What to Do?


#1

My brother-in-law and his wife have two girls, 7 and 5. The kids were Baptized only two years ago and only because both sets of grandparents made a big stink over the kids not having received the Sacrament (there’s a lot more to that story, but don’t get me started!) Anyway, during Christmas dinner, I casually mentioned how my Confirmation might coincide with their eldest daughter’s First Communion and in response my brother-in-law’s wife stated that she had taken both girls out of CCD and when my mother-in-law shot her a look that could kill, she stammered out a bunch of lame-o excuses.

My brother-in-law and his wife are Fallen Away Catholics who are essentially devout atheists. Just getting the girls Baptized was a major issue. Now I know I have no say in how their girls are raised, but what can be done about getting the girls back into CCD? I’m not saying anything to my in-laws about it, but I would like to pass on any useful advice to my mother-in-law. Has anyone going through a similar situation? How (if at all) was the problem resolved? My parents were divorced during my time in CCD and I see the same type of problem arising now.


#2

Sad but true this is a very common story. No matter where I have taught I find children who just can not get their parents to take them to Mass.
My only answer for you is to pray and ask your mother in law and family to pray and pray for the conversion of your brother in law/Sister.The more you nag the farther away they will run. You want them to love Christ because it is what Christ wants not just what you want. Other wise you just have more Sunday Catholics who are basically useless in the Church to carry Christ’s words to the world.

Just my thoughts…


#3

It is kind of hard since it appears they had no intention of keeping the baptismal promises they made? But I would start off by asking why they lied to everyone by allowing them to be baptized and raised in the Catholic faith?

And thank God daily that they were allowed to be baptized. That grace will have a far reaching impact on thier life.

God Bless,
Maria

ps okay, I probably wouldn’t ask that in that manner since it would probably push them away, but I would want to. I guess I have no good advice to give. Sorry.


#4

Jmj

Greetings folks! Steve-o, who are the children’s Godparents? Assuming they each have two and they’re still living, maybe they could weigh in on the subject. Your brother-in-law and his wife had to have chosen someone… chances are they have a decent amount of respect for the person(s) they chose to be a Godparent(s). I would have a talk with one of the Godparents. Maybe they could have ‘sit down’ with old fallen away Mom&Dad and try to talk some sense into them. Or, maybe they could even offer to pick up the slack themselves! I would personally love to take my Godchildren to Mass and CCD classes! (I just don’t have any yet!)

Maybe the parents just don’t care enough. If that’s true, it’s certainly a shame… and something they will in all likeliness have to answer for someday. However, if that’s the case… I doubt they’d be against the idea of someone else taking some responsibility and an interest in their children’s spiritual development. My parents were very nominal Catholics as I grew up… they (like your brother in law and his wife) did not keep up to their obligations (that they incurred by their own choice) of raising their children in the faith as well as they should have. But, they always seemed to appreciate it when one of my Godparents or my grandparents took me to Mass from time to time. They never objected… if fact, they even seemed to encourage it.

In any case. Pray, pray, pray – for those innocent children. I’ll add mine. :wink: I’ll also pray for your brother-in-law and his wife – they definitely need our prayers.

May the Lord be with you!

Jason


#5

I agree with the people who have said not to nag. I don’t think being in CCD is that great in some areas anyway. The best thing to do is set a good example for the kids. Do you know specifically why they have fallen away from the faith? Many people have periods of dryness but that does not mean they will not come back. Make sure the grandparents take the kids to mass whenever possible and show them what it is to be a true Catholic rather than harping or nagging. BTW, I took my daughter out of CCD because I did not feel like she was being taught the faith appropriately. They scheduled CCD classes on a holy day of obligation and didn’t make arrangements for all classes to attend so she and I both had to miss mass because I was volunteering at the time. She was bringing away more negative than positive in regards to the CCD courses taught in our area. It is now up to me and my family to teach my children. Even though the parents aren’t on board, you and the grandparents should just make an extra effort to be a good example. Shower them with the love and kindness that the church teaches and they might have second thoughts about staying away.


#6

[quote=jasonb82abn]Jmj

Greetings folks! Steve-o, who are the children’s Godparents? Assuming they each have two and they’re still living, maybe they could weigh in on the subject. Your brother-in-law and his wife had to have chosen someone… chances are they have a decent amount of respect for the person(s) they chose to be a Godparent(s). I would have a talk with one of the Godparents. Maybe they could have ‘sit down’ with old fallen away Mom&Dad and try to talk some sense into them. Or, maybe they could even offer to pick up the slack themselves! I would personally love to take my Godchildren to Mass and CCD classes! (I just don’t have any yet!)

Jason
[/quote]

The whole Godparent issue is a story in itself! My sister-in-law got lost on the way to the church (it was far from her home) and instead of waiting for her to arrive, my brother-in-law’s wife just scribbled out her name and put her own sister’s name on the cerificate! The entire subject is very sensitive and this happened over two years ago!

As for the kids’ parents, both are well-to-do professionals who seem more interested in their considerable material comforts and “success” at work rather than the kids’ spiritual growth. If these kids are ever to get into CCD it will probably rest on the wife’s parents’ shoulders, since the kids spend a lot of time at their home. Things between my mother-in-law and her are pretty tense lately, due to many other incidents, but this and “The Baptism Affair” have strained things considerably.

As for “nagging”, I say nothing. The only time I did was the innocent question at Christmas dinner. I’m not one to cause controversies, but I sure do so inadvertently!


#7

There is not much that you can do, other than be a good role model for your nieces and pray for them. Essentially the same thing happened to my half sister. My mom and stepfather had her baptised as a baby, but never sent her to CCD. Of course this was very upsetting to my stepfather’s family. They expressed their concern, but didn’t turn it into a big fight.

My sister, as soon as she moved out of the house for college, signed up for RCIA and completed the sacraments. She is now the godmother of my youngest son.

Pray for your nieces, and trust that Lord will look out for them.


#8

[quote=Steve-o] Now I know I have no say in how their girls are raised, but what can be done about getting the girls back into CCD?
[/quote]

Unfortunately, nothing. Atheists don’t believe in God, so obviously they have no reason to send their children to religious education nor to form them through example.

[quote=Steve-o] I’m not saying anything to my in-laws about it, but I would like to pass on any useful advice to my mother-in-law.
[/quote]

My advice would be to always be a good example, take the kids to church when they visit overnight or on vacation, have religious books appropriate to their age at your house, and pray for the parents and the kids. The MIL should focus on evangelization of the adult children, not harp on them to take their kids to CCE. If they parents do not have faith, trying to get the kids into CCE is probably a losing battle.


#9

Thanks for the advice, everyone. My in-laws will be attending my Convalidation in March and the get together at my house to follow. I’m certain that the subject will be brought up by someone, but one never knows. Then there’s also Easter dinner, as I doubt they will want to attend my Easter Vigil Confirmation.


#10

**Update: ** Yesterday at my (casual) post-Convalidation family get together, I was talking with my sis-in-law and she mentioned that the girls are enrolled at a Catholic school beginning this fall! I was very pleased! Of course, I played my reaction close to the vest as not to show my joy, but I was positively beaming inside!


#11

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