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  #1  
October 5th, 2012, 08:39 PM
LadyCoconut's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Hi there! I'm Shannon and I don't think I've ever posted on this board before.

I'm Catholic, and I've been attending the same church since I went to preschool there. My husband and I were married in the church, though he doesn't believe in God. During all of our premartial counseling etc. he was fine with me raising the kids Catholic, and going to church with us on holidays and occasonal Sundays. While I feel I have a close relationship with God, I don't go to church often these days. Even when I am going regularly I'm not involved in any church activities and I don't really have any Catholic friends. Honestly I always feel like I'm going to get 'in trouble' for something at the church, haha. I always feel like I'm not "Catholic enough."

ANYWAY my 99 year old grandmother lives with us and we have hospice coming now, and the priest has been by for the annointing of the sick, etc. and someone brings communion though she can't swallow it anymore. The deacon my husband and I did our marriage counseling with comes often and was asking when we were getting our youngest baptized. I told him I didn't know, and that our 2.5 year old still isn't baptized either b/c I don't know anyone to be Godparents and on top of that the 'class' you have to take is the first Sunday of every month and I always forget.

Anyway we talked and he encouraged me to get this done and it IS important to me that the kids be baptized but I just keep putting it off. So I made a note in my phone and the class is this Sunday and I'm going. I felt weird about having someone not my age be their godparents, but at the end of the day what's important to me is that they're baptized. So I was either going to have my mom do it or my mom's bff (both in their 60's) because they're the only Catholic people I'm close to.

... well, I was just reading the godparent requirements on the church's websites and because my mom is remarried, and my mom's bff wasn't marrie din the church, neither of them can do it. Its so frustrating... my mom's bff goes to church EVERY sunday, works in the gift shop, and has been married 40+ years but because her husband was married before, she can't be my kids' godmother?!

I mention this to my husband and since this isn't important to him anyway, he just hops on the 'how stupid' bandwagon... and honestly I DO think its stupid because both of these women would be sure to see that our kids' were brought up in the Catholic faith... but I still don't want my husband giving me a hard time about it.

So now I'm just back to square one. Why does the church have to make this kind of thing so difficult? I feel like I could walk into any other church and just get them baptized, but I WANT them to be baptized Catholic. sigh.

thanks for letting me vent.
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  #2  
October 6th, 2012, 06:53 AM
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Oh Shannon. I'm so sorry! That's frustrating! I can't completely relate, because in the Anglican church, we don't have as strict policies for God parents (although sometimes I wish we some sort of policy). This is one area of Catholicism that I am unfamiliar with. The only suggestion I can think of is to attend the class and possibly talk with your Priest and/or Deacon about this and see what they suggest. Picking God parents is a challenge, especially if you don't know very many people that share your faith. But hopefully you can find a solution that both you and the leadership at your church are happy with.
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  #3  
October 6th, 2012, 01:32 PM
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I feel like the Deacon we see regularly would volunteer if it really were a case of the kids not being baptized b/c we don't have godparents... but, and I know this sounds awful, I don't really want to make that long of a commitment to being in his life. I mean he'd check in on the kids being brought up catholic until they're teens and go through confirmation and that's just a long time to maintain a relationship with someone who's basically a stranger at this point. I feel like the job and honor of being a Godparent is a big deal and I'd like to have someone we're close with do it... but the two people who are Catholic and attend regularly won't count b/c of the marriage thing.
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  #4  
October 6th, 2012, 04:21 PM
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Would you be able to attend the church regularly (at least twice a month) for a season to try and get to know more people? I guess there is no rush on the baptism is there? If you tried to make a point to attend more often, you might find someone who you could be more comfortable with on a long term basis in your kid's life. Then maybe after attending bimonthly for a year, you might be able to choose someone you are more comfortable with to be in your family's life.
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  #5  
October 6th, 2012, 04:24 PM
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For us choosing appropriate Godparents has always been a difficult decision, so I can relate there.

One of the things about having your children baptized is that you make a promise to raise them in the Church. That means making sure your family attends Mass, that your children learn their Faith and participate in the sacraments (in an age-appropriate way of course), etc. Now, I don't know you at all, but just from how you've introduced yourself you don't seem committed to growing in your own faith. Until you personally have that commitment yourself, why would you make that commitment on behalf of your children? I hope that doesn't sound accusatory or argumentative, I only intend to give you something to think about.
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  #6  
October 7th, 2012, 01:20 AM
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I was in a similar boat which is why SIL and FIL are both of my kids god parents. We know one other person well enough to ask but I think he'd be uncomfortable with it.

I think praying over it and maybe try to go more often and find a way to get involved. Good luck.
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  #7  
October 7th, 2012, 06:24 AM
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I agree with Jennifer. Also, you're asking why the Church makes it so difficult to find Godparents. Just reading your post, you're saying that while your mom & BFF attend Church regularly/involved in the Church now, it sounds like some major decisions in their lives were made against what the Church teaches. It's easy to say that they'll make sure to raise the child Catholic, but how does one manage that while also not exactly living that faith?

And I have to agree that if Baptism is important to you, that if raising your child in the Catholic faith is important, you need to start making the steps towards living the faith, and that means attending Church every Sunday. DH & I are not involved in any Church activities either, but attending Mass on Sundays is definitely a must for us. It takes 1-hour/week... that's the same time as watching a TV show you love!

