"Well, that went well. NOT! How to deal with family not supporting your conversion

Well, I wasn’t planning on telling my family this early about my RCIA classes, ect as I knew that they might be slightly negative. (My dad’s cousin converted in the 1940’s and my sister is married to a laspsed Catholic… And even though their best friends are Catholic…). Figured I’d let them know when I was sure I’d convert at Easter. However, accidently let it slip and you’d have thought I confessed to converting to the Moonies and was a serial killer.
Got the whole… "why? Just go to the Episcopalian/Lutheran Church. We need to discuss this before you do anything. (uh, I"m an adult last time I checked) Who is influencing you. This is so disappointing. Yada yada/ " And this was just my parents. My two brothers are the worse!

Tried to explain the whole RCIA process, that I felt that I am being led by a Higher Authority to look into the Catholic Church and my attraction to the historical Church. Sadly, they were rather deaf to all I said. (Figured since they are Southern Baptists, they might be sympathetic to the “being led” thing. Wrong. May work for others, but guess when it’s your youngest…)

Anyway, rather discouraged right now. Anyone have similar reactions? Any postitive reactions to your telling your family?

How adult are you? Are you 25? 40? Living at home? Single? Married? Have you screwed up in the past?

Sometimes you just need to walk your walk alone. REALLY alone. Although I had no “difficulties” of the kind you describe, I wept for a whole year . . .

So sorry it did not go well for you. But you said your parents were Southern Baptists? Yikes… I’m thinking they’d take more kindly to you saying that you’ve decided to dance naked for money. (I say this as a former Southern Baptist… bless their hearts!) At any rate I worried about telling my friends - all very evangelical and like you I was going to wait until Easter but then every time one of them would drop in on me unexpected I’d have to make a mad dash around my house hiding all my Catholic Appologetic books and that got to be a big pain so I just decided to tell them. Some were like, “Born again people don’t BECOME Catholic… Catholics become born again…” (like I was crossing against the tide?!) Others were like, "We’ll still be your friend even if you… (big sigh) become Catholic. And then one friend (my new favorite) sent me a very sweet card saying that she’d love to learn more about this new faith of mine! I said right up front I wasn’t up for any debates but if they wanted to read some great books… just let me know. I suppose my situation is totally different because friends can come & go but family, for better or worse, are with you forever. I’m so sorry it didn’t go well with yours. Maybe they’ll come around? God Bless you, CM

When I told my parents (who are Free Will Baptist) last November, I ended up having a long talk with them and I got to field a number of objections, such as 1) praying to saints, 2) worshipping Mary, and 3) Cathlolics believe they can do whatever they want as long as they receive absolution on their death bed, among other things. My dad wanted me to talk to the assistant pastor at their church (the one I grew up in) before I made my final decision. Finally, though I they still didn’t / don’t agree with anything I tell them about Catholicism, they are happy ‘as long as Jesus is still at the center of your life.’ A phrase like that kind of makes you feel like a black sheep, despite the fact that Jesus is more the center of my life now through the Eucharist than he ever could be to me outside of the Church.

The only advice I can give is to be patient with your family, show your devotion of Jesus and the Church to them as humbly and charitably as you can, be prepared to answer questions they might have, and pray that they might accept your decision and hopefully come into the Church through your example.

God bless!

.–

[quote=carol marie] I’m thinking they’d take more kindly to you saying that you’ve decided to dance naked for money.
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:rotfl:

[quote=carol marie] . . .I’d have to make a mad dash around my house hiding all my Catholic Appologetic books and that got to be a big pain so I just decided to tell them. . . .
[/quote]

Been there, done that!

[quote=carol marie]I said right up front I wasn’t up for any debates but if they wanted to read some great books… just let me know
[/quote]

You’re a genius.

[quote=Cairisti]Well, I wasn’t planning on telling my family this early about my RCIA classes, ect as I knew that they might be slightly negative. (My dad’s cousin converted in the 1940’s and my sister is married to a laspsed Catholic… And even though their best friends are Catholic…). Figured I’d let them know when I was sure I’d convert at Easter. However, accidently let it slip and you’d have thought I confessed to converting to the Moonies and was a serial killer.
Got the whole… "why? Just go to the Episcopalian/Lutheran Church. We need to discuss this before you do anything. (uh, I"m an adult last time I checked) Who is influencing you. This is so disappointing. Yada yada/ " And this was just my parents. My two brothers are the worse!

