Sunday Mass while visiting non Mass going family

What would you do as a mother if you were visiting close family that are non Catholics that do not attend Sunday mass/services? My children are young and they do not want to go because no one else is going. I know it sounds wimpy but I am a lone ranger when we are visiting family and it leaves me feeling conflicted. Do I attend on my own Or persevere with my children despite their objections. I know the answer is obvious, perhaps I just need encouragement!

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I go to mass. It’s what we do. No matter where we are. We just get in the car and go, call a taxi, whatever. My dad’s side of the family isn’t church going, but they don’t have an issue with me going. They know it’s part of my deal.

Remember, what you don’t do teaches your kids as much as what you do. So if you don’t go to mass, you’ve taught your kids that mass isn’t important when you are on vacation or visiting family. You’ve taught them they can wheedle out of mass by being brats.


You take your kids and go to mass.

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I know you are right. I appreciate the encouragement.

If they are young children you MAKE them go. Just because cousin so and so doesn’t go doesn’t mean you don’t have to. You are the example. Plus if they aren’t sick and don’t have a good excuse and you allow them not to go you are accountable for that as their parent.

Any advice on how to deal with opposition from family members? I am in a situation where my dedication is mocked.

Invite your family to go with you “hey, let’s all get ice cream after Mass!” If they say no, then, their loss. Your cheerful desire to attend Mass is evangelizing others.

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That is a very good idea…and one I had tried ad infunitum! I get the “oh, you’re so good!” And the “God is everywhere” and “i’m just not there right now…”
There is fertile soil and there is my family!!!

Perhaps I should rephrase my question: how do I handle a family that is hostile to Mass attendance in front of my children even though we were all raised Catholic? Not fun loving, happy go lucky people that are easily influenced. I am talking the most critical of the the Catholic faith…highly educated people that believe I have fallen into a delusional trap by having a deep and devout faith life.

Don’t open it up to debate. Just say “we’re going to Mass now, you’re welcome to come but if not, we’ll see you later”. End conversation. If they try to disparage your views there and then, say “we’re going now, bye”. If it’s later on, just tell them it isn’t their place to comment, and you’d appreciate them respecting your views and beliefs, especially in front of your children.


Hi Family

I am raising my kids a certain way. If you want to see them you will not interfere. Anymore discouraging my kids from going to Mass will be seen as a hostile act. I will not tolerate this any more.

K thanks.

You need to draw a hard line. If they were waking your kids up at midnight for a snack and feeding them gummy bears and chocolate would you just roll over and say “well, they have issues?” I’m guessing not.


Ignore in the moment. Probably want to have a discussion at a less stressful time than holidays about respect and boundaries. If they can’t respect your choices without mocking, perhaps visits need to be curtailed until they can act appropriately. Normal people don’t behave this way, there is something wrong with people who have to mock others- it is about their insecurity not you.


You tell them in no uncertain terms that they will respect your boundaries or not expect you to visit in the future, their choice.

If they think that, it’s their prerogative. If they verbalize that in front of your children that isn’t OK and they need to be told that is unacceptable.

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SO true. Encouragement appreciated. Perhaps ypu have not been in said situation…perhaps you have. But when one is alone in her faith it is not so clear cut.

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Agree that less stressful time more appropriate to breach the subject. As to “normal people”…I do believe these are the very people we are called to love.

I’ve had to put my foot down with other things. But the truth is that there is “nothing special” about religion as a parenting choice. There is nothing about religion that makes it OK for non-parent to negatively comment on in front of a child who is not their own.

Totally minor issue…but here’s an example. My daughter loves slides. She knows how to use the 3 story slide at a local park…has since she was a little over a year old. This upset a family member who thought it was too dangerous and not “ladylike” for a little girl. This family member tried to convince my TODDLER not to go down the slide anymore. It was safe. She was fine. I told said family member she was never to conflict me in front of my child, even if I do have a “your house, you can give rules” policy otherwise.

You need to be tough to be a parent.

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SO true. But as your child ages and family issues become more complex…declarations also become more loaded and I know, from experience that we must show others the way with the heart of Christ. I know that our Catholic faith is the way and want to show that way with love as the founder of our one true Church did so perfectly. The years humle us…hopefully.

Yes and no.

It’s not OK for another adult to interfere with your parenting in front of your kid at any age. Toddler or teenager.

In the end, you are not responsible for the spiritual lives of your extended family, but you are for your kids. Letting them badmouth going to Church so you seem “merciful” and “show them the heart of Christ” is NOT being Christian. Jesus had pretty direct words for people who lead children astray.

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My goal is not to “seem merciful”…it is to lead all of my family, friends, strangers to heaven. And an iron fist does not work.

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