Son is Reluctant to Convert


#1

I reverted to my Catholic faith last year. While I was away, I married (invalidly) an Episcopalian woman. She converted last year and we had a convalidation. We have been blessed with five children: three who are grown and on their own, a 17 year old daughter who converted along with her mother, and a 15 year old son who says he doesn't want to convert. He was confirmed in the Episcopal Church at age 13. Since he's a minor and depends on his parents, what can or should I do to encourage him to convert? What mustn't or shouldn't I do? I'd prefer for the family to be together on this, and I blame myself because it's largely because of my negligence that he wasn't raised Catholic from the start.


#2

I would pray and fast.


#3

I think asking for a mandatory attendance to an RCIT/RCIA class whichever your pastor feels is appropriate for his age is appropriate since he lives in your home and on your dime which will expose him to the differences in the Churches and plant a seed. However I do not believe forcing anyone or mandating anyone to receive Sacraments is proper especially if they have already received "Sacraments" that they believe to be valid in another Church under their parents direction - even though the parents converted. Plant the seed and give it time to grow.


#4

[quote="revert_dad55, post:1, topic:244229"]
I reverted to my Catholic faith last year. While I was away, I married (invalidly) an Episcopalian woman. She converted last year and we had a convalidation. We have been blessed with five children: three who are grown and on their own, a 17 year old daughter who converted along with her mother, and a 15 year old son who says he doesn't want to convert. He was confirmed in the Episcopal Church at age 13. Since he's a minor and depends on his parents, what can or should I do to encourage him to convert? What mustn't or shouldn't I do? I'd prefer for the family to be together on this, and I blame myself because it's largely because of my negligence that he wasn't raised Catholic from the start.

[/quote]

You cannot force him to convert. As his parents you can bring him to Mass, however, if he does not wish to attend, preferring the Episcopalian service, then forcing him to attend can be seen as counterproductive. Prayers, and being united with your rest of the family in this are you best options. He will want to be like his parents, and he most likely will see to it that he himself converts


#5

[quote="revert_dad55, post:1, topic:244229"]
I . He was confirmed in the Episcopal Church at age 13. Since he's a minor and depends on his parents, what can or should I do to encourage him to convert? What mustn't or shouldn't I do? .

[/quote]

The Catholic Church considers him an adult for the purposes of sacraments of initiation, confirmation and profession of faith in his case, with first communion, so he has to make that decision himself. You can as his parent require him to attend religious education with other Catholic youth of his age but you cannot force him to convert. Whether it is wise or prudential to force the issue is something you and your wife should discuss, but frankly, as someone who prepares youth for Confirmation, I don't recommend it. Best to present both your children with the example of a Catholic couple who take their faith seriously, let them see how your lives have changed through the influence of the sacraments, issue invitations from time to time but don't force it. I think you have the duty to get him to the worship, youth activities or whatever he needs in his own church in the meantime.


#6

I'd suggest you fill your home with really solid Catholic books and prayer life and have really interesting discussions around the table or wherever that will lead him to the fullness of truth.

And pray.

That's what happened in my family. My mom was baptized a Catholic in a mixed marriage situation and when my non-Catholic grandmother and her Catholic father split up when she was a baby she eventually began practicing the Episcopal religion of my grandmother. She and my dad (also nominal Episcopalian) married in the EC, and later divorced. My mom returned to the CC, but I (long story) didn't live with her and practiced my EC faith growing up and into adulthood (very actively, I might add).

But, you know, Mom's Catholicism rubbed off on me and as an adult (age 25) I converted on my own. Not once growing up did she ever have a discussion with me or try to convert me (maybe wondering WHY intrigued me enough to push me in that direction anyway) but she lived her faith very actively and embraced Catholic culture in her home (advent wreath, stations, etc) and had TONS of interesting Catholic books around. (we are a sort of nerdy family though -- they type sit around the dinner table discussing World War II or something off discovery channel... so it wasn't a leap for me to pick up a Catholic book and read it)

I found out later she'd been praying for years that I would become a Catholic.


#7

Well, I agree with all. You can’t force him to convert. However, you can all pray together, especially the rosary. Also teach him the difference between the two religions and let him decide. He’s 15 and still has many years to grow mentally. Just pray that he makes the right decision at the end.


#8

Make sure he knows the history of the Anglican Church and how many of the Anglicans are now re-joining the Catholic Church. Do not beat him over the head with it, though. Do NOT try to convert him! Respect his decision for now. Do fast and pray. And be the BEST Catholic you can be now!


#9

I agree with those who say you can't force him. Just keep the doors of communication open. Have you shared with him why you and your wife made the choice to come home?

This is probably a very big change for him, so hopefully he will open up and share his concerns with you. Good luck and WELCOME HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


#10

Thanks for your advice, everybody.


#11

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