Google Dollops of Diane: Finding A New Faith

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Finding A New Faith

I was born and raised Catholic. Although we didn't regularly attend church on Sundays, I did make all my Sacraments. I then went on to a Catholic college and even taught CCD to first graders while I was there. I married another Catholic and we had our three children baptized Catholic. Of note, that was also the last time we've been to a Catholic mass (with the exception of weddings/funerals).

About a year before my mom passed away, she randomly started attending a non-Catholic church. At the time we joked that she had joined a cult because she had no idea what the religion even was. Her main reason for going? The church was easily handicapped accessible. Her reason for staying? The people. She ended up regularly attending and even volunteering at the church. When she was dying her Pastor visited us daily and we even had her funeral there. It was where she belonged.

Although she loved the church, my mother struggled with making the actual switch to a new religion and not being Catholic anymore. I always told her that if she was happy there then what did it matter what religion she technically was? Fast forward several years and I totally understand how she felt. Four years ago, an opportunity came up for me to babysit at a local non-Catholic church. It was convenient, gave me a little extra cash, and was a good social opportunity for my (then) two kids. That was the beginning of our involvement with the Bethany Church and I'm so thankful that I took that opportunity. Three years later, all of our children attend(ed) the preschool there, we attend playtime, the children go to summer bible camp there, and a whole bunch of other smaller things. We love everything about the church. The message is great and the people are welcoming and amazing.

However, up until a couple of months ago, we had never actually attended church there. I mean, we're (non practicing) Catholics after all. Catholics don't go to church there - or do they? I had reached a point that I felt like the kids were getting older and should have some form of formalized religion in their lives. So one Sunday morning I bit the bullet and took the kids to the non-Catholic Sunday service. It turned into the beginning of us regularly attending church there . It is warm, welcoming, casual, and a real community. The kids attend Sunday school while I get to sit with the adults and listen to the service. That alone is magical.

So now I find myself right where my mother was - attending and loving a church that is not the religion that I was raised. I am also now making choices that will shape my children's lives and faith. It appears I'm raising non-Catholics which is something I never imagined. Although I haven't been a practicing Catholic for a while and was the first to tell my mother it didn't matter what religion the church was if it made her happy, it's an odd spot to be in. I have no doubt that the kids and I are right where we belong - I think it will just take a little while for my head to fully wrap around it. I mean after all if a church's message is mainly about love and helping each other, how could it not be right for us?

PS - My mother is totally in Heaven laughing at me for joining a cult of my own :)


  1. Good for you. I think where ever you find you spirit's home is the right place.

  2. Love this. Like you, I was raised Catholic, but haven't attend a non-funeral/non-wedding mass since I was 16. My husband doesn't have a particular faith either, and we've been struggling with what to do with our kids, now that our 7 year old keeps asking questions. Our approach so far has to keep our heads in the sand and hope the issue goes away, but I think the time has come for us to figure out what we're going to do.

    1. It's so hard. It's hard just for ourselves and then thinking about the impact it has on our kids' whole life. So much pressure!

  3. Good for you. I am not a practicing Catholic either. I have had a really hard time with how strict and rigid some of the teachings are and have wanted to find a more nondenominational church to attend. I think finding one that that makes you actually want to go is more important than the type of church, though i know how hard that can be thanks to Catholic guilt! :)

  4. I identify with so much of your post! We have been bouncing b/t Catholic and Episcopal churches in town. Now Hubs and I are struggling with what to do because Annie is supposed to make her first communion this year. We don't have her in CCD. Looking into homeschooling her and having an ordained family member do a private ceremony. But then there's the issue of first reconciliation - UGH.

    Honestly, I'm way more at home in the Episcopal church. So similar, yet different in all the areas that matter to me (women in the church, married clergy, acceptance of all, etc.) However I'm digging a lot about the new Pope. And Hubs is more comfortable being Catholic. Sigh...

  5. Great post! I was also raised Catholic and moved to a different church (Episcopal) about six years ago. It was strange making the switch, but it's been a great decision for us. Happy you have found the right place for you and your family!

  6. That can be tough to wrangle with, for sure. I am glad you have found a church home. We have semi-switched churches after 40+ years of my going to one denomination. It's not as weird as I thought it would be. I think God smiles to have us worshipping and doesn't sweat the small differences.

  7. Thanks for the all support everyone. It's nice to know I am in good company!

  8. How wonderful that you have found a place that is comfortable and welcoming - that in itself means so much!

  9. I totally get this. We were raised Methodist, and until I had a couple of kids, that's how I identified. But we've since moved to a different church, and I feel at home there. My husband, however, doesn't like it. I think he doesn't like going to church in general, but it's so different than the church he grew up in. But I hate that we rarely go to church anymore. It would be easier to find one closer to home, but like I said....I really love the one we belong to now. I'm glad you're finding your place as a family!

  10. sounds like you've found a great place that you're happy with.

  11. I'm not a practicing anything. I'm not even a non-practicing anything. But I totally know how important it is to find a spiritual home. Sounds like you've done that!


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