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Josh Sapp wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'd like to give you some background first:

I'm officially a 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 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.

  • Should I go ahead and start the  RCIA program?

I know I want to become Catholic, and I fully believe in the Catholic Church.

  • 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 weeks 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 are my two cents.

I would continue to pray the Rosary, especially for your 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 then let the Holy Spirit work in them. Yes, it may bring out future questions about the faith but that will be very good for both you and them. (Questions about our faith not only make others more informed about what we believe but strengthen our faith too! They [questions] are the basis of the theological science we call, Catholic Apologetics.) You can share with them what you have learned and, for those stumper questions they ask, just say you don't know but will get back to them.

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 (nowadays: the Rosary), 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."

So he arose, comforted, and burning with zeal for the conversion of the people in that district, he headed straight for the cathedral. At once, unseen angels rang the bells to gather the people together, and Saint Dominic began to preach.

If you want more on this topic, check out my Holy Rosary page.

Finally, 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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