Tried to explain the whole RCIA process, that I felt that I am being led by a Higher Authority to look into the Catholic Church and my attraction to the historical Church. Sadly, they were rather deaf to all I said. (Figured since they are Southern Baptists, they might be sympathetic to the “being led” thing. Wrong. May work for others, but guess when it’s your youngest…)

Anyway, rather discouraged right now. Anyone have similar reactions? Any postitive reactions to your telling your family?
[/quote]

I’ll bet it’s out of print but if you could snag a copy of “Evangelical Is Not Enough” by Thomas Howard, and (MUCH BIGGER “IF”) they would look it over, you might be able to scale the language barrier about the topic. Howard is at least able (in my opinion) speak across the paradigm gulf in a way that is meaningful to Evangelicals.

Most converts, a’la’Jimmy Akin and that married couple who publish books of contemporary converts (I forget their names) sound like they’re lying when they claim they were once devout Protestants. They lose the ability to speak ‘Protestantese’ somewhere along the Road to Rome. I’ve posted on the paradigm gulf elsewhere in this forum. In any case, perhaps Howard will be of help in communicating with your folks. If they want to be communicated with. Since they already are suggesting Anglicanism or Lutheranism (and I am Anglican, not RC, btw) my guess is they understand the attraction of liturgical worship already. They’re mired in the ‘Catholic Church is Whore of Babylon’ mindset, even if they don’t expressly believe that or put it in those terms.

For Evangelicals, Roman Catholicism is an especial betrayal of the Christian heritage. It’s not just theology. It’s history too, as odd as that seems to say about us history-challenged Americans. We may not be swapping stories about how those Catholic sons-of-their-mothers murdered our great-great-grandmother’s great-great-grandfather in the War of the Whenever at Wherever as if the massacre happened in our own back yard, just last weekend; but a lot of our literature carries forward a lot of the emotion of such episodes. It’s embedded in our psyche in ways we don’t always articulate, at least not 'till our youngest daughter suddenly blurts that she is converting to Catholicism . . . . .

When the shock wears off they may be better able to resolve these issues for themselves and able to accept your freedom to make your own choices.

As long as your living at home adult or not I would not egage in debating religion. I wouldn’t hide the fact that your going to church and that you plan to keep going I just wouldn’t try to debate every issue.

I would keep it as “I am an adult I am investigating the claims of the catholic church and finding out a lot of misconception I used to have about the church are going away.” When you have the resources to move out then you could but heads a little. But you could go an eternity in playin gping pong with Bible verses and only enrage your parents and since your living at home it is difficult to walk away when the subject heats up.

I understand totally where you are coming from. My husband is supportive and I wouldn’t be suprised if he converts eventually after he sees that I am committed to doing so. My brother will just think I’m nuts, but won’t be angry or particularly care. However, my mother is a rabid anti-catholic (even though she was married to one and 90% of all her friends are Catholics). When I became Lutheran years ago, her reaction was “That’s practically Catholic.” In fact, she likes to go to my children’s baptisms and make disrespectful remarks under her breath. :rolleyes: She’s mellowed out in the last few years but I know she will be very unhappy with my decision. In fact, I’ve been fighting my call to the Church for many years because I didn’t want to hurt her. I finally realized how much it was hurting me to ignore God. So I’ve put it in his hands and figure if this is what he wants for me, he will deal with her. She babysits for me while I go to RCIA but I just told her that I’m taking a Bible Study. I kind of feel it’s deceitful but I can’t deal with the negativity right now. Thankfully, I have a friend who recently left the Lutheran Church and reverted back to Catholicism who has been a great support.

Anyway, just realize you are not alone. I was thinking about starting some kind of online support group for people like us if anyone would be interested. We could do a thread here or an yahoo list or something?

Its terrible what some parents and sibilings say or do when Catholocism becomes the focus of your life.

My parents are Catholic, but I have endured a good deal of anger from them because of their superstitions about being Catholic. I can understand now why Catholocism is so hated, becasue even most Catholics do not understand their faith. My parents do not believe that is alright to read the Bible except for during Mass, they feel the rosary is a waste of time, and they say they believe in the real presance and taught me transubstantiation from Baltimore Chaticsm but they say that Adoration is not “real,” neither of them go to confession and my mother is lery of blessings. They were both raised Catholic and both their parents have a greater knowledge then they do, my mom’s parents are liberal and looser about church laws and my dad’s conservitive and my dad’s parents especally are tied to Catholic devotions. My brothers say that the church “dosn’t really mean” that you have to believe what they say about social issues. All of them go to Church every week.

