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Anonymous Noel wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a Baptist and devout in what I believe, and, though my husband is a very devout Catholic, I know that I will never be a Catholic. He loves his Church and I love mine and we respect our differences and understand what we believe and why "what we believe" is different. We have come to the conclusion to raise our future children Catholic because that is what you all believe and I am okay with that because at the end of the day they will be Christians and I am learning about Catholicism to better understand and try to help my children in their faith if they have Catholic questions but I also feel like I'm going to be the odd man out in my family and I don't know what to do.

I know that I don't have to be perfect; the story of Mary has helped me see that. I want to show my children what I also believe even if they don't believe the same things because it's who I am.

I also have difficulties on my side on the differences between the Catholic and Baptist views on Baptism. I got baptized when I was around seven and I took Baptism classes and all of that, and it was just a beautiful, wonderful experience that I will remember for the rest of my life and it is one of the most important things to do as a Christian on both sides but with that said, they are done in different ways and that does concern me and I don't know how to deal with them being baptized the Catholic way versus the Baptist way because we do it for different purposes so I am worried that they won't understand why I don't believe in original sin and why I believe that when you do the ABC's and talk to the preacher to confirm these feelings and then take a class to get baptized, only then you can be baptized. So it's very different as you know. I just don't know what to do because I have always wanted to see my future children get baptized the way that I did, so I feel sad that they won't be unless they personally chose to convert. I understand why, but it does make me feel not a part of the family in that sense and that worries me because I know that I won't change my beliefs.

  • Could I get some advice on how to deal with this because I know it will be hard for me and I just want to be a good mother for them, and prepare them as best I can for religion and, of course, everything else in life?

I also have a few questions:

  • Would it be okay If I let them come to church services with me and well as go to Masses and all of that, so they further understand both sides?
  • Would it be okay to let them do VBS at a Baptist church and a baby dedication?
    (Basically, we go in front of everyone in the church and the pastor asks us:
    • Will we raise our children Christian? and we say <yes!>
      It is a beautiful part of our traditions to recognize our newborns and families.)
  • Would it be okay if they did choir at a Baptist church?
    (You don't have to be a part of the church to join.)

Thank you so much for your help, I know that I am not Catholic, and this is a Catholic page, but I just feel like I should ask because I am still learning, and I want to do right by my future family.

Thank you for your time and support and kindness.

I hope you have a blessed day!


  { Can you provide advice on how to deal with this family-faith situation; I just want to be a good mother? }

Bob replied:

Dear Noel,

Thanks for the question. 

I appreciate your honesty and sincerity in trying to face these difficult issues. 

The big problem you really have to face is the reality that trying to raise children in a 'multi-faith' environment, even if it is within the context of Christianity at large, is a recipe for them abandoning faith all together. 

Statistics bear this out: division of any sort undermines.  This is the greatest scandal in Christianity and why Christ wanted us to be one.  If you truly want the children to know Christ and love their faith, reinforce the faith you agreed with your husband to do, and don't confuse them with contrary practices.  When they are older, maybe even adults, you can have conversations that draw the distinctions between faiths, and even debate doctrines if you like.  In the meantime, they need their parents to be on the same page.

Ultimately, it comes down to you setting aside your personal feelings and wants to do what is right for the kids.  You love Jesus, and so do Catholics.  That love will especially come across through the sacrifice you make on their behalf. 

Lastly, though you believe you would never become Catholic, that could change. 

  • Would you become Catholic if Jesus wanted you to? 

Try asking Him. 

  • "Jesus, do you want me to become Catholic? 
    If so, you will have to make it abundantly clear because I would never . . . ."

If you pray something like that, and honestly listen and respond to wherever Christ leads, you could be surprised that He someday takes you where you would not want to go.


Bob Kirby

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