My father was raised Jewish (now agnostic), and my mother has been an observant Roman Catholic her entire life (went to all-girls Catholic schools). Religion wasn’t big in my family growing up, we celebrated some Jewish holidays only as a means of getting together as a family but have stopped since my Jewish grandmother’s death. I have gone to Christmas Mass with my mother every year, and we celebrate all major Christian holidays (Easter, Christmas, Good Friday). I am in the RCIA program at my university, as I wish to be an observant Catholic, and plan to marry in the Catholic Church and raise my children as such.
I have a Jewish-sounding last name and often people label me “Jew,” which, as I have started the process of officially becoming a Catholic, makes me upset. I don’t at all identify as Jewish, and Jews wouldn’t consider me one because my mother is Catholic. It annoys me that I am stuck with this name, while Jewish friends who are not religious do not have to deal with identifying names. I look to Caspar Weinberger, an Episcopalian, as someone who had a similar issue. I would never change my name, as that would be disrespectful to my father, but people also thought he was Jewish. I also feel that other Catholics may not view me as one because of my name. What do I do about this? The Catholic community at my school is awesome, but others make quick judgements, and it really bothers me. What am I considered in the eyes of the Church?