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Catholic teen conversion

I am between a rock and a hard spot. My son's girlfriend, 15, goes to Mass with us every week. She takes teenage religious ed classes with my son as well. She just asked about becoming Catholic. I told her she has to have her mom sign her up at the Church.

My problem: I was talking last Sunday to my entire family. I have a baptism dress over a hundred years old. It has been passed down generation to generation and I would love to see my grandkids wear the dress. My son said he would like that as well. I can't help but wonder if she wants to be convert to be accepted. This is not how I feel at all and they are not even thinking marriage. Should I tell her to wait until next year to convert? How can I do this without making it sound as if I am waiting for them to break up? I don't care if she becomes Catholic, but I don't want her to do it because of him or me.

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:47 PM on Oct. 30, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (13)
  • (cont)  the only reason the baptism dress was brought up in conversation is because one daughter is making her first communion and we started talking about the communion dressed that was handed down along with the veil. These conversations are not meant to put wheels of marriage in these two young kids.


    Answer by Anonymous at 2:48 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • The dress is not her's to wear. I would not even offer, and if she asks politely say no. If she wants to convert let her. It takes months and months of classes anyhow.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:52 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • She needs to speak to the priest. She would probably be required to go through the yearlong Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults program in order to convert.

    Answer by gdiamante at 2:54 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • There is no way to know her reasons unless you ask her. If you don't feel comfortable doing that, then I don't see any reason for you to feel so responsible for her personal decisions. Even if hypothetically she is doing it to be accepted by your family, it's not like she will forever be branded Catholic and be unable to change her mind if she wants to later. Kids are young and impulsive...I think you should just stand by and let her learn her own lessons from it.
    I don't understand the issue with the dress. Do you think she is expecting to wear it? If so, just explain to her that it's something you'd like to keep within the family if that's how you feel.

    Answer by moniquinha at 2:59 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • I think 15 is old enough to make an intelligent decision. If you are worried that she is only converting to please your family or to follow your sons lead you should talk to the priest about your concerns. I think it would be a little insulting if you told her to wait.

    Answer by nysa00 at 2:59 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • She will be required to take the classes. The priest is enrolling candidates now. I guess it will take a bit of a time to complete the classes. She may not do it if she wasn't sure.

    As for the dress, it fits a 2nd grader so she wouldn't be able to fit it. I agree it is not her dress and the only way one of her children would ever wear it is if 20 years from now they have a girl.

    I think I will take the advice of the poster and let her talk to the priest. In the end her mom has to agree. I just don't like it. In some weird way in my mind it makes a commitment to my son and they are too young. That brings a new question. Should I allow my son to be her sponsor if she ask?


    Answer by Anonymous at 3:01 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • Reading the last two responses, I have to say I am surprised. I don't know you two to be Catholic. Getting an outside opinion is just as helpful as getting an inside opinion. I am surprised that many of you think she is old enough to make this choice. Maybe I am just to protective.

     I brought up the dress because I wonder if this is what get her thinking to convert. Like, she has to convert to be married, have kids, the kids baptised ect... Neither the baptism dress or the communion dress would fit her.


    Answer by Anonymous at 3:07 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • You gave her the right advice - talk to her mother. So, I'm not really sure why you would be between a rock and a hard place, or how a baptism dress fits into the scenario.

    If she is being called to conversion and that conversion is supported by HER family then she has the right to explore it. If her family doesn't support it then she can revisit it when she turns 18. If she does begin RCIA there is no guarantee that by the end of the classes she and your son will even still be dating. The classes will help her determine if conversion is something she wants to pursue or not, I'm not sure why you would want to ask her to delay for one year.

    Answer by erdavh at 3:27 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • Mine is an outside opinion, I am glad you found it useful. I know some people think one should be 18 before making a religious decision, but I think anything after puberty is appropriate if the teen is interested. My daughter is 16 & she declared her religious beliefs last year (atheist). She had been leaning towards atheism for a while but wasn't ready to make a decision until shortly after her 15th birthday. I think a lot of teens start thinking about religion in a mature manner around that age (though certainly many others can't or don't).

    Answer by nysa00 at 3:33 PM on Oct. 30, 2009

  • I don't think her converting is her making a commitment to you son, many people have converted to religions of previous boyfriends/girlfriends, broke up and are still very happy they made their choice in religion. Maybe she just really likes the Catholic faith? After talking to a priest, convincing her mother and taking at least a year long class, she will know if she really wants to be Catholic, whether she and your son are still together or not.


    Answer by .Silvermist. at 8:37 AM on Oct. 31, 2009

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