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Failing my DS on religion?

(10 Posts)
JuniorH Tue 05-Aug-08 21:43:13

I hope this doesn't sounds like a really stupid post but here goes!

I was brought up Catholic in a very Catholic Irish family (although in England). Church every Sunday, family v involved with church activities etc.

When I was a teenager my Mum, her partner and me all moved to another part of the country and never really went after that. Her partner wasn't religious so not sure if it just fell by the wayside.

Anyway, I now have a 6yo DS. I've never been part of a parish where I live now and OH isn't religious at all. When DS was born he was never baptised (to the silent horror of my grandparents etc), has never been to Catholic school (unlike every single member of my family). I always thought I felt guilty because I was brought up to think it was the right thing to do but have realised I feel terrible that I've neglected that part of my life and feel I've let DS down.

I feel a bit silly going off to church, I'm not sure why as I'm a grown woman! Is it too late to get DS baptised if I start going to church? I feel like a bit of an outsider. I have been a few random times in the past and felt like a bit of a fraud! I don't know anyone that does go that I could even rope in to coming with me!

My family have never suggested I've done anything wrong and I know my OH would be supportive but for some reason I feel I've just left it too long to go back!!

Anyone have anywords of wisdom?

MaryBS Wed 06-Aug-08 07:33:19

No its NOT too late, its never too late! I started going to church again after the birth of my second child. Like you, my OH isn't at all religious. Like you, I hadn't been for years. Like you I was brought up in a very devout RC family (although not Irish). However I felt I couldn't return to the RC because I was divorced/remarried, as is my husband.

I spoke to the curate of the local C of E church when she visited mums and tots group, it seemed providential, and it started me going to church again. I had both children baptised together.

You just need that spur to get you going again, I think. 6 is probably a good age because he'll be able to have the faith explained simply for him, and should you decide to continue, it'll give him the chance to get used to going to church, AND be baptised, and start thinking about First Communion (or I am jumping the gun here?).

It IS really difficult when your husband doesn't believe though, and you don't know anyone who goes, so why not try talking to the priest first, see if he can introduce you to a family or two with a child your son's age?

The RC church did a campaign before Christmas, called "come home for Christmas", to encouraged lapsed Catholics back, it MAY be of some use? www.comehomeforchristmas.co.uk/messages.htm

Smithagain Wed 06-Aug-08 20:24:51

I heard recently that 28th September has been designated "Back to Church Sunday". I don't know how many churches are taking part, but the idea is to positively invite people that have drifted away from church to come back and give it a go. We are using it as an excuse to invite people for our harvest festival, which is that day.

I think it's entirely reasonable to explore returning to church because you want your son to have the chance to understand what it's all about. I would hope that any reasonably family-friendly church would understand what you were looking for.

carrieon Wed 06-Aug-08 20:50:06

Its never too late to get baptised! I would just check with yourself why you're doing it though - is it misplaced guilt, a sense of nostalgia for how you were brought up, a feeling that its the 'right thing'....or because you believe in and follow Jesus and want your ds to know him too? If its any reason other than the last one, then I would totally encourage you back to church, but to find out what its all about for yourself as an adult.
I totally agree with smithagain that a family friendly church will welcome you with open arms, and give you the time and space to find your feet in church again and explain things to your son. Then you might both decide further down the line that it would be right for him to be baptised. Go for it!

JuniorH Sat 09-Aug-08 12:13:10

Thanks for all your replies!

I have thought alot about why I want to do this. I have felt bad about it for years but did assume that my guilt,as you say carrieon says, was for nostalgic reasons or because he wasn't going to go to Catholic school.

I've realised now that religion is important to me and it's important that it is part of my DS's life. I'm happy with where he goes to school and feel it's my responsibility to teach him about faith and not a school.

Now that I've decided to go back I have no idea what to do! I think I should go to confession first. I don't know what to say! That I've been living in sin for years and didnt have my son baptised or go to church...

Oh and MaryBS I have thought about First Communion. I'm concerned that as he is 6 now,by the time we have attended Church for a while and decide to go ahead and have him baptised (as he is older I want him to have time to understand why etc) he will already be older than the usual age? I guess it will not hurt to let him do it when he is slightly older? I think understanding why we go to church, then why he being baptised is a big enough learning curve for a 6yo without then having to understand holy communion ...

mariagoretti Sun 10-Aug-08 21:18:45

Hey JuniorH, Welcome back. I don't think it matters what you say, I think turning up will say plenty.

At our parish there are always some kids making their First Communions who are a bit older than the traditional Year 2s. They understand it all a lot better, tbh. My friend who is a catechist much prefers teaching them. According to my cousins, in Ireland the usual age is now eight plus.

MaryBS Sun 10-Aug-08 21:31:09

No, it won't hurt at all... I was just thinking maybe you could get it all done together, in that I would have thought the preparation for baptism/communion would follow much the same lines? Go with what feels comfortable.

I wouldn't think about confession straight away, I would start with a chat with the priest, to make you feel more at your ease. Make an appointment to see him - maybe if you feel comfortable you can then raise it with him, or he may raise it with you?

How do they do confession at the church you plan to go to, is it still in a box, or is it more informal and out in the open? I remember it all changing when I was about 18...

JuniorH Tue 12-Aug-08 22:34:53

I'm not sure now Mary - I actually feel very 'out of touch' with how things are done now blush

Thanks Maria - That makes me feel alot better actually! My Aunt is a catechist and really involved all round so might ask her advice on things too. If I lived nearer I'd tag along with them! (She was my sponsor when I made my confirmation so it's her job to sort me out, right? lol)

Do priests mind you calling and asking if you can make an appointment?

MaryBS Wed 13-Aug-08 18:03:10

Re: priests and appointments, I can't see that being a problem, I would say that was normal.

mrssmoody Sun 31-Aug-08 23:37:59

This is really helpful. I’m kind of in the same boat—brought up Catholic in Ireland (not that devout though), haven’t been to Mass regularly since I left home 16 years ago… but now have two children (DD is now 4 and DS just 3 months old) and am thinking that I would like them to learn about God and well, I am grappling with the other reasons… I would hope that religion might help them to live better lives, and also that the act of prayer might provide them with some comfort in life. I think that it’s easier to learn this when you’re a child, at least then you have the option of rejecting it when you’re older!
DH is not a believer, and is not that keen on baptism, although we’ve never really discussed it properly. He’s prepared to go along with it for educational reasons! But as it happens that’s not necessary, so I’m already missing that argument.
Why did you decide to baptise your child? And did you need to convince your DH/ DP?

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