Working in a Christian (non-Catholic) environment

Hi, my name is Laurelin. I’ve been on these forums for a while but this is the first time I’ve posted.

Recently, I got an internship at a ministry on campus called Campus Renewal Ministries. It’s been such a blessing in so many ways, but sometimes I feel out of place because I am a devout Catholic. The people I work with, including my boss, are wonderful people, but the majority of them are fallen away Catholics. It’s amazing to see their relationship with God, but I can’t seem to shake this feeling that they should come back to the Church.

The thing is though, that a lot of them felt that they grew the most when they left the Church, so I’m kind of like, “Who am I to tell them that they should come back to the place where they were most spiritually stagnant?”, even though I know with every fiber of my being that the truth lies in the Catholic Church.

Ugh, I’m so torn and I don’t know what to do. I’ve gotten a lot of hate from other Protestants (or non-Denominational, as a lot of Christians call themselves now) in the past, so I am familiar with defending my faith a little bit, but I still love my Protestant brothers and sisters.

If you have any advice, please tell me! I’m in desperate need of help!

A lot of fallen away Catholics are just that, because they never really understood the Catholic Church in the first place… They were probably more familiarized with anti-Catholic propagandas than they were with what the Church actually taught all along.

…But it’s nobody’s fault that they experienced more of the negative than they did the truth. I’d say that as long as their faith is growing, then during the course of the rest of their lives, they still have the opportunity to follow God, where they might be able to shake those anti-catholic sentiments… If they’re truly following the Trinity, they will shake those negative biases. :slight_smile:

You are in a tough place because you are working for a Protestant ministry and surrounded by Protestants. you seem very well grounded in your faith and I commend you for that. Since you seem to be a lone ranger there you have a disadvantage and in the long run might not fully last there. The best you can do is to see yourself as planting seeds in others. You might not see changes that you want. I listen to Catholic radio where I live and a couple of the hosts, Theresa Tomeo and Al Kresta worked for a while at a Protestant Radio as Catholics, I think that they found out that it is very difficult for serious Catholics to work in evangelical dominated environments and they eventually left to do Catholic Radio. You might be in the same situation and if the harassment gets to be too much, you may have to consider that you might not last and be open to changing jobs.

The thing to remember is that you can only “draw” someone to the Church…You can never “push” them that way.
So start with prayer and with charity. Let conversation flow and, if and when, issues come up, speak freely and accurately about Church teaching and practice.
If others see that you are not “spiritually stagnant” in the Church, it may pique them to take another look. If not…Well as another said above…you are planting seeds.


The only problem with that is they are Catholic. They are taught Truth and are rejecting it. For a Catholic you can’t leave the Church and then be a “good christian” in another church. You’ll go to hell. Plain and simple. Christ calls all of us to Communion with Him in His One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. Some protestants might avoid the pains of hell because they are ignorant of this. They grow up in a family church where anti catholic heresy is driven into their heads by their self ordained “ministers”. But for Catholics turning your back on the Church when you know full well it is Truth (because they were taught it) they are “rejecting” Christ’s Church and in rejecting the Church they are rejecting Him.

Welcome OP,

My advice is to use this forum (or other legit Catholic ones) as often as possible to educate yourself on Church teachings with which you might be unfamiliar. Because as much as I respect and enjoy the company of faithful Protestants (as you do), I KNOW that along with their fervent faith usually comes a Catholic attack.

Be prepared, and enjoy your new job!

I would simply celebrate and enjoy all the wonderful things in Christ you agree upon, the secondary issues you disagree is not worth hard feelings or loss of friends.

Everyone believes they own ultimate truth, so let it go and enjoy your love of our savior Jesus Christ.

John 3:16


It probably depends on the person, but I would hazard a guess that if a person sees the most spiritual growth after falling away from the Church, then what they consciously rejected was not the Church itself but instead a misconceived idea of the Church that may very well need to have been rejected.

A similar thing happens with people who fall away from religion altogether - as Fr. Barron as pointed out, the gods that most atheists specifically reject we reject as well. A person who grows up conceiving of God as some kind of super powerful spaghetti monster or some other variety of “noisy mythological creature,” as he puts it, is right when he later comes to think that that conception is ridiculous and rejects what he thinks God to be, because no such thing actually exists. What they need is to be shown that the religion that they are rejecting is not our religion, and then be shown our religion as it actually is.

I use that example only because it’s specific and the reasons why people fall away from the Church but remain Christian vary greatly, but the general idea is similar. And I think the solution is similar as well - no need to be pushy, but just demonstrate by how you live and act that the Catholic Church is helpful for one’s spirituality etc, and as any misconceptions they may have about the Church come up, gently correct them as appropriate. A sort of quiet witness, if you will.

You bring out a good point re: culpability in leaving the Church…The caveat though is that since we do not know these people we cannot know if they actually knew…If they were actually taught…the Truth of the faith.

So in evangelizing people who have left the Church one needs to first determine the need…


Except that it is possible even for a Catholic, raised in the arms of Mother Church, to be deceived.
No doubt some people leave Mother Church for dishonest or even evil reasons: but also no doubt some are simply and honestly mistaken.
We cannot know for certain what is in someone else’s heart. A fallen-away Catholic may yet be saved.

Be happy for their growth; show your love of the Church in quiet, constant ways, and always have an offer for them to attend daily Mass or events (blessing of pets? neat rosary event, etc) with you.

It is God who brings someone back; let him move them to you.

Thank y’all so much for all your wisdom and encouragement. I never expected this kind of response.

I don’t plan on continuing with this ministry after graduation (I’m a junior in college currently), but I do feel that God has put me in this internship for a reason. The only thing is that whenever I even mention the word “Catholic”, people act like I’ve just poked them with a hot rod. I will continue with God’s mission for me, though, with Love, of course.

Prayers would be very much appreciated!

Am praying for you…

The bolded above made me smile. I think that you DO poke them with a hot rod when you mention Catholic. Especially those who have fallen away from the Church. But it is a hot rod of God’s love. By your witness of Loving faithfulness to Christ in the Church; by your very witness in opposition to the image they have of the Church that they left - your prick their conscience with something that doesn’t add up…
They cannot deny you are a good Christian - but you are “Catholic”…:eek::whacky::hypno:

For some people this just “sprains their brain”…

For others - it might be as simple as a reminder of something painful that happened to them…A bad priest, parish politics etc…

Just be a good example and be open to discussion…You are doing great work.


i don’t have any – opinion–

except that christians who were once catholics-- have a greater understanding of the bible-- because they strive for a personal relationship

and don’t rely on the catholic sacrament-- or trying to get an answer from a priest of mortal or venial sins–

in the catholic – there is an obsession of – if you are in right standing-- because of a mortal sin or venial sin definition

but – they are sister churches – as a Hebrew roots apologists said

the doctrine is derived from the same scripture

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