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Author Topic: Leaving the family faith behind  (Read 1113 times) Average Rating: 0
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choy
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« on: September 09, 2012, 09:43:49 PM »

Anybody struggled with this?  Early this year we had my daughter's baptism and I realized that if I have more children and we become Orthodox, we cannot share the Sacrament with my family because they are Catholics.  One of my sisters is the godmother of my son, and my other sister is the godmother of my daughter.  My sister is expecting so there will be another baptism in the family next year.  If we convert, then I cannot be godfather to the child (provided my sister asks).

I know that faith is finding the truth, and I find much truth in Orthodoxy.  But I just feel sad thinking about such family bond in the same faith will be gone and missed once I decide to cross that "communion" line.
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2012, 10:23:22 PM »

Anybody struggled with this?  Early this year we had my daughter's baptism and I realized that if I have more children and we become Orthodox, we cannot share the Sacrament with my family because they are Catholics.  One of my sisters is the godmother of my son, and my other sister is the godmother of my daughter.  My sister is expecting so there will be another baptism in the family next year.  If we convert, then I cannot be godfather to the child (provided my sister asks).

I know that faith is finding the truth, and I find much truth in Orthodoxy.  But I just feel sad thinking about such family bond in the same faith will be gone and missed once I decide to cross that "communion" line.
honestly, the part that sucks is going to church alone without any family next to you, because it isn't a special day for you, and not going to church with your family on the 25th of december NS because we are still awaiting the Nativity on 7 JAN NS/25 DEC OS.

Being in church in general, without people next to you is what is bad, it really is.


(now i know that this is not the same for you, because you are wed, and it will change for me when I am married, but the point remains)
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SolEX01
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2012, 10:24:18 PM »

Anybody struggled with this?  Early this year we had my daughter's baptism and I realized that if I have more children and we become Orthodox, we cannot share the Sacrament with my family because they are Catholics.  One of my sisters is the godmother of my son, and my other sister is the godmother of my daughter.  My sister is expecting so there will be another baptism in the family next year.  If we convert, then I cannot be godfather to the child (provided my sister asks).

I know that faith is finding the truth, and I find much truth in Orthodoxy.  But I just feel sad thinking about such family bond in the same faith will be gone and missed once I decide to cross that "communion" line.

You don't sound like one who would flip flop between jurisdictions.  Your sisters don't stop being Godparents to your children if you and your family are received into Orthodoxy.

I have spoken about being Godparents to one's relatives.  I'm not a big fan of it because the child needs to see Orthodox praxis (practice) by a third party.
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choy
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2012, 11:10:51 PM »

You don't sound like one who would flip flop between jurisdictions.  Your sisters don't stop being Godparents to your children if you and your family are received into Orthodoxy.

I have spoken about being Godparents to one's relatives.  I'm not a big fan of it because the child needs to see Orthodox praxis (practice) by a third party.

I'm not worried about the children we have, but the children coming in the future.  It means I cannot be a godfather to their children anymore nor they can be godmothers to my future kids.
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2012, 12:10:03 AM »

You don't sound like one who would flip flop between jurisdictions.  Your sisters don't stop being Godparents to your children if you and your family are received into Orthodoxy.

I have spoken about being Godparents to one's relatives.  I'm not a big fan of it because the child needs to see Orthodox praxis (practice) by a third party.

I'm not worried about the children we have, but the children coming in the future.  It means I cannot be a godfather to their children anymore nor they can be godmothers to my future kids.

