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Heidi Bramwell wrote:

Hi, guys —

Our daughter is getting married in 2016. My husband is from a very, very strict Catholic family. I am a convert . . . I use to be Lutheran. We raised our daughters to be good Catholics and sent them to Sunday school, Confirmation, and retreats. After that, both of them changed directions.

Our younger one believes in a greater being . . . not necessarily a God. The one that's getting married defines herself as a Christian. The man she is marrying is Catholic but, he too, considers himself a Christian but neither go to church.

Here comes the rub.

They want to have their wedding outside at the venue where the reception is being held at. When my daughter called her grandma and broke the news she said all kind of things that my daughter thought was uncalled for.

I know my mother-in-law means well but she is not helping . . . she is hurting my daughter's feelings. My mother-in-law thinks she will go to Hell, or something, if my daughter doesn't get married by a Man of God. My daughter is looking for a Man (or Woman) of God to perform the ceremony but if she can't find one, she will settle for a Justice of the Peace.

I am looking for advice on how to handle my in-laws.


  { Can you provide some advice on how to handle my in-laws in this marital situation? }

Bob replied:


Your daughter doesn't understand the Church's teaching on sacramental marriage, or the implications of marrying outside the church, or she wouldn't be going down this road.

  • Do they plan on raising their children as Catholics?

If so, they should get informed and meet with a priest to discuss it. Your best efforts could be at trying to build this bridge.

I am assuming you go to church and have a relationship with a priest that could meet with your daughter. In a non-threatening way, why not try to facilitate a meeting to see if she could reconsider this.

My guess is that she needs some (TLC) tender loving care not judgement to cajole her along.


Bob Kirby

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