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Switch to Forum Live View Should I convert so my family shares a faith?
5 years ago  ::  Oct 07, 2013 - 11:28AM #1
Posts: 1
This forum doesn't seem particularly active, but I'm hoping someone can provide me with some insight.

My husband and I have been married for 7 years. We have a 2.5 year old son. I was raised Presbyterian and my husband was raised (is) Catholic. When we met, he was not particularly strong in his faith. He attened mass, but only because it was a requirement for him to live in his parents' house. I attended mass with his family on occasion and together we attended a contemporary non-denominational church with some friends. The pastor from this church performed our marriage, so we are not married in the Catholic church. Since then, that pastor has relocated and we have tried unsuccessfully to find a church home.

My husband is also in the military. When we was away for 5 months completing necessary training, he went to mass on the base because the priest came to them and provided cookies (seriously), plus everything was familiar. He has not expressed a desire to go to mass at home though. I would be OK going to mass. I know what to do and what not to do. I do feel uncomfortable though, like I don't really belong. Or like I'm wearing a "Not Catholic" sign. My tense relationship with my inlaws has not encouraged me to embrace converting either. My mother-in-law has said some very hurtful things over the years about my faith, family, how we raise our son, and things in general. Despite the fact that my husband was a lukewarm Catholic long before we met.

Currently, we attend an American Baptist Church, which we like, but we don't really feel involved in. I never really considered converting, but I want my husband and I to grow in faith together and I don't think we are. It's not like we're going in different directions, but we're not going anywhere at all. I want to provide my son with a firm background, like I had growing up. I want my husband and I to be on the same page with our faith so we can make it the central part of our marriage.

There are many things about the Catholic Church that I like. I like the Pope and think he's a wonderful human being and someone I can look up to. I like the unity of practices and that I can go to any church on any Sunday and know that everyone elsewhere is doing the same thing. I do not believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, which is the main doctrine of most Protestant churches I have been a part of. I believe the Bible, but understand that it is a text written by men, many years after the actual events and should be interpreted, not taken word-for-word. I tend to be very intellectual when it comes to my faith and I appreciate that the Catholic church has a long tradition of education, science, and scholarship.

Basically, I'm wondering if my converting is the best thing for my family. I know I'm asking this to a bias audience, but I appreciate the perspective. Faith is not a huge wedge between my husband and I. He has not been particularly helpful in any decisions on the churches we've attended. I even suggested we could also go to mass and he hasn't really had an opinion about it. I'm also nervous about the reaction of my family and friends. I have a friend who is currently taking the conversion classes for the same reason and my aunt and uncle also converted, but other than that I'm sure everyone will think this is bizarre. I shouldn't care about what people think, but it is a concern.

Can anyone offer some objective advice? 
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 10, 2013 - 7:42AM #2
Posts: 2,887

From where I come from you have an interest in the Catholic church . An RCIA program is availabe to those who want to investigate or enter the Catholic Church . My son was married out the Catholic church and he was told by a priest that in the eyes of the Church he is not married .

If I was you I would look up a Catholic Center or go to a Catholic Church in your area and speak to those that know all about converting to the Catholic Church .

The best to you and your family .  Marie

Just me
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5 years ago  ::  Oct 11, 2013 - 11:51AM #3
Posts: 6,839

Here's what suggests to me that your converting is not a great idea: "I never really considered converting, but I want my husband and I to grow in faith together and I don't think we are."

When you've said that your husband is lukewarm at best about Catholicism, why would you think that will change at all if you convert? If he were an active Catholic who's indicated he'd like you to become a Catholic, you'd have good reason to consider converting so that the two of you could grow together in faith, but he's not.

In fact, based on what you've said about his casual attitude about church in general, it sounds to me like you're far more religious than he is. He may not care what you decide to do to provide a strong religious upbringing for your son and also may not want to be as involved in it as you seem to want him to be. Find out, most importantly, how he feels about bringing up your son as a Catholic. You really need to know that, IMO, before you make a decision to convert. 

Frankly, several things you said make me wonder how comfortable you are with the idea, especially when you say you don't feel all that comfortable at Mass. Most people choose a church with which they feel very much at home. A number of things you said suggest that while you like some things about Catholicism, all in all it doesn't suit you very much. I'd keep looking, perhaps at Lutheran or Episcopal churches which are similar.

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