Are you willing to live with that consequence or is that a potential deal breaker?
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HabteSelassie
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2012, 02:35:39 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

honestly, the part that sucks is going to church alone without any family next to you, because it isn't a special day for you,

That is only partly true, in many respects sometimes these holidays and celebrations become all the more special because both it is a rare treat compared to the usual non-Orthodox family routines and further because sometimes converts alone in an Orthodox parish are in a position to cherish all the more those few relationships they may have in the Church sharing those celebrations together to start forming a new family Smiley

The major issue for converts without family in the Church is developing a social support system within the parish, to replace and support what is lost from not having regular family around, especially as folks get increasingly active in their parishes which will by definition take up more time from their "at-home" families.  A big issue in not just dealing with converts, but in keeping teenage-young adult cradles in the Church is ensuring that these folks have ready access to social support systems and fellowship opportunities to increasingly build a sense of community within the Church.  With out direct and frequent support from other people, no convert will survive long on their own in the Church, and cradles won't stick around much longer minus the same thing.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 02:35:56 AM by HabteSelassie » Logged

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choy
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2012, 01:29:48 PM »

Are you willing to live with that consequence or is that a potential deal breaker?

It shouldn't be, but it does make the decision very, very hard.
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2012, 08:49:28 PM »

Are you willing to live with that consequence or is that a potential deal breaker?

It shouldn't be, but it does make the decision very, very hard.

I hope I (or anyone else) could say something to make the decision easier.  Your future children will have a different set of Godparents than their siblings; they may ask why their Aunt didn't baptize me and you'll have to explain how you converted from a prior faith to the Orthodox faith.  Sounds like you have a tough decision to ponder.  May the Lord have mercy on you and your family.
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choy
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« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2012, 01:58:36 AM »

I hope I (or anyone else) could say something to make the decision easier.  Your future children will have a different set of Godparents than their siblings; they may ask why their Aunt didn't baptize me and you'll have to explain how you converted from a prior faith to the Orthodox faith.  Sounds like you have a tough decision to ponder.  May the Lord have mercy on you and your family.

Yes, it is indeed tough.  Sometimes I envy the Protestant, Agnostic, or even Atheist families.  At least those converting from those don't have to worry about this (maybe some other thing).  I know that my family will be disappointed, of course it is because they do not understand.  I was already given a hard time when I became Eastern Catholic.  But they were there when we had the baptism and of course being Catholics, shared in the Sacrament with my daughter.  I wonder if they'd make the trip half-way around the world if, "you can't be godparents and you can't receive Communion at the Liturgy.  Be sure to attend anticipated Mass the evening before."
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2012, 01:19:18 PM »

Why can't your children become Orthodox too? And is your wife converting too?

Constantine, my friend, we should make this an honorable contest who will enter the catechumenate quicker, that might help both of us Grin

« Last Edit: September 12, 2012, 01:25:51 PM by Cyrillic » Logged

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choy
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2012, 01:48:20 PM »

Why can't your children become Orthodox too? And is your wife converting too?

Constantine, my friend, we should make this an honorable contest who will enter the catechumenate quicker, that might help both of us Grin



I intend to do this as a family.  If my wife decides against it, I will not go through with it.  We can't be one flesh who are not in communion with one another.  I've honestly spent too much time thinking about this and in all probability have over-thought this.  So I put it on my wife now (I didn't tell her) to make the decision.

Also, just to be clear, we either do this as a family or we don't.  My concern is other people in my family.  My siblings, my wife's siblings, etc.  If we become Orthodox, they are not coming with us.  So family events surrounding the Sacraments (marriages, baptisms, etc), we cannot share as close as we want to because we cannot be participants in their Sacraments (as godparents, etc.) and they cannot be participants in ours.
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« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2012, 10:56:50 PM »

I commend you for this.  I too thought the same.  It didn't work out for me as it has worked out for others.  I've been waiting for several years and have now come to the conclusion after much thought and prayer that I will be moving forward on my own (Lord Willing).  At least my wife openly supports this now.  It was extremely difficult when she didn't.

It will be difficult for us.  No doubt.  We have a three year old daughter.  But the Orthodox Faith is very important to me and therefore important that I bring this into our family.  I too have wondered about the events we may not be able to share but I can only take one day at a time.  There is a document that was produced by both Churches that speaks about Cathoic and Orthodox marriages and I shared this with my wife and it helped some.  It was a joint document that came out in the early 90's I believe.

