What do I do?


#1

I have a problem I need some input on. I am 17, and in the process of becoming catholic. I decided to become catholic for several different reasons, the main one being that I want to be close to God again. No where in the those reasons is the desire to spite my Mom. She thinks that being catholic is so wrong, she basically called it a disease. She used to be catholic, at my age in fact, and then she “converted” to a non-denominational form of christianity.She thinks I am copying her, and I’m not. I can’t pray the catholic way, or anything, I have to keep my new faith secret. My main problem though, is this : How do I tell my Mom’s catholic family that I am becoming catholic? My Mom’s brother and his family are catholic, and they are one of the reasons I want to be catholic. They are sweet, kind, wonderful examples of christians, something I haven’t seen often in my life. My Mom told me though not to tell anyone I am becoming catholic, and is treating me like I am nuts. I want to tell my Aunt and Uncle and their family, because I know they would be happy…but there is a part of me that worries that they will think the situation awkward, because they love my Mom a lot, and that they will ignore the issue, my faith being the issue, and that I still will be alone in my faith. Someone please tell me, what should I do? How do I tell them?


#2

Sounds like a tough situation. On the one hand it’s moms house and rules. On the other hand it’s your faith. Maybe get involved with some Catholic people outside of your family like a youth group etc. This way you will have Catholic community without the family being involved. Eventualy you will leave home and you can tell anybody anything you want. This is the best answer I can give with limited info. Make sure you pray before doing anything extreme. At the end of the day mom holds the cards. Be sure to pray for your moms conversion back to the true Church as well. God is not limited in his ability to reach her even if you are.

-D


#3

Whatever reasons the spirit gives you to join the Catholic church are wonderful! But before you join, make sure the following reasons are in your list as well: You believe the Catholic church is the one true church founded by Jesus Christ, and you believe that it contains the fullness of truth.

As for your mother: We are to be obediant to those placed validly in authority over us in all things except sin. So is keeping your faith “secret” sinful? I consider the following breakdowns:

  1. If someone asks you, or the conversatoin natural leads to a question of whether you are Catholic, you must be completely honest. To do otherwise is to deny God.

  2. Do you openly discuss with others that you are converting and share your Catholic faith with them on your own initiative? To do so is a good thing. But depending on your stage in life, it may not be prudent. Remember the early Christians. They would not deny their faith if asked (although it lead to martyrdom.) But that doesn’t mean they didn’t practice their faith in secret. Otherwise they would have been completely wiped out.

So I’d say it depends on the consequences of your actions. Your right to share the Catholic faith, in my eyes, supercedes any instruction from your mother to limit it. However, depending on the consequences of such action, you may freely choose to not do so, so long as you are not directly asked about it.

Josh


#4

[quote=LydiaW]I have a problem I need some input on. I am 17, and in the process of becoming catholic. I decided to become catholic for several different reasons, the main one being that I want to be close to God again. No where in the those reasons is the desire to spite my Mom. She thinks that being catholic is so wrong, she basically called it a disease. She used to be catholic, at my age in fact, and then she “converted” to a non-denominational form of christianity.She thinks I am copying her, and I’m not. I can’t pray the catholic way, or anything, I have to keep my new faith secret. My main problem though, is this : How do I tell my Mom’s catholic family that I am becoming catholic? My Mom’s brother and his family are catholic, and they are one of the reasons I want to be catholic. They are sweet, kind, wonderful examples of christians, something I haven’t seen often in my life. My Mom told me though not to tell anyone I am becoming catholic, and is treating me like I am nuts. I want to tell my Aunt and Uncle and their family, because I know they would be happy…but there is a part of me that worries that they will think the situation awkward, because they love my Mom a lot, and that they will ignore the issue, my faith being the issue, and that I still will be alone in my faith. Someone please tell me, what should I do? How do I tell them?
[/quote]

Your mom’s family probably realizes how she feels about the faith, so I don’t think they’d rat you out if you told them about your conversion. I’m sure they’d be thrilled to hear all about it! You all just need to be careful when you’re around your mom…if she’s out of ear-shot though…chatter away! I bet your mom’s family is praying for her long and hard, and I bet they’d be thrilled to have another prayer added to theirs. Best wishes, and congratulations!
P.S…you aren’t alone! I converted within a highly agnostic family (woohooo, did I get a lot of flak) , and since then my little sister has started attending RCIA. Oddly enough, I was inspired by her hubby’s parents, and she was inspired by me. God always works wonders. Hang in there!


#5

Ok, I know this sounds juvenille, but why not wear a crucifix or medal with a long enough chain to be both visible and tucked underneath a shirt? In the presence of your Mom, out of respect for her, you can just keep hidden close to your heart. But outside of her house (i.e. in the presence of your other family members) it can be a visible, but still silent, testament to your faith. Then if that brings up conversation… well, I’m sure your mother would not tell you to lie, right? :smiley:


#6

[quote=lcalise]Ok, I know this sounds juvenille, but why not wear a crucifix or medal with a long enough chain to be both visible and tucked underneath a shirt? In the presence of your Mom, out of respect for her, you can just keep hidden close to your heart. But outside of her house (i.e. in the presence of your other family members) it can be a visible, but still silent, testament to your faith. Then if that brings up conversation… well, I’m sure your mother would not tell you to lie, right? :smiley:
[/quote]

good idea! thanks!


