Guest Post from Laura of The Fantastic Mrs. McCants

19 January 2013

I hope you're already a lucky reader of Laura's fantastic blog. She and her husband had their first baby, Mary Margaret, in October and she's written about the first few months of parenthood (struggles with breastfeeding and going back to work among many other things) with great wit and candor. I just wish she would start posting on the daily . . . 

I was beyond thrilled when Grace asked me to write a guest blog for her. Charlie (my husband) and I have been following her for a while now, and privately have conversations like we actually hang out with the Pattons. I think I told everyone I knew (that also follow Grace and some that didn’t) that she had asked me to write this post.
Pattons, Charlie and I are so excited for your little clan to have another addition (and surprisingly early!), and know he is going to be just as exciting to receive updates on his antics along with the other mischief makers.

Raising a Catholic daughter (as a Protestant)
To start this epic story, I am not a confirmed member of the Catholic Church; my husband is and our daughter will be baptized in the Catholic Church, but currently I’m not.
There -- that’s a good start.
I’ll go even father back to discuss when Charlie and I were dating and then married.
Upon meeting Charlie and beginning to date, it was loosely alluded to that he would not marry someone who was not Catholic, which I wasn’t and didn’t really plan on becoming. We didn’t have a Catholic wedding, and, to be honest, our marriage isn’t even recognized in the Catholic Church (this is mostly because we’re lazy and haven’t done the paperwork).
I am confirmed Presbyterian and have attended Presbyterian churches for my entire life. There was a time in 2011 where Charlie and I were members at two separate churches. If anyone has tried this form of separate but equal worship, it is a strain on a family each Sunday and can makes for some hurt feelings.
I won’t go into the reasons why I’ve left the Presbyterian Church, but for the quick and dirty, I didn’t find a group or place that I really felt comfortable at that church, and the jumping between churches really didn’t seem worth it.
Early 2012 we began going exclusively to our fave Catholic parish in downtown Raleigh, NC, Sacred Heart Cathedral. When we got pregnant in January 2012, I felt we needed to have a church home for this little bean that we had made.

I say all of this to say that in late October 2012 we welcomed a brand new little girl into our lives (YAY!). And we want our family to have a strong stock in a faith and church. It may seem that I have just “given in” and began going to the Catholic Church because Charlie did and he is more devout than I am on churchly matters. Well, that is half-true: Charlie is getting his Masters in Theological Studies at Duke Divinity in May 2013 (Yipee!!) and it is his driving that is bringing us together as a family in the Church.
BUT, we have also found a group of new and young parents through the Catholic Church that have met a few times over the fall and I have really found needed support and commiseration with the moms (and dads, I guess) during this changing time in our lives.
Charlie and I have discussed what having a daughter in the Catholic Church will mean, what our stance will be on her behaviors, how her teachings will be done, and how to answer the tough questions she will get from people about priests, Popes, Eucharist and the rest of it. We will teach her about the Saints and about how all of these things are important in her daily life.
Only, this is difficult for me because I have a tough time believing in certain aspects of the Catholic Church myself, most notably the Eucharist. Charlie has gone ‘round and ‘round about the body and the blood and I can’t really wrap my head around it. I love the obviously traditional nature of the Catholic Church, the reverence, the hymns. But Mary Margaret and I will have to learn about the “meat” of the Catholic Church together, and she’s gonna have to be ok with that.
Wonder if she’ll mind me coming to class with her? I’ll bring cupcakes and even let her be the teacher’s pet if she wants.


  1. Thank you so much for this post. My lil family is sorting through this very thing. It's so nice to "meet" a family in the same boat! Thanks for sharing and you have a new follower Laura!

  2. We live in Rocky Mount and it would sure be nice to have some Catholic friends up here so our kids could play together and stuff. We are Ukrainian Catholic so we go to church in Raleigh so we really don't know too many people at OLPH up here - maybe if our kids go to school here we'll finally meet some!

