Should I Be Confirmed If My Mom is Against It...?

I’m having a bit of a rough time here and need some advice.

I’m 14. I was brought up Southern Baptist by my mom. (My dad’s not big for organized religion, though he goes to church with her and probably subscribes more than he knows.) I over the past year have, with A LOT of research and prayer, decided to become Catholic. Since we live right by a parish, it’s easy to attend each weekend. Ironically, the only days I’ve missed are Christmas and Easter (Christmas because I lost track of time and slept through, and Easter because I decided with a lot of pain to give this year to my mom), though I went to both the vigils. Anyway, my mom wants me to attend her church on Sundays as well as going to Mass. She’s not as opposed to it as when I first started going (I literally had to walk back then), but she still refuses to let me be confirmed. I reluctantly meet her request, but I find it to be difficult to be in that environment all things considered–and have even had close pastors tell me I need to go where my beliefs are held.

Needless to say, this is incredibly painful. We used to fight over the whole thing, but after a while, I realized that wasn’t right and so I closed my mouth. Things have gotten SO much better since then. I then felt caught between “honoring your father and mother” and honoring God. Now it’s more apparent that I need to honor God by following these convictions… I’m also in such a spiritual mess right now and honestly think the practice of regular sacramental confession would be an enormous benefit to me. I want the Eucharist, the grace and the strength Christ offers in the sacraments. To touch him, to let him touch me. Life has me confused now. But the Eucharist is one thing God has, for whatever reason, given me unfaltering faith in–it is my one certainty in this life, and it’s killing me not having it. Especially now that Easter Vigil is over and all my friends will soon be confirmed. (I go to CCD class but am not counted as being “in” the class according to my mother’s wishes.)

My friend Julian’s mother grew up in Communist Poland. As we discussed these things, she began to tell me that she had to receive the Eucharist secretly. “I was threatened–with things that would make any other sane person forget about wanting a part in the Faith. By my own parents, too. You have to take a stand for what you believe in,” she tells me with utter seriousness. I realize that many of the saints were in similar situations. I take comfort in that. But I think she’s right. My youth minister is trying to set me up with a sister that works in our parish (she heads RCIA) so something can be arranged. Likewise, my friend’s mother has suggested being confirmed without my mother’s knowing if necessary–though she says it would be best to tell her what I must do, invite her to be a part of it, and, if she refuses, do it anyway.

I’m attracted to this idea.

Next year I’ll be going to a great Catholic high school with my friends, too. I’m sure they’ll off Confirmation.

Right now, I don’t know what to do. Since there are a lot of converts here, and since almost all of you have a lot more wisdom in this area, I need some advice.

What am I to do?

At 14 you are still under your parents’ jurisdiction so no I don’t think you should be confirmed without their permission. I don’t think that a priest or bishop would confirm you if they knew that you didn’t have your parents’ consent.

I can just see the headlines now “Catholic Church confirms child without parents’ permission!”

Wait patiently until you are of age and learn as much about the Faith as you can.

Yes, you should be confirmed.

You do not need your parent’s permission to be received into the Church. You are over the age of reason and can make that decision for yourself.

I would suggest that you read what the Catechism says about the Fourth Commandment in its entirity, but here is a relevant section:

2217 As long as a child lives at home with his parents, the child should obey his parents in all that they ask of him when it is for his good or that of the family. “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.” Children should also obey the reasonable directions of their teachers and all to whom their parents have entrusted them. **But if a child is convinced in conscience that it would be morally wrong to obey a particular order, he must not do so. **

If remaining outside the Church is something that will continue to put you in spiritual peril and would violate your well-formed conscience then you must follow your conscience. However, you should do so only with consultation of a priest on the matter. Discuss it with the parish priest and also with the pastor at your school next fall.

St. Aloysius,

First, when one is called by God to do a certain thing, can any human stand against that?

Second, we are to “honor” our parents; to show respect to them; to represent your mother and father in all that you do and say when you are out and about without bringing embarrassment or dishonor to them.

Third, I hope that it is not because you are going to a Catholic High School where you think your friends will already have received the Sacrament of Confirmation or will be going through the Confirmation process that makes you want to do this, but rather a call in your heart that your are listening to.

Fourth, have you already converted to Catholicism? If not, you are a few lessons away from the Sacrament of Confirmation. Confirmation is the third and final Sacrament of Initiation in the Catholic Church, and usually the fourth received; however, if you have been baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you will probably not need to be baptized again. Still, you will need to prepare to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion before you can receive the Sacrament of Confirmation (if you have not already). Have you discussed this with a priest? If you have already received these other Sacraments, then I cannot see that there are significant road blocks to receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.

I certainly hope that you have discussed (“discussed” not told, informed, announced, but two way discussed) this with your parents and let them know how important they are to you as well as their opinions, but ask them, “Did you raise me to say, ‘No’ to God?” Ask your parents if they would be willing to meet the priest with you to just listen.

