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Linda Oram wrote:

Hi, guys —

My husband and I have been married for 32 years and both of us and our grown-up children all have a deep faith. We are also very active in our church. I was very happy and involved with prophetic prayer until a couple of years ago.

Our church is Protestant but over the last couple of years I believe God is calling me to the Catholic Church. My husband is very happy and would not stop me . . . in fact he would be happy.

In my youth, I did become a postulant in a Church of England convent but only for a short time.
It was too quiet for me!! I pray the Rosary and have been to Mass at our home town church in Leeds as well as at St Anne's cathedral.

  • Before I continue further down this path, would I be able to become a Catholic if my husband and my children wished to stay Protestant?

This is my only concern as local, well-meaning Catholics have said, No.

Linda

  { Would I be able to become a Catholic if my husband and my children stay Protestant? }

Mike replied:

Dear Linda,

Thank-you for the question and thank-you for writing to us.

Fr. Jonathan will correct me if I am off here. Your local, well-meaning Catholic friend’s concerns are very justified. Here’s the problem:

You can become a Catholic but in doing so you would have to promise to raise your children Catholic. That said, they already seem to be grounded in a Protestant congregation.

The question that arises in my mind is:

  • At what age does the Church consider your sons and daughters to be self-supportive and responsible, faith-wise, seeing they are Protestants?
    • . . . 18 years old?
    • . . . 21 years old?
    • . . . even if they are still under your roof?

If all your kids were below the age of reason, age 7, then like any newly-married mixed-marriage couple, the Catholic spouse, you, would be making the promise to raise their children Catholic and the non-Catholic spouse would only be there as a witness to the Catholic spouse’s promise.

The non-Catholic spouse would not have to make any promises but would have to agree not to interfere with your obligations. My colleagues may want to chime in on my question as well.

  • If your husband wouldn't mind you becoming Catholic, for the sake of unity, has he ever thought of joining you?

There may be nuances to your situation, so the entire AskACatholic team would probably recommend you make an appointment with the pastor of the Catholic parish where you are thinking of joining.

He would be able to clear up any detailed issues or nuances.

Mike

Linda replied:

Mike,

If it helps in my situation, our children are 25 and 27.

Linda

Bob replied:

Linda,

I don't think the issue of raising children Catholic will come into play at all, particularly if you are beyond child bearing years.

There is absolutely no other condition, that I can see, and that point is virtually null anyway.

I would encourage you to follow the Spirit who has brought you to this journey. You will find the fullness of joy as a Catholic and maybe some day, your husband and children may even follow.

We would certainly welcome you to the family.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Hi, Linda —

Assuming that this was the first marriage for both you and your husband, there are no impediments for you to become Catholic while your family remains Protestant.

The children who are already baptized and over the age of 7, don’t factor into the equation of your entering the Church.

Fr. Jonathan

Linda replied:

Just an FYI guys,

We married as Christians in 1983.

As of this year, we will have been married for 32 years! We married as one and are still married!!

The girls are also baptized as Christians and attend church.

Linda

Mike replied:

Hi, Linda —

Thanks for the question Linda.

Looks like I learned something from this to : )

Mike

Linda replied:

Hi Mike,

Your not the only one here!!

Linda

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