  3. Hey neighbor! I live in Garner... small world! We got married at Sacred Heart and were members there until we moved to Garner last summer. Now we're parishioners at St. Marys. Anyway, I just thought it was awesome to come to Camp Patton and find someone who lives in the same area :).

  4. Good for you! It took my Mom 17 years of marriage before she converted, and she had a man in her RCIA class who had taken the class several times and still wasn't quite ready to convert... He eventually did, but he wanted to be really *sure*.

    Even as a cradle Catholic, I'm finding that I learn a lot more about my faith through teaching it to my children - you've got a while to wrap your head around the Eucharist. They don't call it a mystery for nothing!

  5. My husband and I lived in Raleigh for a year, until this past July. We went to Sacred heart for about half our time there, until our baby was born and we needed a place with an evening Mass. Beautiful Church! I know it must be hard to raise your child a different faith, but it sound like you're dedicated and that's great! My did isn't Catholic (my mom is) so I grew up in a mixed-faith household. I actually wrote about it here: What a beautiful thing you are doing for your family (having a united front in matters like this is important!). Wish we were still in NC, would have loved to meet you. My Lucia would love to have a little acolyte to teach the ways of the world!

  6. Great post! There is so much information out there but scripture all points to the Eucharist. Also prayers. Need to have a prayer life!!!

    I found this CD helpful.....

    Your baby is just the most sweetest little sweet pea.

  7. Would you like to bring cupcakes to the catechism class I teach? We're doing salvation history, so I will let you sit in in exchange for cupcakes :)

  8. I feel for you. My husband was... wait, is?... was? Mormon and I am protestant. Our kids go to Catholic school. Our goal as parents is to mess them up as much as possible I guess, ha. Needless to say we have quite a bit of work to do.

  9. I know some other great catholic couples, one couple with a new little baby just like you guys! I think they go to St. Joseph's Catholic Church!

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  10. Great post - we have TONS of friends in our church where one spouse was Catholic and the other not, and through fellowship in the parish and a sense of belonging and acceptance, the non-Catholic ended up converting. There is so much really GOOD, solid information out there to help you on your faith journey. I highly recommend a book called Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. He originally wrote it for "fallen-away" Catholics, but our RCIA group at our parish gives it to all the people attending classes to discern if they want to become Catholic. And I commend you for desiring ONE church family for your own family. My SIL put her foot down on that with my brother (he's Catholic, she was not). He realized then that being Catholic and raising his family Catholic was important, so she ended up converting. They also have found a great group of young families in their parish. Her only desire in her heart was to be united, but she was also committed to letting him lead their family in that decision.

  11. Look at all the Triangle peeps here! I was just innocently reading a little guest blog post on Camp Patton and...bang...Sacred Heart Cathedral?! My hubbie and I go to church there as well (usually 5 on Saturdays or 10:30 on Sundays). It's a wonderful parish and I'm happy to hear you feel at home there. Hope to see you at mass sometime! :)

  12. How cool! We live in NC not far from Raleigh. I think that's awesome that you have found a church to call home.

  13. Hi Laura!

    My husband and I are both going to RCIA at our local parish right now and it's a great class with no pressure. And I mean that seriously. I'm sure not every class is the same, but our group leader has repeated several times that going through the class does NOT mean you must become a Catholic. It's a great way to meet other people who are searching and answers literally the most basic questions and attempts to answer the most complex. Our priest comes every week as well and is a wealth of knowledge. I would encourage you to look into attending when the next session begins in the fall. You could attend by yourself, so you can search through on your own time and in your own way. It might be easier for you to learn about the Church from someone other than your husband since that can get sticky (just speaking when my husband has attempted to teach me about certain things). Plus, you'd be in the same boat as others around you. Just wanted to drop this note to tell you, as someone going to the classes, they have been so helpful and very casual. Good luck!

  14. How cool there are so many Raleigh people here! My children go Sacred Heart Cathedral School and we love it. We are parishioners at St. Joseph's.

