I'm not sure if I'm in the right place..

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2006
I'm not sure if I'm in the right place..
9
Wed, 07-15-2009 - 9:36pm

This is kind of long, and rambling, so please feel free to ignore it!

That being said, I was wondering if any of you ladies had gone through RICA, with our without your husband. My parents are two denominations--my dad's Catholic and my mom's Methodist--so we were never really anything growing up. We'd go to mass and services, but there was no real schedule, nor were we ever confirmed in either church. As an adult, I attended RICA when I lived overseas, but I wasn't in the parish long enough to actually get confirmed, and when I moved back stateside, I had to start all over again.

Long story short, lots of things ended up happening that always managed to "push" RICA onto a back burner. (Please don't pelt me with stones here!) When I got married and had DS, I quickly found out how divergent my and DH's views on religion were--he didn't even KNOW that you could baptize a baby, let alone WHY.

After quite a lot of research and soul searching (with a lot of help from my dad--let's thank his fine Jesuit education!) DH and I have decided to convert, and are seeking a parish where we'll be moving next month. (Once again, putting it off, I know...)

There are two major downsides to this: (1) We absolutely cannot go to the parish in the town that we'll be living in, because his family would be soooooooooooo hurt (they're very old-school Anabaptists) (2) The next closest church is almost 45 minutes away. While I'm half tempted to tell my ILs that my religious choices are not their business, I'm also not willing to start a family feud because of it. (And, really, the parish that's father away has a better parish school) Furthermore, I've already put it off and put it off, and I really want to actually GET STARTED, because I'd like for DS to grow up having a strong Catholic background.

Now, if you've manged to get this far, you MUST be a saint! I guess I'm just looking for a little bit of guidance, not only as to the parish situation at hand, but also going through RICA with your spouse. I'd never imagined that I'd be 24 AND married AND a mommy before I got around to it, but... God does work in mysterious ways!

Thank you ladies, and sorry that I've been soooooooooo long!!

-Erika
-Erika
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2009
Wed, 07-15-2009 - 10:21pm

There are two major downsides to this: (1) We absolutely cannot go to the parish in the town that we'll be living in, because his family would be soooooooooooo hurt (they're very old-school Anabaptists) (2) The next closest church is almost 45 minutes away. While I'm half tempted to tell my ILs that my religious choices are not their business, I'm also not willing to start a family feud because of it. <<<<<


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2007
Wed, 07-15-2009 - 10:37pm

Hi Erika ~


I did go through RCIA with my former husband. I was 19 and he was 24. I needed to be confirmed and he needed everything up to that point but baptism in order for us to get married in the church. We also had our 2 kids prior to getting married.


Unfortunately, that marriage failed miserably since him and I were not connected the way we should have been. I did however, end up with two beautiful children from that marriage.


Fast forward about

**but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isa

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2007
Thu, 07-16-2009 - 5:12am

Welcome to the board Erika. We don't cast stones here, it's not how we operate. None of us are Jesus or Mary. We're all sinners of some level and therefore none of us are going to cast the first stone.
First of all, your parish home needs to feel like home to you. If you decide to go to the parish 45 minutes away, it needs to feel like that drive is worth every single minute of time it takes to get there. I used to drive 20 miles across a city with upwards of 30 parishes to get to my previous parish. I literally passed at least 4 other parishes to get there. I tried to stay connected but because I lived across town and over the bridge, I struggled to reach the other people around me there and everything just seemed to say "this is not your home anymore." I was kind of sad to leave my childhood parish, but my old van and rising gas prices encouraged me to seek a home on another shore. My best friend went to a parish on my side of town, and spoke highly of it. I went one weekend after much urging from her, and immediately upon entering the church I felt a proverbial hug saying "welcome home!" I have been more active in the 4 or 5 years at my current parish than I ever was anywhere else. We're searching for a home to accommodate our growing family, and each house gets rated on where it is in relation to the church and how traffic will impact our commute to get there. Even my husband who's not Catholic, has made comments about the presence this parish has in our family life, and has said things about the parish being worth any drive from where we live. If the home fits, embrace it. Don't let relatives determine where your pastoral home is located.

As for your family's reactions, make sure you present a united front. Your husband would have to be the one to announce to his family that you're both joining the Catholic faith. He can approach it as a "Man of the House" decision, which might soften the blow for them. Anything coming from an in-law would be seen as you stealing their son, nevermind the whole "leave your parents, cleave to your spouse" part of the Bible. They would no doubt feel betrayed but this is absolutely something the two of you must decide and discern on your own. You could initially approach it with "we're discerning our spiritual direction and would appreciate your prayers for Divine Guidance, and that God lead us where we are to follow." You don't have to say "we want to be Catholic, please pass the gravy." You can "church shop" for a few weeks to be sure even, and take it from there. If anyone asks about your newfound journey, you can simply smile and say "we're enjoying the journey and trusting God to put us where HE wants us. We'll see where that ends up being." If there's true joy in your heart while you're on this path, don't let them rain on it. They'll see it and feel it and know there's a difference.
Just to warn you though, the devil will throw sand, and you can bet no matter where you go or what approach you take on it, there will be resistance. Just get your broom and sweep the sand behind you and say "satan get behind me. God has work for me to do." And yes, if it means saying those words aloud to someone particularly un-Christianlike in their behavior, then so be it.

