Raising a Child Your Religion With No Back-up
My husband and I are two different religions and when my son was born we made the decision to raise him in my Roman Catholic faith. Religion is a little complicated in my family. My husband was raised Jewish but considers himself an Agnostic. My mother was Jewish and my father was Catholic, but they decided to raise my brother and I Catholic since my father had a deeper faith. Ironically, my mother is now married to an Orthodox Jew. Are you following this?
The problem is; there is no one in my family around to help me raise Tyler in my faith. My father has passed away, my brother does not live near us and the Catholic side of my family is scattered throughout the country. His godparents live in New Jersey, but it is so hard to see them on a regular day, much less on a holiday when they have their own Catholic families.
Another issue is that because of my chronic illnesses, my three-and-a-half-year-old has never been to church. I made my peace awhile back when I stopped going to church regularly, reasoning that I am usually sleeping or resting during services and not doing something fun like going to the movies or the beach. Still, I know that I must start bringing him to church somehow.
It is hard enough to teach a child that Christmas and Easter are more about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. This past Easter I tried to explain to Tyler that Easter has two meanings and we read a religious Easter book. Afterwards he said, "I'm sad that Jesus died, I wish he would come back."
The seemingly unending sexual scandals of the Catholic Church
and people's reaction to it doesn't help much either, even in my own household. Grant has forbidden that Tyler ever becomes an altar boy, take CCD
or even be in the church choir if he has to be in contact with any priests. I had to explain to him that CCD classes and choirs are not run by priests.
It's such a shame. Most of my own church experiences were so positive. I started singing in the children's choir when I was nine and went to a Catholic college. Going to church was always very emotional for me, I felt deeply connected when I was there.
So, how am I going to instill this faith in Tyler in this day and age and with my physical limitations? I guess I can only do my best and try to give him a strong enough foundation that when it comes time for him to make his own decisions, he will at least have the information he needs. Faith is important in my life, and I hope that it will be for Tyler as he grows. Continued on the next page