#7

I would tell your Mom’s family. i think it sounds like she does not want you to tell them because she knows they will embrace you and your new found faith. Your mom sounds like she is still hurting and doesn’t want anything to do with Catholicism.

I suggest you tell your other family members, but also ask them to respect your mom’s feelings on the matter. They can support you without alienating your mom.

Good Luck!


#8

Well, that is almost heroic courage …and may God bless you richly - the promise ‘when you are reviled and persecuted for My name sake, be glad and rejoice - great is your reward in heaven…’

Hope you are wanting to share , for the joy of the discovery of The Fullness of The revealed Truth
Your call home to the Church might be answered prayers of one of your ancestors, who might have been even a proclaimed saint :o
You know the Lord does promise blessings for a thousand generations !

Meanwhile, it might be good to try to find ways to be compassionate towards mom too - why did she leave The Church - ? the terrible heartbreak and guilt of may be an abortion ( which entails automatic excommunication ) … The Church want her children to really know how sin can hurt themselve and those esp. close to them the most …is compassionate and leaves the door open for Mercy , while always telling us the truth - prevention is far better …
She might be afraid it is too difficult a faith - in issues such as birthcontrol - may be all the wonderful responses of people at this site about the benefits of nfp would help her …

Every once in while bring up the marvels of The faith and the Church - such as how in the 2000 year history of the church, there has never been a case when the seal of the confessional has been broken - Power of His Promise ; the very low incidence of mental illness in those who receive confession properly
No one has ever been able to show any of even the Popes who might have had sin in their personal life , has ever taught anything against the basic truths of faith - like a pilot who has an affair can stll be good navigator - again The Promise of The Lord " gates of hell shall not prevail "
keep a miraculous medal under mom’s pilllow - with the prayers "Mary concieved without sin, pray for us ’ - again special grace of conversion has been promised through this little yet powerful portal of God’s Mercy :o and one day, you and mom could be on ewtn or on the stage Home up Above , to share the journey with us all… :thumbsup:


#9

Hi Lydia,

First of all, you are not alone…at least not here. As a fellow convict (oops, convert) from an Evengelical family, I feel your pain. The only answer I give my “I’M A DEACON AND YOUR OLDER BROTHER SO YOU MUST LISTEN TO ME” brother and “WE MUST SAVE HIM FROM THE FIRES OF CATHOLIC HELL” sisters is this, “I found Christ in the Catholic Church. That is where I really feel close to him.”

Of course I took it to the next level, not only did I convert, I studied and now teach Catholicism, religious education, I go on missions and guide a Catholic Young Singles ministry.

Point being, show your family that you are serving the Lord and that Jesus is working in your life through the Catholic Church. Don’t give them any reason to throw it in your face. Of course they will attach you and your faith, but be strong. You have friends here.


#10

I really want to tell my family now, but the problem is, they live across the state from me, and I only see them when my Mom is with me, and sometimes my siblings with me too. How do I tell them I am in the process of becoming Catholic without my siblings, ( who are little snitches) or my mom, over hearing? I have told my Mom and my siblings that I want to be catholic and everything, only problem is that they are very against it, put me and catholics down in cruel jokes, and make me miserable. I don’t want to go through more of that, but I really want the support of the rest of my family. What do I do?

P.S. Thanks for all the great answers so far!


#11

[quote=LydiaW]I really want to tell my family now, but the problem is, they live across the state from me, and I only see them when my Mom is with me, and sometimes my siblings with me too. How do I tell them I am in the process of becoming Catholic without my siblings, ( who are little snitches) or my mom, over hearing? I have told my Mom and my siblings that I want to be catholic and everything, only problem is that they are very against it, put me and catholics down in cruel jokes, and make me miserable. I don’t want to go through more of that, but I really want the support of the rest of my family. What do I do?

P.S. Thanks for all the great answers so far!
[/quote]

Do you have their address? Write them a lovely letter, telling them of your journey and explaining the situation at home. Ask for their daily prayers. Not only will you be united with them in prayer but you will have people “storming heaven” for you.

My brother used to tell really cruel jokes. I finally told him, quietly and away from everyone else so that he would not be defensive or embarrassed, how much his jokes hurt me. He may no longer be a practicing Catholic, but the reality is he loves me and does not want to deliberately hurt me.

Remember, my sister in Christ, any suffering you experience here can be united with the suffering of Christ’s on the Cross. You are not alone…and as a Catholic you are a part of a 2000 year tradition of persecution for our beliefs. The communion of saints (Church Triumphant) is there for you to draw strength from so find a martyr that you can relate to and whose story you really like and pray to and with them every day for the grace to endure.


#12

Leslie, I think you need to tell her about the Jesus Box, too, so she has an outlet for the hostility from her immediate family.

Without a doubt, Lydia, tell your extended family in a letter, explaining that you want their support in prayer but must practice in private. And you always have the prayers of us here at CAF, too!


