Sister Falling Away and the Eucharist


Hi everyone, I haven’t posted here in a while, and when I did, it wasn’t very often, so this feels a little awkward, but I have I question that I keep thinking about.

My sister through most of her teenage life has been drawing away from the Catholic Church toward Protestant churches. She rarely missed Mass (mostly because I think she didn’t want to upset my parents), and now that she’s gone at college (a Protestant one), she will not go to Mass, instead going to a Protestant church. Whenever I would say something about Protestant teaching and what I thought was wrong with it, she would instantly get defensive and start arguing with me. She also attended CCD for 8 years, but she hated it.

Here’s my dilemma: When she comes home from college, she wants to go to Mass with us because she misses my parents and siblings and wants to spend as much time with them as possible. Having been educated in CCD, I thought that she would know that receiving the Eucharist is a grave matter if one misses Mass, but she receives anyway when she’s here. I’m not so sure if she knows she shouldn’t, even though she was in CCD. I’ve been scrupulous for a while now, and it feels like if I somehow don’t put a stop to this, then this is partially on me. I’ve never gone up to her and talked about this, because I think it would just be a big argument, that would eventually end with her saying that all denominations lead to God anyway. Not thinking that talking to her would benefit much, I went to my mom to talk about this, but she pretty much blew me off. I think she too would be a little scared to confront my sister.

So either she knows about what’s wrong with this and she does it anyway, or she doesn’t even know that it could be wrong. Do you think she fully knows what she’s doing and accepts it, or despite CCD, has no idea this is not a good thing?

In the case that she doesn’t know, do I talk to her about it? In the case that she does know, do I let it go, knowing that it’s on her conscious? Talking to her about it would be really uncomfortable, but if I had to, I guess I would. That probably is the only solution, but I wanted to ask the people here. I’m really confused.

Thanks for any help you might have.

P.S. Is this is the right place? I’m not really sure about where this should go…


I had a similiar situation with a family member. I asked them, quietly and privately, if they knew the requirements for receiving The Eucharist. When they told me they didn’t care, I had to accept that…but I knew I had told them The Truth.

One thing to remember is that there is nothing to argue about here. And you can tell your sister that you are not going to get into any kind of theological debate with her.

The tough part is being able to give her the information with love and then to stand back and let God take over.

You are in my prayers.


It sounds like my family dynamic is much different than yours, but if any of my sisters were in that situation I would say something outright.

This may be helpful to you and your sister:

Go to the MP3 section and see if any topics interest you. They can be downloaded for free.

Also go here:

The second talk called “7 Reasons to be Catholic” may be helpful.


She could be going to confession before coming home, you don’t know so maybe you should exercise a little charity.

I agree with others. Your requirement is to make sure she understands the requirements.


Why don’t you ask her what she thinks about it. And don’t argue with her if you want her to really open up - there is a time for that, but not when you are trying to connect with someone.

FWIW, being away at university is a time of very irregular life style for many students. It sounds too like your sister is still searching out her life path, which is normal and probably a good thing at her age. It will probably take her some time to finish coming to her own conclusions, in the mean time looking at the world around her doesn’t mean she has left the CC. It means she is trying to figure out what it is all about and where it fits in. If she seems to have made a decision is perhaps the time to ask her more pointed questions.


Well, when I was thinking about what to do about this a while ago, I thought that I should assume the best of her, as I heard another poster here say something like “We are to assume the best of our Christian brothers and sisters.” But, this bothered me too much to let go.

She could possibly be going, but she has shown extreme dislike of confession. I wish she were into it a little more, though.


I attend Catholic Mass with relatives from time to time. However, I will not partake in the communion out of respect for the rules of the Catholic faith in the sense that belief in the real presence is required and one must be in a “state of grace” according to the Catholic Church.

As an evangelical I do not qualify to receive communion in the catholic church.

When the word “amen” is spoken by the person receiving the wafer he or she is affirming belief in not only the real presence but all catholic dogma. Receiving catholic communion under any other circumstances is blatant hypocrisy at best and for the Roman Catholic, a mortal sin.

I would let her read this post.


Also, one other point to- just in case it is not so much the dogma but the “fun” or “style” of the mass. Try going instead to a Teen Life mass or something like that with her and your parents. They are still in the same format but the music is often more like our Protestant brothers and sisters and things are sometimes a bit more casual in some arenas. She may find this more tasteful at her age and place in life.


If you tell her. You have done all you can. Just pray for her. She will hopefully find her way back.


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