Should I try to convert my protestant family?

I converted to Catholicism after my marriage to a Catholic, and am still learning much about the faith (this web site has been a tremendous help!).

I am concerned, however, about my protestant family (parents, sisters). They are all what I call “polite protestants” - presbyterians or methodists, not extreme fundamentalists in any way. They had no problem with my conversion to catholicism and attend catholic services with me when they are visiting (not partaking of the communion, but otherwise participating in service). They feel that being Christian is very important, and are active in their churches, but also feel that church denominations are personal choices (kind of like choosing a car - they agree that Christ is the only highway, but that it doesn’t matter which “car” you drive as long as you follow the road).

While I share with them what I learn about Catholicism, out of respect I do not try to actively convert them. Do catholics believe that ours is the one and only car for a Christian to get to Heaven? Or by leading good & active Christian lives, protestants are being just as open to God’s grace for salvation?

If Catholicism is the only car, wouldn’t I need to switch from sharing info with them to actively trying to convert them out of love for them and concern for their souls?

In keeping with your analogy, Catholicism could be said to be the BMW – “The Ultimate Driving Machine” – on the road to heaven. While non-catholic Christians share many of our beliefs, the fullness of the Christian faith can be found only in the Catholic Church. The Catechism explains, “The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter." Those “who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church” (CCC 838).

So, should you try to convert your relatives? I’ll put it this way: take them for a ride in your BMW every chance you get. Demonstrate all the bells and whistles and pray that they will truly understand what they’re missing.

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