know he won’t agree with or approve of. And while it would be wrong to lie to him about it, I don’t think there is any obligation on you to report it.

Perhaps the right moment for you to share your faith with your father is still at some distance in the future. Let the Holy Spirit lead you.

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