    What a beautiful and honest post. Love it! My husband is a convert to Catholicism and it was quite a journey for him.

    May God bless your family. Maybe I will see you around sometime!

    1. Remember how I kept telling you I wanted to check out St. Joseph's? I think tomorrow is the day. I've secretly been afraid of going and liking it so much that I switch parishes AGAIN lol.

    2. Ahhh! I wish I was going to be there. We actually went to St. Mary's tonight and I was distracted looking for you the whole time! LOL. Both my sister's husband and mine have to work this weekend and will be going to Mass at crazy times. So we packed up the kids and went tonight. I will be there to teach Faith Formation tomorrow but probably won't run into you then. Please let me know what you think. I love our St. Joseph's so much.

  15. Hi Jessica,
    I know it's tough. Charlie and I had MANY MANY heartfelt conversations about it. And at the end of the day, I felt more comfort in the Catholic Church. You will make the right decision for your family!


  16. Way to go Raleigh-world bloggers!!!! I forgot to mention my hubby and I were married at Sacred Heart in 2008!

  17. Laura- I also wanted to add that my husband really struggled w/ the Eucharist when he was considering becoming Catholic. One thing that his RCIA director pointed out to him is that there are a lot of cradle Catholics who struggle w/ the Eucharist too. He asked my husband- "Do you believe that it is possible? Do you believe that God COULD turn bread and wine into his body and blood if he wanted to?"

    You don't have to answer those questions.... it's just something to think about. Again- great post!

  18. more, more, more! mrs. patton never fails to host the best gloggers (guest-bloggers) (i create my own words often). i only wish you wrote more! i've been protestant (assemblies of God) since i was en utero, and husband was raised roman catholic. he ended up converting because it felt more 'real' and relevant to him. finding a church where you feel comfortable, welcomed and connected to the people and the pastor/priest/traditions is difficult, and finding ONE church where you BOTH feel at home is even harder. Best of luck in finding just the right place for your family and little bean!

  19. I never learned more than when I was teaching myself. I hope it's true for you too :)

  20. I'm a Director of Religious Education in Grand Forks, ND and I wish more parents were willing and wanting to attend class with their children - Catholic or not! And if cupcakes are involved...all. the. better.

    congrats on your little bean! And God bless you in your faith journey - especially in this Year of Faith! Blessings, blessings, blessings!

  21. I too come from a Presbyterian background and I actually just joined the Catholic church this past Easter. The issue of the Eucharist was one of the hardest things for me to accept, it almost seemed to good to be true. But then I came to the point where I thought, "well, if it was true, that would be amazing," which led me to "I think it's true," at which point I felt there was no other church I could be a part of. But anyway, I completely understand what you're going through!

    If I could recommend a couple things, first I would say you should check out Reasons to Believe by Scott Hahn, and then The Lamb's Supper (also by Scott Hahn). The first one does an amazing job of referencing scripture to explain the Catholic teachings on so many different things, including the Eucharist. And The Lamb's Supper focuses on the mass, while highlighting the Eucharist in a really interesting and beautiful way. But even more than those two things, I think my best advice would just be to pray. Ask God to give you wisdom and to guide you to the truth. May God bless you and your family on your journey!

  22. Makes me think of, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" where the father holds the hand of his daughter as they take Orthodox classes together. Prayers for you.

  23. Both my parents were Catholic but I went to school with a girl whose mom was Baptist and her dad was catholic. Her dad was a police officer and worked crazy hours and 9 times out of 10 the mom took the kids to church and she was so faithful...every single week she was at church with her kids in a church of a faith she didn't baptist. I didn't know the mom very well just heard stories from my friend and saw them in mass and always admired her for her dedication.

    I can't see any Catechist that wouldn't mind having a parent in the room. My mom even did it a few times when I was younger. My moms now the DRE and always looking for parents that want to help.



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