And no, I'm not a saint, I'm just a verbose broad who can't seem to condense a thought into just a few sentences.

~Trish

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
--old Irish blessing

Irish siggy courtesy beaches59

~Trish

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 07-16-2009 - 11:41pm

Welcome to the board -- and congratulations on the decision to do RCIA! I wouldn't feel guilty about putting it off. Just congratulate yourself on being so persistant that you're still pursuing it!


I take it that you've already found a house? If not, you could look for one closer to the parish you'll be attending. The tough part about a church 45 minutes away is that it will be hard to get there every Sunday -- especially when you consider that it means 2.5 hours end to end. That will be hard for your son. Even if you go there, won't your ILs notice that you aren't at their church? Or are you planning on going to both? If they don't expect to see you on Sunday mornings, can't you just go to the local church -- or is the town so small that they will hear about it?


I can understand not wanting to start a feud, but I don't think you will be able to hide being Catholic forever. Something will come up, you'll slip and say something, your son will talk about it... and when they do find out, they'll be upset and hurt that you were hiding it. I also think it would be best if your husband broke the news, or you did it together.


Good luck, and congratulations on your decision.


Polly

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2006
Fri, 07-17-2009 - 6:22am

Thank you all for your kind words of encouragement! DH and I have talked it over a bit, and I think we're going to first attempt to go to the parish in town. We've already bought a house in town (and it's small--5000 people, and my ILs know everyone in town) so they're bound to find out, but I'm hoping that we can keep it civil.

I'm sure that they suspected I didn't belong to their denomination for a long time, but it wasn't ever an issue--apparently, it's just something about the Catholic Church they don't like. However, I think most of it might also stem from either ignorance or rumor, so I guess I'll just either have to go with educating them or ignoring their comments.

Ironically, my SIL is starting RICA next month (they live about 2 hrs away) and is also planning a Church wedding for after she finishes RICA, and her parents (my ILs) are refusing to go. So while I can pretty much assume that they won't be at DS's First Communion, etc, they can't just ignore ALL of us forever--we do have all the grandbabies, after all!

It's just hard to have to even have to have any sort of discussion about it. I was raised to believe that as long as you accepted Jesus and worship him in a way that brings YOU closer to Him, then you were all siblings in Christ, and it's sort of disheartening to find people who don't necessarily accept that.

Thank you all, again, for your very sweet, and thoughtful, answers.

I'm sure I'll be back some more--maybe I'll even actually introduce myself, LOL.

Thank you, and God bless you!

-Erika
-Erika
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2009
Fri, 07-17-2009 - 8:55am

You're in the right place to find loving support on your journey.


I've never been through RCIA as I was born/raised Catholic.


Renee


Wife to Scott


Mom to: Madeleine, James,

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2009
Fri, 07-17-2009 - 8:59am

Erika,


Renee


Wife to Scott


Mom to: Madeleine, James,

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-02-2008
Fri, 07-17-2009 - 2:41pm

Hi, Erika! Welcome to the board, and congratulations on getting involved with the RCIA process! I'm Jen. I've been married to Brian for the last 7 years (together for 14). We have two kiddos. Ian (age 5) and Lucy (17 months). I'm a converted Catholic.

I went through the RCIA classes in 2000/2001. My DH (BF at the time) was Catholic, but didn't have anything to do with my decision. Sadly, I actually know more about the Catholic faith than he does...and he was raised in it. I was living in Indianapolis at the time, and felt like I *had* to go to the noon mass during my lunch break. I just felt like I was at home. I enrolled in the classes that day. This particular church was 30 min. from where I lived. There were much closer churches, and I tried them out. However, I went back to the parish where I felt at home. It was bittersweet when we moved. I really do miss that place. I guess, I would try both churches and see which one you feel most comfortable with. Sometimes the drive is worth it!

It is wonderful that your SIL will be going through the process at the same time as you and your DH (which I think is awesome!). This could be a great bonding experience for you.

As far as your ILs go, I agree with Polly. You don't want the family to think you were hiding this from them. It might be a good idea to just sit down with them and explain that you have both come to this decision after much soul searching and prayers. Hopefully, they will understand and embrace your decision. I know sometimes that is easier said than done, though. Although, if they're not willing to attend their own daughter's wedding then I can completely understand your fear of telling them. Have you thought about inviting them over and having your priest there with you to help "break the news?"

Good luck. It sounds like a very delicate situation. I'm glad you found us!

(I'm apologizing for any typo's...DD fell asleep on my arm!)








iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2007
Sat, 07-18-2009 - 1:03am

Hahaha I envision Erika and her dh answering the door to his parents and introducing them to the priest. "Mom. Dad. This is our pastor Father Joe" I envision astonished and speechless expressions.

and Jen, I got very proficient at typing one handed while nursing dd7 when she was a baby. She was hooked up to me such long periods of time, it was either that or I was going to fall asleep from boredom lol.

~Trish

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
--old Irish blessing

Irish siggy courtesy beaches59

~Trish

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your