Should I Go to Mass?


#1

Recently decided to convert to Catholicism (will later this year with RCIA).
After seeing the Eucharist (don’t worry, I know not to partake in it yet) and how beautiful it was, how Jesus was truly there, that’s when I became drawn more and more to Catholicism, until I made that decision.

However, I am currently going to a Southern Baptist Church on Sunday, general spiritual talk on Thursdays with a few people (part of a church of “elders,” no pastor…??? no denominational name? sits in a circle instead of like traditional parish…), Southern Baptist Bible Study on Fridays (although presiding teacher has knowledge from his experiences in all denominations), and on Saturday nights there is just fellowship and dinner with those from the church with elders…

Decided to start going to Mass for Monday-Thursday because I really love to witness the beauty of the Eucharist and the Word. But about Sunday Mass…

I called my mother, thinks I’m going to too many masses for Monday-Thursday (says I should be studying) and says I should continue to go to Southern Baptist Church on Sundays. I suggested maybe I should go to Sunday Mass as well, but my mother said I should just go to the Baptist Church (she’s very neutral on Christianity, but ultimately Catholicism is her least favorite denomination).

Now my question…
I know that I should honor my mother/father, and I will convert to Catholicism. But should I cut ties to all those other non-Catholic things and just start going to Mass (especially on Sunday instead of going to the Southern Baptist Church), or should I continue to go to those non-catholic things at least for the remains of the school semester (won’t be able to join RCIA until end of this year).


#2

Honoring one’s mother does not mean foregoing your obligation to love God above all things. If you believe that the Catholic Church is where God would want you to go, that’s where you should go.


#3

From one student to another, if attending the weekday masses is spiritually feeding your soul and you are able to get all of your work completed, then yes you should go. If the answer is no and you are not getting your work completed, then you might want to consider cutting down accordingly.

Weekend service/mass- in theory you could do both by attending a morning baptist service and evening mass. I have done that a few times myself.

The question cutting ties with your non-catholic friends/groups is a tough question: if they are going to accept your decision and will not try to prevent you from joining the Catholic church, then the answer is no, you shouldn’t. If they are going to cause trouble, then it might be a good idea to take a break for a while. As a student, you can easily give the excuse that you are in school and you are needing to take a step back to concentrate on your studies.

That said, since you are thinking about joining the Catholic church, it might be a good idea to find sometype of Catholic based faith enriching group to participate in. Most schools or parishes that are located close to the various campuses will offer something. I know when I was considering joining, I joined the local Newman centre and a young adults group where I learned a great deal about my faith.

In terms of cutting ties-You are going to have to play it by ear because sometimes when people are considering to join the Catholic church and they have strong ties to the Protestant church, sometimes when they are attending both they can get confused and mixed up between what the two denominations teach and which one they believe is true. Other times individuals are alright. It depends on the person.

If you decide to follow my advice considering you are a student, you might need to cut back on one of your other activities because as a nun once told me: school should come first. This is something I cannot stress enough. Faith enriching groups will help you spiritually but you must also get your work completed. School isn’t cheap and depending on what you want to do in life, you need your marks especially if graduate school is a dream.

If you have questions or require more information, please send me a line. I am here.


#4

I assume that you are an adult. You don’t need to ask your mother’s permission to go to Church or even tell her. It is always a good idea to attend Christ’s liturgy. This is especially true of the Sunday liturgy. Please try to attend Mass on Palm Sunday and the Easter Vigil the Saturday night before Easter. Easter Vigil is very beautiful.

There is no need to abruptly stop attending a Baptist bible study/discussion unless they are anti-Catholic. It is quite possible that they are teaching some errors (from a Catholic point of view) so beware.


#5

Just to be clear, I have clear convictions of joining the Catholic Church as I clearly see it as the one true Church. It’s just that whether it would be more beneficial for me to just focus on Mass instead of attending other denominational study groups/organizations since I will become Catholic, or is it okay to attend these other things for the time being at least until the end of the school semester.


#6

Certainly attend Mass, and yes, I would vacate the other communities. This in no way dishonors your mother. You have the purest desires in desiring The Church, The Mass, and Christ. You are not using The Church to hurt your mother because of some resentment towards her, as evidenced by your concern for dishonoring her.
I can’t imagine your disposition being better.


#7

You should attend your regular Sunday service, then, if you feel comfortable with the Catholic faith, slowly fade away from your other religion.