#13

[quote=LydiaW]I What do I do?
[/quote]

DO NOTHING … TELL THEM NOTHING. Since you live across the state (college I presume) they don’t need to know. When you go home, just do what you normally do.

What they don’t know won’t hurt you. :slight_smile:

Personally, I’d tell them AFTER the conversion is done…then it’s too late for them to interfer.

In the mean time, check out
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#14

LYDIA - let me tell you about my Jesus Box…

I use an old shoe box. I decorated it, cut a hole in the top just big enough for me to be able to put a folded piece of paper - or two or three or 14 - through, and I keep it in a place where no one can easily find it, open it up and read my rants.

Someone also suggested that if keeping the rants are too dangerous, one might burn them after saying the prayer.

When something is really bothering me, or a problem seems too big for me to handle, I get out my paper and pen and start writing. I do not care about spelling or grammar or sentence structure. I just spill it all out, and if I have to do it on the same subject several times over and over, then so be it.

It might look like this:
well that’s it I am so tired of hearing all the anti-Catholic jokes and jibes around here I thought these people were supposed to love me and be my family instead all I get is grief and why because I want to become a Catholic. You’d think I wanted to murder the next door neighbor’s dog the way they act. I know Mom has issues but this is my life we’re talking about and I want to be apart of the CHURCH the TRUE CHURCH. why can’t they just love and accept me for who I am?

Anyway, when you are all done you get on your knees and, with the paper in front of you, you say a prayer; maybe something like:
Lord I offer this to you. I cannot change this, I cannot make them be what I want them to be, but this is how I feel about it. It is hurting me Lord and I don’t want the hurt it is causing me to make me into a mean or vengeful person. Help me, Lord, to be of service to You and to my fellows. Take this from me, so that I may better walk your path. Amen.

Then you put it in your Jesus Box and go about your business.

St. Faustina was told by Our Lord that we fail when we do not come to Him with ALL of ourselves, both the good and the bad, our doubts and our fears, our strengths and our passions. He wants us ALL. This little action helps me to give Him all that is in my heart and in my head. It helps, it really does…


#15

let me clarify my situation. I am 17, and I live in KC with my Mom and siblings. My parents are divorced, and both protestant. My dad is happy that I want to be a christian again, but my mom is very much against me wanting to be Catholic. She thinks that the only true form of christianity is non-denominational protestant. The family I have been wanting to tell about me being Catholic is my Mom’s brother’s family. They live across the state. They are Catholic, and they are one of the reasons I want to be Catholic. They are wonderful, kind, christian people, and I want to be like that too. I am so frustrated not being able to tell them. I think the idea of writing them a long letter is a good idea, but I wish I could tell them in person. One of my cousins, who is part of that family, lives close to us. Should I tell her, so she can tell everyone else? I am not sure how to put it though. Do I say, " I am in the process of becoming Catholic" ? or what? It is just so frustrating being alone in my faith. I know that I have the support of you all on here, and I have the support of my Dad and everything, but I don’t have anyone I can talk to really and say, " I feel so sad and alone" and " Why is it so hard for my family to accept this?" or talk about Catholic things. My Dad doesn’t have a clue what I am talking about sometimes.

I like the Jesus box idea. It’s a good one, I think I will try it.


#16

One thing you could do is keep a diary of your Catholic journey. One day you will be able to help other who are in the same position you are in now.

I’ml keeping you in prayer.


#17

[quote=LydiaW]let me clarify my situation. I am 17, and I live in KC with my Mom and siblings. My parents are divorced, and both protestant. My dad is happy that I want to be a christian again, but my mom is very much against me wanting to be Catholic. She thinks that the only true form of christianity is non-denominational protestant. The family I have been wanting to tell about me being Catholic is my Mom’s brother’s family. They live across the state. They are Catholic, and they are one of the reasons I want to be Catholic. They are wonderful, kind, christian people, and I want to be like that too. I am so frustrated not being able to tell them. I think the idea of writing them a long letter is a good idea, but I wish I could tell them in person. One of my cousins, who is part of that family, lives close to us. Should I tell her, so she can tell everyone else? I am not sure how to put it though. Do I say, " I am in the process of becoming Catholic" ? or what? It is just so frustrating being alone in my faith. I know that I have the support of you all on here, and I have the support of my Dad and everything, but I don’t have anyone I can talk to really and say, " I feel so sad and alone" and " Why is it so hard for my family to accept this?" or talk about Catholic things. My Dad doesn’t have a clue what I am talking about sometimes.

I like the Jesus box idea. It’s a good one, I think I will try it.
[/quote]

Certainly you could tell your cousin who lives close to you and write your relatives a long letter. You might say that you feel drawn to the Catholic Faith and are in the process of becoming a Catholic.
I’m glad you like the Jesus Box idea. St. Faustina was told by Jesus to come to Him with everything, the good and the bad. This helps me to do that, and it keeps me from hurting others because I am worried, upset or scared.


#18

ok, I will try to talk to my cousin, and I will try to think up what I want to say in a letter to my family. Thank you everyone for all your helpful replies.


#19

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