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Marie Harper wrote:

Hi, guys —

My name is Marie Harper and I am a 13-year-old girl. I want to be a Catholic but my parents are Protestants and won't allow me to become a Catholic. They don't agree with the way the Catholic religion is run. I don't know much about the faith but I do know that I am supposed to go to Mass every Sunday, go to Confession on a regular basis, etc.

I would love to go to Mass and Confession but my parents only let me go to a Protestant church. I don't know how to start being a Catholic but I want to be one. I pray that, one day, my parents would accept my choices. I was wondering if someone could answer my questions.

  • Will I go to Hell if I can't go to Mass because my parents won't allow me?
  • Also, I was wondering how the Liturgy of the Hours works.
  • Do I need to say certain prayers at certain hours?

I would be very appreciative of any helpful replies to these questions.


  { Will I go to Hell if I can't be a Catholic and go to Mass; and how do the Liturgy of the Hours work? }

Bob replied:

Dear Marie,

Thanks for reaching out.

You are a courageous young woman, because not only are you embracing a faith, different from your parents, you are being very counter cultural. Both of those points aren't easy to do.

Obedience to our parents is very important, so you may have to wait until you are a little older to become fully Catholic — you won't go to Hell, because God knows your intent is to follow Him wherever He leads you.

  • The question will then be, how much older?

You may be able to strike a deal with your parents, but be prepared for a very determined effort to convince you to do otherwise.

What you can do is:

  1. start praying the Rosary everyday
  2. stay away from temptations in any manner that would be displeasing to God, and
  3. read good Catholic books and media to form your knowledge so you can offer a good explanation for the future (Catholic) faith you believe.

    That is what Catholic Apologetics is: making a good case or defense of your faith.

You need to own this like a biology major preparing for Med school exams. Saddle up!

  • Lastly, I'm curious how you found the Catholic Faith . . . was it through the witness of a friend?

That may become instrumental. In any case, if you have the chance to talk to a priest (a good one who will affirm your decision to become Catholic); sadly, not all priests are the same — some could say, don't bother) tell him your dilemma. Assuming you are already baptized, you may be concerned about the ability to receive the other sacraments, especially in the difficult teen years. This where having a connection, someone on the inside, may be able to help you get there sooner than later.

I want to encourage you to keep pursuing this, especially through prayer, because this is truly the most important decision of your life and I believe the Holy Spirit is leading you.

God has great things planned for you.


Bob Kirby

Bob later followed-up:


I forgot to address your other two questions.

You said:

  • Also, I was wondering how the Liturgy of the Hours works.
  • Do I need to say certain prayers at certain hours?

You can pray the Liturgy of the Hours and, though it is not required, it does have a whole timed regiment of prayer. The basics for every Catholic, and any practicing Christian really, are:

  • Morning prayer (like the morning offering, Our Father, Hail Marys, etc.)
  • Daytime Prayer (can be prayed at Midmorning, Midday, or Mid afternoon)
  • Evening prayer, and
  • Night prayer (before sleep).

The Rosary is good for any of those times (I almost always do it with my wife in the evenings, but I do it at other times too), and an examination of conscience is typically done before bed, to give a good accounting of the day in prayer before God, knowing some things may have been great and other things really bad.

It keeps us honest and working toward becoming the people God wants us to be.

God bless,

Bob Kirby

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