Be careful, and if the people at your Baptist church give you a tough time, come here for any clarification. Also, you’re probably going to leave the Baptist church. After all, God didn’t establish multiple truths for our choosing. :thumbsup:

Be careful and diligent regarding your Monday-Thursday Mass attendance. Finish school because after that, you don’t need to study for anything nor do any homework. That, I believe, is when you can establish a stable spiritual life.


#8

Why not attend both on Sundays? Go to Mass early, and then head on over to your worship service (and Sunday school, if you attend).

Or go to Saturday evening Mass (sometimes called vigil Mass, even though it isn’t–it’s a Sunday Mass on a Sat. night), and then go to SBC worship service on Sunday morning.

That way, you please the Lord God, and you honor your mother’s wishes.

I agree that you shouldn’t have to obey your mother if you are an adult. But I suspect that she is helping to pay for your education, and I think that it is a charitable thing to do to try to honor her wishes. The Lord will honor your efforts to show love and honor to your mother.

My husband and I are converts to Catholicism from Evangelical Protestantism. Our situation was different than yours, because we were actually kicked out of our Evangelical Free Church. So we went to Mass.

But I would recommend that all Protestants who are interested in converting should attend as many Masses as possible. Catholics, you might not understand this or get it, but Protestants will. Evangelical Protestants (SBC is Evangelical, BTW) have a tendency to jump on “bandwagons” and get involved with the latest Christian “fad.” Many Protestants move from church to church trying to find a place where they will be “fed.” They go to retreats and conferences, and although they deny seeking an emotional high, they do. They expect it. Most Evangelical Protestant conferences or seminars or retreats have several events built in that cater to the emotions, and involve a lot of singing, audible congregational prayer, confessions of sins (usually in an altar call), repentance, and celebration of the Lord Jesus.

And that’s why I recommend that Protestants attend Mass often. At first, to Evangelical Protestants, Mass is a novelty, and it is often emotionally-appealing for various reasons. A lot of Catholics do not get this at all–they think that the OF Mass is simple and modern and has little visual appeal or little tradition compared to the Latin Mass. But that’s not how it looks to Evangelical Protestants, many who have never experienced any kind of liturgy in a worship service. The “modern” Catholic hymns (St. Louis Jesuits, Haugen, Haas, etc.) are very beautiful to the Evangelical Protestant who is often used to hearing a fairly loud praise and worship band at their churches week after week. Those lovely poems in the contemporary hymns that so many traditionally-minded Catholics call “banal” are soooo deep and meaningful to Evangelical Protestants who are often used to P and W songs with repetitive phrases like “Praise You Lord!” sung dozens of times for five minutes at a stretch. My husband and I were literally in tears the first time we heard Gather Us In and Here I Am, Lord. Seriously.

But as with all emotionally-appealing events, the newness of the Mass eventually wears off. Protestants should enter the Church AFTER the newness of Mass has worn off, so that there is no chance that the Protestant is making an emotional decision to become Catholic that they will later regret once they are no longer caught up in the emotion of attending Mass. They need to learn what is actually happening during the Mass (OF Mass), and most Protestants are willing to do a lot of reading and listening to CDs to learn about Catholicism.

Hope these suggestions are useful and helpful to the OP and others.


#9

It sounds like this is a time of transition and it may be easiest to take it slowly.

If it were me, I don’t think I’d suddenly cut off all contact with the other churches and the relationships I have there. On the other hand, over time you probably want to cut back on your other commitments to focus more on the Catholic Church.

Once you start RCIA then you should start living as a Catholic. That would mean attending Sunday Mass regularly and being more involved in Catholic activities.

If you check around your campus you will probably find a Catholic Campus Ministry or Newman Center. Not to suggest that you want to add their activities to your already busy schedule, but you may want to check them out for the future to see what they offer. Often there is Sunday (and possibly weekday) Mass on campus and other activities where you can meet and get to know other Catholic students. They may also offer RCIA. One advantage to doing it on campus is that they’re aware of things like school breaks and final exam times and work around those.


#10

This analogy just occurred to me:

A man has recently become engaged to a woman, although they won’t begin marriage-preparation classes until later this year. His mother is very disappointed, as he was previously engaged to a young lady from their neighborhood, and she’d always hoped it would work out. She thinks he is seeing far to much of his new fiance and ought to at least continue to have dinner with his ex-fiance once or twice a week. Should he comply to please his mum?


#11

Since you have made the conviction to come home to the Church, attending mass will work to strengthen that decision and your discernment. You will learn more about the liturgy and the church. Go ahead and offer to help were you can.

Dcn Frank


#12

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