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Josh Sapp wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'd like to give you some background first:

I'm officially Pentecostal, however I do feel a blessed calling to the Catholic Church, and maybe to the priesthood though I'm still not sure about that. I have studied the teachings and beliefs of the Church for a long time now and I feel that I want to convert.

However, I'm only 16 and my parents are divorced. I live with my mom and step-dad who are dogmatic Pentecostals and they freaked out when I said that I might be considering converting to Catholicism. When I am here, I am forced to attend a Pentecostal church about 3-4 times a week (two services on Sunday, one on Wednesday, and one on Friday). At my dad's, I am allowed to go to a Catholic Church, if I want to, but I only go over there every other weekend.

I know I want to become Catholic, and I believe in the Catholic Church fully. I pray the Holy Rosary, make the sign of the cross before I pray and when I pass a Catholic parish, etc., so I know I could be a good Catholic and follow Christ faithfully. However, I don't want to wait two week before going to Mass, and I don't want to keep this a secret from my mom and step-dad.

  • What should I do?
  • Should I just wait until I am an adult in two years?
  • or should I go ahead and start the RCIA program at my local Catholic parish?

Josh

  { What should I do if I'm 16, want to become Catholic, but my Protestant parents are freaking out? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Josh —

Thanks for the question.

I'd be interested in what my colleagues think, but here is my two cents.

I would continue to pray the Rosary, especially for your adult parents, whether they are
your biological father and mother or step parents. Ask Our Lord and Our Lady to convert their hearts so they would be open to what the Catholic faith believes and teaches.

Don't keep your enthusiasm a secret from any of your parents.

Your excitement and enthusiasm will be a strong witness, not only to family members but to
those at the other churches you are being forced to attend. Don't be ashamed to say:

Wow, being Catholic seems soo great!, being Catholic seems soo cool!

Why?

This is what my studies have discovered:

  • We get the divine power of Jesus Himself in all the sacraments there to aid and nourish us.
  • We have holy helpers, close friends of Jesus, we can call on with the Lord.
  • and MOST of all we have the Eucharist which helps us make good holy choices from Sunday to Sunday!!!

Make sure your biological and step parents know that you want to become Catholic.

You said:
Should I go ahead and start the RCIA program?

Ideally, you want to put faith first, while maintaining family cohesion.

If this is possible, sure! Go ahead and make an appointment at a local Catholic parish
with priests who are faithful to the Church.

If this is not possible, make the appointment anyway and talk to the priest or pastor about
what you can do until you turn 18.

Make sure you go to Mass with your dad as often as you can. Even though you won't be able
to receive Holy Communion, His Real Presence is still there and helps you.

Finally, continue to pray the rosary. Here's a little background on it:

It was in the year 1214 that the Church received the Rosary in its present form and according to the method we use today. It was given to the Church by St. Dominic, who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners. Saint Dominic, seeing that the gravity of people's sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, withdrew into a forest near Toulouse, where he prayed continuously for three days and three nights. During this time he did nothing but weep and did harsh penances in order to appease the anger of God. At this point our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said,

"Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?"

"Oh, my Lady," answered Saint Dominic, "you know far better than I do, because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation."

Then Our Lady replied, "I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon has always been the Angelic Psalter, which is the foundation-stone of the New Testament. Therefore, if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter."

Just my opinion.

I would encourage both you and your parents to consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as Catholics.

Mike

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