Why I’m {Still} Raising My Children in the Catholic Church

Why I'm {Still} Raising My Children in the Catholic Church | Houston Moms Blog

When I say I’m Catholic, I don’t use it as a fleeting adjective. I was born and raised a cradle-Catholic. I was baptized in the Archdiocese of Detroit, attended Mass every weekend, went to Catholic grade school and high school, fully participated in all of the Polish Catholic traditions of my family without fail, married Catholic, taught in a Catholic school in Houston, and baptized my kids Catholic.

Now what?

As most of you are aware, segments of the leadership in the Catholic Church have committed heinous acts. I will not describe them here, but they make me ashamed to even call myself Catholic. My mind and my heart cannot even begin to fathom the grief and the atrocities these acts have brought upon the victims and the victims’ families. Every day, the crimes and accusations reported have reached higher up the chain of the hierarchy of the Church. This past month I have wrestled with emotions of grief for the victims and anger for those responsible for these acts and the cover-up.

How could this happen?

This is supposed to be the era of the #MeToo movement. This is 2018, people doing these acts are not only supposed to be put behind bars, but also rooted out immediately. 

My paradigm then began to shift even more drastically. How could I continue to raise my children in this Church? How could I truly go through with the plans to baptize my unborn daughter in the Church this December? What can I do to keep my own children safe from this?

As a mother, answers are never easy, nor are they straight-forward. Even though I’ve only been a mother for a little over four years, I’ve come to terms with that reality quickly. My advice here comes from MY walk as a mother and as a Catholic. I offer it as a disclaimer that it might not be for everyone, and I don’t pretend it to be. I hope that perhaps by sharing my perspective and thoughts, maybe I can offer some reflective points for you if an institutionalized injustice ever happens to a group you belong to, and you’re looking for ways to think through your future with that organization.

Why are we going to Church?

This may be something I murmur to myself when my alarm goes off Sunday mornings at 6:20 am to get myself and the kids ready for 7:00 am Mass, but recently it has taken on another whole meaning. With the scandal rocking the pillars of the Church I grew up in, I had to find a way to check the foundation. Admittedly, taking two kids to Mass and sitting in the cry room can sometimes feel pointless. More often than not, conversations with my husband are peppered by childcare questions over theology after Church ::

What was the homily about? I didn’t hear it, I was reading Five Little Monkeys to Thompson. 

I can’t believe I packed two blue fruit bars and not a green one.

So why are we going?

We’re going, because we’re living our faith. It’s our way of praising God. It’s our way of learning how to be closer to Him, and we take our children every week, because we want them to know Him. Our relationship with God is not dependent on the priest reading the Gospel, but rather the words that were penned millennia ago and our actions as we walk with Him now. 

When we came to that realization, we decided that although certain people within the Church were corrupt, our true relationship is not within the Church, it’s within our God, Jesus. The Church is simply a channel that we use to get to Him. With that thought, we came to the conclusion that we could and should keep going.

How can I effect change?

For starters, it’s important to get the word out and keep it out that members of the Church are NOT okay with what’s happening and will not tolerate it. Talking about issues and keeping the focus and pressure on this problem will hopefully continue to enact action from those inside places of power of the Church and those who are not ordained.   

How do I protect my children? 

Even though at the ages of four and two, our little ones are too young to fully understand the entire situation {nor do I wish to expose them to that at this time} there are ways we can keep them safe.

We talk to our children about privacy and secrets. Our rules are that no one except Mommy or Daddy or anyone we have given permission to {such as grandparents taking care of them or the doctor} are to see them unclothed or touch them in certain areas. We also tell them that it’s not their job to keep secrets about anything that has happened to them {no matter who that person may be}, and if someone asks them to keep a secret, they need to tell us about it right away. This is our way of explaining age-appropriate methods to avoid grooming behavior from adults.

Now what?

Although we have a plan of action, nothing feels resolved. It’s difficult to walk through those doors on Sundays and imagine the pillars shaking as if the roof would cave in. But the foundation is stable, because the foundation is Him. So we go. We take our children, and we lay our path on the foundation of the Church and wait for the pillars to be fixed.

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2 Responses to Why I’m {Still} Raising My Children in the Catholic Church

  1. Eva October 14, 2018 at 9:24 pm #

    Thank you so much for this post. I have thought and felt all of these emotions. Among friends, that I know don’t judge, I’ve had the guts to discuss this issue. But with those who don’t know me well, I feel the judgement when I say I am Catholic. I refuse to let the actions of those unfortunately, not-so-few, define my faith. We will flourish despite it. And continue to pray for the victims healing.

  2. Francis Andoh November 8, 2020 at 8:01 am #

    Yes of course it’s truly shame of this days to stand and talk about Catholic teaching,because our head of the church has put the church into shame.

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