I guess it dosn’t matter who we are or who are parents are, perhaps in their heart they know its the right thing, but to defend themselves they put their childrend down. Its sad, but the only thing tha can be done is pray.
I also relate well on your whole serial killer from the moonies idea, I often felt my parents would of taken it easier on me had I announced I was gay(or on drugs or pregnant) and moving to California…:rolleyes:

My wife is a convert from an entire family of strict Baptists. Her family liked me just didn’t like the fact I was Catholic. When she converted about 7 years ago she went through the RCIA classes and all without telling anyone what she was doing. She was also attending Mass with me. Then our first daughter was born and we had her baptized and her family knew it and her mom finally asked her if she was Catholic, she told her yes and her mom freaked. Her mom cried and told her grandpa and they tried to tell her that Catholics were “bad” and that she didn’t know what she was doing and even though she was Catholic now that she was born and raised a Baptist and that she knew right from wrong and God would forgive me. They also think Catholics are going to Hell! As the time moved on the nasty comments slowly faded away especially when they realized that she was an adult free to make her own decisions and that she wasn’t letting their negative remarks bother her. She would let them say whatever they felt they needed to and she took it with a grain of salt. Not that it wasn’t rough there for awhile but, I think because she let them know that what they said didn’t bother her as much as they thought it would they just let up on it. Her and her mom are just as close now as they ever were and they still talk about religion but now it’s not in a negative way. Her grandpa still makes comments sometimes but to keep peace she just lets him vent. My wife and I will pray for you that the Lord will guide you in your journey through the Catholic faith and that maybe someday your family (and also my wife’s family) will join us in this beautiful religion. Good luck and God Bless You!!

[quote=Cairisti]Well, I wasn’t planning on telling my family this early about my RCIA classes, ect as I knew that they might be slightly negative. (My dad’s cousin converted in the 1940’s and my sister is married to a laspsed Catholic… And even though their best friends are Catholic…). Figured I’d let them know when I was sure I’d convert at Easter. However, accidently let it slip and you’d have thought I confessed to converting to the Moonies and was a serial killer.
Got the whole… "why? Just go to the Episcopalian/Lutheran Church. We need to discuss this before you do anything. (uh, I"m an adult last time I checked) Who is influencing you. This is so disappointing. Yada yada/ " And this was just my parents. My two brothers are the worse!

Tried to explain the whole RCIA process, that I felt that I am being led by a Higher Authority to look into the Catholic Church and my attraction to the historical Church. Sadly, they were rather deaf to all I said. (Figured since they are Southern Baptists, they might be sympathetic to the “being led” thing. Wrong. May work for others, but guess when it’s your youngest…)

Anyway, rather discouraged right now. Anyone have similar reactions? Any postitive reactions to your telling your family?
[/quote]

[quote=Cairisti]Well, I wasn’t planning on telling my family this early about my RCIA classes, ect as I knew that they might be slightly negative. (My dad’s cousin converted in the 1940’s and my sister is married to a laspsed Catholic… And even though their best friends are Catholic…). Figured I’d let them know when I was sure I’d convert at Easter. However, accidently let it slip and you’d have thought I confessed to converting to the Moonies and was a serial killer.
Anyone have similar reactions? Any postitive reactions to your telling your family?
[/quote]

YES, YES. I’ve had bad reactions too. Don’t get your feathers too ruffled is what I’ve come to learn!!! Explain to them you’ve discovered the RCC to be The True Church, that Christ is present in the Eucharist and it’s such a wonderful discovery!

Then I really recommend you share copies of Marcus Grodi’s wonderful tape “What is Truth”. Get it from www.chnetwork.org or EWTN.

God Bless~ I’m with you on the journey friend. I’m coming into the Church Easter as well! YAY!!!

[quote=Ryniev]She babysits for me while I go to RCIA but I just told her that I’m taking a Bible Study. I kind of feel it’s deceitful but I can’t deal with the negativity right now. Thankfully, I have a friend who recently left the Lutheran Church and reverted back to Catholicism who has been a great support./QUOTE]

Friend:

I feel as converts (I’m in RCIA now too) -we must be honest and take up our cross, follow Christ and well, take the slack. Why hide it? Why pretend it’s something other than it is? Isn’t this being weak and spineless? I think we must all be strong!!!

We should all be proud of the fact that our Lord has called each and every one of us to His One True Church. And that’s an awesome thing! Let’s defend it. Let’s tell them God has lead us to His Church, to taking his body,blood soul and divinity inside us in Communion.

God Bless You----I’m with you~~~~
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I will pray for you. I have always been a Catholic, but a VERY cafeteria one at that!

Since I have gotten serious and the Holy Spirit has grabbed my heart to rekindle my flame, I can relate just a bit with the ridicule by my friends and even my Catholic family. Why do I feel a need to go to church daily, or stop birth control, go to confession monthly. Isn’t that a bit much? Aren’t I overdoing it? And do I really need to make my sons go to confession that often also? and on and on…

But I just smile and know in my heart that this is what I have been personally called to do. God seized this moment in my life to bring me to my knees in worship and obedience. And dog gone it- I’m gonna listen. No one else needs to have an opinion - just God.