May the blessings of God be upon you and your family, I pray for you all that your hearts are open to understand each other and the Lord. Ultimately, is it not your family’s will that His will be done?

To be brought into the church an older child or adult would make a profession of faith, be confirmed, and receive communion at the same mass having gone to confession first. He would not be confirmed with the CCD class He would probably have to go through RCIA unless the pastor makes special provision for him, which could be done, and it would be preferable to be brought in during the Easter season (before Pentecost). I don’t see how this could be kept secret for long. For one thing, he would have to have proof of his Baptism and his first communion and confirmation would be registered in the parish.

My suggestion would be to sit down and seriously talk to your father. Explain that you would still be a Christian but you feel that God is leading you to this church. You have investigated their beliefs and have not found them to be against the scriptures. Ask for his help in explaining this to your mother. I don’t think you would need the permission of both parents but it would be good if she didn’t oppose it. It might be a good idea to ask your parents to go to a mass with you. Your mother might be surprised how scriptural the mass is. You could offer to attend services with your mother a couple times a month in addition to mass if that would make her feel better.

Apparently your parents don’t mind that you will attend a Catholic high school. They would not be planning to send you there if they thought it would be a danger to you. So why not let you join the church? Point out that you have accepted Christ as your savior and that will not change. They can trust Him to keep you safe.

My cousin became Catholic when she was 16. Her mother was ex-Catholic and her father was ex-Mormon and they went to a Unitarian church. She had been asking to be Catholic for several years. Finally, she sat down with her father and told him she wanted to be baptized and be Catholic and he spoke to her mother who finally agreed. I hope it works out well for you too.

Third, I hope that it is not because you are going to a Catholic High School where you think your friends will already have received the Sacrament of Confirmation or will be going through the Confirmation process that makes you want to do this, but rather a call in your heart that your are listening to.

My desire to go to this particular high school began in seventh grade, when I was first beginning to look into the faith. I had only one or two practicing Catholic friends and at the time didn’t even know they were Catholic! I was encouraged to consider this school by a Protestant Christian teacher of mine, actually, and had formerly been planning on attending a non-denominational school. It was by sheer happenstance that I, in transferring this year, have found myself surrounded by good Catholic friends.

In short, I assure you, I had so little actual Catholic influence that you needn’t worry that there is/was any kind of “pressure” on me to do this. If there was any kind of pressure, it was coming from the opposite direction. (I AM in the Bible Belt, after all.)

I certainly hope that you have discussed (“discussed” not told, informed, announced, but two way discussed) this with your parents and let them know how important they are to you as well as their opinions, but ask them, “Did you raise me to say, ‘No’ to God?” Ask your parents if they would be willing to meet the priest with you to just listen.

Well, we talked a little toward the beginning, but my mother has trouble accepting how greatly our convictions differ. “That’s not the way I believe,” were her words. I understand her distress, really… but disallowing me from living my religious faith because it doesn’t entirely coincide with her own? What really kills me is that she hasn’t done her part… the part that most involved mothers would have instantly done: looked into it for herself, become educated on the subject, and tried to engage in some dialogue. For a long time we just argued. I blew up because she wasn’t being reasonable and I took offense to her indifference toward my feelings on the matter. (We’re not the kind of family that can easily articulate our feelings and be genuinely heard.) Then, I stopped that. It wasn’t very godly. I want to give a silent testimony, but I feel I too often fail. It’s hard to be a saint in your own home. I definitely don’t blow up anymore, but I feel… I don’t know. Just like a bratty kid around her. Maybe we’re just not good at affirming one another… I don’t know.

She makes it hard for me to take myself seriously. She’s excellent at instilling doubt. I know why I believe as I do… I can expound on it with terrific eloquence. That’s unimportant. All I can think is what she wants me to: “I’m too young. I’m an extremist. It’s just a phase. It’s not really important.”

More than a few people (adults) have suggested that it’s discomforting to have long-accepted beliefs challenged by reason. She’s not a deeply religious person so perhaps I, being by nature one, make her uncomfortable and therefore she feels the need to suppress that in me. I’m sure having your religious heritage rejected in some sense is also extremely painful… I’d like to be able to talk about these things, but she’s just not interested.

I have a son who went the other way. He married a Methodist and they settled into a Baptist Church. I cannot tell you how painful it is when your child, even at age 35, decides that the Church you brought him up in is no longer his choice. I think if We hadn’t been a Catholic family, it would have been easier because it looks to me that many non-Catholics have little problem changing denominations. Minister gives better sermons, choir is better, whatever.

I am still trying to understand, why you are talking Confirmation, when it seems you have not done first Reconciliation or Penance and first Communion. Confirmation is kind of the cart before the horse. Why is it so much more important in your mind than the other two Sacraments. You do know that in the Catholic Church, unlike in some denominations, Confirmation is not so much a commitment by you to the Church or to the Lord as it is a strengthening of those seven gifts of Isaiah 11 already received in Baptism. :slight_smile:

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