Also, since your DH is a non-believer... I think you'll have to work double-hard to make sure your kids are raised Catholic They'll question why daddy doesn't attend Church, etc. when they get older, so if you want them to practice their faith, I do think you have to work extra to show them the how, to show them the why. =)
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Last edited by Julka; October 7th, 2012 at 06:26 AM.
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  #8  
October 7th, 2012, 07:46 AM
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Thanks for the responses everyone! I appreciate you taking the time to read my post and chime in.
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  #9  
October 7th, 2012, 07:51 AM
LadyCoconut's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julka View Post
Also, you're asking why the Church makes it so difficult to find Godparents. Just reading your post, you're saying that while your mom & BFF attend Church regularly/involved in the Church now, it sounds like some major decisions in their lives were made against what the Church teaches. It's easy to say that they'll make sure to raise the child Catholic, but how does one manage that while also not exactly living that faith?
See, to me, in the example of my mom's best friend... she's been married one time and for 40+ years, but unfortunately it wasn't in the catholic church because her husband was previously married so it couldn't be. So even though she went to Catholic school as a kid, goes to mass every Sunday & participates in church activities, etc. she's not "living the faith?" That's what gets my goat about the Catholic church and why I don't particularly feel accepted there.
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  #10  
October 7th, 2012, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCoconut View Post
See, to me, in the example of my mom's best friend... she's been married one time and for 40+ years, but unfortunately it wasn't in the catholic church because her husband was previously married so it couldn't be. So even though she went to Catholic school as a kid, goes to mass every Sunday & participates in church activities, etc. she's not "living the faith?" That's what gets my goat about the Catholic church and why I don't particularly feel accepted there.
In the example you give, all your mom's best friend would have had to do was to have the first marriage investigated. If the church issued a Declaration of Nullity and then determined that they were both free to marry, then they could have been validly married. In fact, this could still take place. The reason why a lot of "good" Catholics don't bother with such things is because it takes time, paperwork, patience, and obedience.

"Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."

Those aren't the words of the Catholic Church... those are the words of Christ Himself. (Appropriately enough, from this Sunday's Gospel reading....)
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  #11  
October 7th, 2012, 04:18 PM
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I can tell you that, as someone whohas had a marriage annulled, it didn't take long or much effort on my part at all. I gave my priest some information and I got a letter about a month later telling me it was done. He submitted the request to the diocese and they did it. I was not Catholic at the time but married someone who was and we did not marry in the church. It really was an easy process.
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  #12  
October 10th, 2012, 08:20 PM
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I can understand why you are frustrated. I do want to offer some thoughts because I hear these sorts of frustrations a lot. Many people feel that the Church's rules are too rigid in some areas. Being a convert from Protestantism, I had My fair share of issues with them and it has taken me some time to understand them better....still working on that . I think what first needs to be established is the authority of the Catholic Church, as given to it by Jesus himself. That is the starting ground or else none of the rest makes any sense. And next, it's important to establish that the Church is much much more than a club or YMCA. To be truly catholic means to believe there is power in the sacraments and in the authority who administrates them...and in this particular situation, all parties must follow church teaching on requirements of baptism, requirements of valid marriage, and doing the basic obligations..the bare minimum for calling oneself Catholic by attending holy day Masses and going to the sacrament of reconciliation at least once a year. Being committed to The Lord and loving his church means accepting the authority who made the rules that govern the faith. Part of those rules have to do with making sure the god parents are considered to be in valid marriages. When one brushes church authority aside in the divorce/annulment issue, it is very concerning as a rebellion to that authority. It's like anything else....it's about taking the effort to respect that authority. Many people say, " who cares...a divorce is a divorce". But as Christians, we know that just because the state calls a marriage "over" does not mean that it was an invalid marriage. In many situations, it just means that one or both people got tired of trying to make things work....which, as you know, is an invalid reason for divorce. So, the big deal, is that god parents must obey Church teaching to be valid god parents, and in your situation, the friend should have waited on the annulment process before proceeding with the remarriage.

This link has been super helpful to me as I grow in understanding of why the Church has certain teachings, and I highly, highly recommend it. There is lots on here about baptism..marriage/divorce and so on, and it lays it out very easy to read.

Catholics Come Home

Btw, I am thrilled to have you and que over here now!! Welcome!
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  #13  
October 28th, 2012, 02:51 AM
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I've had to take some time away from JM lately, so I'm joining in this really late. I understand to some degree your frustrations. My husband DOES believe in God, and is sometimes Catholic in thought, and then all the sudden he is just something, and then goes back to being Catholic, his faith is weak to say the least. And then my friends, even the Catholic ones don't seem real Catholic, so finding godparents...has not been easy. However, here's my thing, do you think the church will really check? I mean, I'm not actually saying you shouldn't find somebody who fits their rules, because actually when you do (I went and picked a friend I wasn't as close with who I knew WAS a good Catholic with my last one because I felt the actual faith would be more important) I think it brings you closer to that friend. Maybe you could join the church activities and become active and ask somebody you meet there? Idk, this answer got away from me already...
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