Cathlolics believe they can do whatever they want as long as they receive absolution on their death bed

Seems like this would be a selling point rather than something to knock. I always have to stifle a chuckle when I hear this objection. :smiley:

Scott

[quote=flameburns623]I’ll bet it’s out of print but if you could snag a copy of “Evangelical Is Not Enough” by Thomas Howard, and (MUCH BIGGER “IF”) they would look it over, you might be able to scale the language barrier about the topic. Howard is at least able (in my opinion) speak across the paradigm gulf in a way that is meaningful to Evangelicals.

[/quote]

Actually, it’s still in print- I was able to order it from Amazon.com a couple months ago. I also have another fine book he wrote- On Being Catholic.

I did not have that big a problem converting. I was in my 30s at the time and living in another state. My Dad’s Methodist and my Mom’s Catholic, but neither are practicing. When I told them (by letter) what I was doing, my Dad was indifferent, but my Mom was happy I that I was seeking some spiritual direction in my life (I remember my Mom going to church to pray for Reagan when he was shot in 1981- I guess you can take the Catholic out of the Church, but never the Church out of the Catholic! :smiley: ). My Grandmother, who’s Methodist (but not what I would call “fervent”) told me in a letter to “be careful” about those Catholics. However, in the couple years since they’ve moved down to Florida, I’ve had all three of them come to church with me- I doubt they’d convert, but you never can tell…

I feel as converts (I’m in RCIA now too) -we must be honest and take up our cross, follow Christ and well, take the slack. Why hide it? Why pretend it’s something other than it is? Isn’t this being weak and spineless? I think we must all be strong!!!

Yes, you are right. It is probably weak and spineless. However, I want the decision to be mine and God’s if I convert. I have a bad habit of letting others influence me. Plus I’m going through a clinical depression and a recently diagnosed medical disorder and honestly can’t deal with the hysterics right now. Weak and spineless or protecting my mental heal, it’s where I’m at. :o

Since my family consists of an elderly mother and one sister who are “unchurched” I am not so concerned about their reaction as with the friends I’ve made in my current church (Methodist). Just from conversations and participation in various Sunday school classes, I realize they have a very negative attitude toward the Church. In particular they think the church treats women badly—because they can’t be priests. I guess veneration of Mary is not considered as important. Plus a lot of liberal Protestant churches are extremely supportive of "gay rights’ and “abortion rights” (I guess they are now called “reproductive rights)”

I just started RCIA last week and I am continuing to attend the Methodist church in the short term as I’m committed to a weekly fundraiser that is going on and I don’t want to abandon them without a replacement. But it’s time to let them know my plans.

Any suggestions for telling liberal Protestants who are wonderful caring people but who will immediately suggest a visit to their psychiatrist?

Lisa N

**Any suggestions for telling liberal Protestants who are wonderful caring people but who will immediately suggest a visit to their psychiatrist?

Lisa N**You might be pleasantly suprised. When my friend announced to our Lutheran moms group that she was contemplating going back to the Catholic Church everyone was like “okay, whatever” except me who starting asking her, “Hey, have your read the Suprised by Truth books?” (she had). Then she ask me if I’d go to Mass with her and we became good friends and I supported her on her journey back (her husband didn’t go back with her) and now she is supporting me. Then I gave another member (an ex- Baptist) the Suprised by Truth 2 book and asked her to read the first story and tell me if she could refute any of it (she hasn’t).:smiley: I’ve told many of my friends that I feel drawn to the Catholic faith and honestly most my liberal Protestant friends are very open minded to it. It’s some of my Catholic friends who think I’m whacked. :confused:

My inlaws are staunch Southern Baptists, and my family are Presbyterians. I converted about 5 years ago, and everyone is just now getting comfortable with my decision (meaning we don’t actively argue anymore).

I found that it was unproductive to try to reason with or educate the inlaws. Their dislike of Catholics was so profound and bigoted that they were beyond reason. For example, my mother-in-law was most concerned that I would be joining a predominantly Hispanic church though we are Caucasians. It’s hard to reason with such prejudices.

The Presbyterians were more curious about my reasons. We’ve had some interesting discussions about things like sola scriptura and John 6. However, they stopped wanting a discussion whenever we got close to challenging a “truth” they hold dear.

My best advice is to convince them of your sincerity by the way you live your life, and the way you live out your Catholicism in their presence. Remember that you will soon be the bearer of the Eucharist to them. Let His light shine through you to them. Here’s a quote from our Pope that helps me when others do not understand my Faith.:

“We will go throughout the city, we will pass among the people assailed by thousands of everyday problems, we will go to meet these brothers and sisters of ours and we will show them the Sacrament of Christ’s presence to all: ‘Behold the bread of angels, the bread of pilgrims; the true bread of children.’ In this bread the Almighty, the Eternal, the thrice-Holy has made Himself close to us, has become ‘God-With-Us,’ Emmanuel.”
:gopray2:

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