Good Luck
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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2012, 09:11:13 AM »

There is a document that was produced by both Churches that speaks about Cathoic and Orthodox marriages and I shared this with my wife and it helped some.  It was a joint document that came out in the early 90's I believe.

If you or anyone else finds this document, can someone please share?  Thanks!
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« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2012, 09:59:38 AM »

Google--A Pastoral Statement on Orthodox/Roman Catholic Marriages.

You will find it on several websites.  Orthodox and Catholic



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choy
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« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2012, 06:53:59 PM »

Well, if I insist my wife will come.  She didn't really wanted to leave our RC parish when I moved to the UGCC parish, but it was important for her that we go to church as a family.  So I will respect her wishes now, I had my turn.  I almost filed for canonical transfer to the UGCC last year but our bishop told me we should do it as a family.  I asked my wife and she said she'll think about it, which hasn't been answered until today.  But since then I have held on to that idea, that we should be doing this as a family.  She herself has been uncomfortable in the UGCC as it is a very ethnic parish.  I want to my family to grow in the faith and I know a good parish community is important.  I have seen that in my Protestant cousin.  Her kids are faithful to their Evangelical faith because all their circle of friends are from their faith community.  I feel as foreginers in a Ukrainian Church, we won't have that kind of close relationship with people who relate to one another by their ethnicity.  Also I have committed myself to the Eastern or Byzantine faith, so I know that we are not going back to the RC.  It is either an EC parish that is not ethnic and also very faithful to the Byzantine traditions (not many of them around) or Orthodoxy.  And in our area, Orthodoxy is the only option.  And I am happy with it even though I am still open to being EC.  I basically growing in the Orthodox faith anyway as all my readings on spirituality is from Orthodox sources (ECs aren't producing the amount of books the Orthodox has).
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ErmyCath
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2012, 08:16:49 PM »

Google--A Pastoral Statement on Orthodox/Roman Catholic Marriages.

You will find it on several websites.  Orthodox and Catholic

Got it.  Thanks! 
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« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2012, 01:11:15 AM »

I understand these issues. I went alone by myself to the traditional latin mass most Sundays, so Thank God, the decision to become Orthodox was not particularly dependent on others.

Although my extended families influence did play a role in my decision to be part of a Latin rite Orthodox mission. I made that decision not because I felt awkward in an "ethnic parish" but because it is my own heritage. Come to think of it Latin rite parishes are also ethnic parishes ! The fact that it would be more familiar to my family members (thus ethnicity in latin rite ..) if they did visit did help with the idea.   Gosh Orthodoxy is ethnic, but thats why I like it. It's not too ethnic, just a enough to have substance.

Ironically I always felt very comfortable with greek culture in the greek orthodox churches. I may be barely literate in modern or koine greek language/alphabet but knowing a few key words helps. I always felt that the greek cultural heritage and view of life was very similar to some of the spanish and italian heritage and view, which is in my own blood and I grew up with.  When I heard that bouzouki play at festivities it reminded me of the spanish bandurria (lute), distinctly familiar but with a slightly different context and language.

It is amazing how each particular area and parish and person varies so much.
It all leads us to different conclusions.

Even if we think we are leading ourselves, if we are praying, God is also leading us to what is best beyond our understandings I suspect. I very much agree that it is best for most people to go to church as a family, however ...

On the other hand, people do need to have a mature view of the faith too.

If we can't come to some sort of a compromise with our families, there is a point at which we must pray in a way which helps us most, for own sanities sake.  I certainly wouldn't encourage anyone to put up with a "charismatic" type liturgy or protestant type church (or even so-called roman catholic style "charismatic" mass)  if that was what our wife or parents found most moving, it would be time for a re-education campaign to begin to expound to them basic meaning of the orthodox catholic christian faith.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 01:30:57 AM by Christopher McAvoy » Logged

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