How do we accept the decisions of our adult children which are opposed to our Catholic faith?

When children are raised as Catholic it is extremely painful to watch them reject Catholic values. I pray constantly for my children but am finding it very hard to accept the situation and be patient for an answer to these prayers.


Mary, my Children are not old enough yet to rebel against the Faith, but I know in my own journey, I too fell away (and I was probably the least likely to). Of my siblings (3 brothers and 1 sister), I am the only one who has returned (though I relate more to the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son).

Know that you are not alone. I belong to a weekly Men’s Bible Study / Prayer Group and there is a lot of older Dad’s who feel like they screwed up when it comes to their children leaving the Faith and making poor life choices.

Statistically, if Mom and Dad are not evenly yoked as far as Faith goes, the chances of their children remaining in the Faith are slim. If Mom goes to Church and Dad stays home, their children will more likely not go to Church when they grow up.

If Dad goes to Church, but does not sing or fully participate in the Liturgy, usually neither will his boys. If Dad is standing with his arms crossed, his sons will often have the same disposition.

The biggest hurdle with sharing the Gospel (with our grown children as well as with others) is that some are further pushed away by talking about God. Mistakes will happen.

St. Monica Prayed for her wayward son’s conversion after her Bishop advised her, “Speak less to Augustin about God and more to God about Augustine.”

St. Paul gives a few tips in the second half of his letter to the Colossians, “Clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience… Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you know how you should respond to each one.”

Patrick Madrid gives this advice in his book titled, “Search and Rescue”:

  1. Let love fill your heart.
  2. Do it for God, not for victory.
  3. Use Prayer and example.
  4. Listen.
  5. Let God do the heavy lifting.

I am not worried about my 15 year old, but my 5 year old is my wild child. My goal (with God’s grace) is to find a way to channel her wild nature for Christ. Rebel, yes, but against evil and not against what is good. Be radical, but radical for the Lord. I don’t know if this strategy will work, but Pray for us and know that I have said a Prayer for you and your children as well : )

Lord, we love our children and want them to know Your love. Like the prodigal son, some of our children have fallen into depravity or a world that is void of a relationship with You. Come Holy Spirit, help us “to know how we should respond to each one with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” Amen ♱


Very interesting
point. We as parents were always involved and participated in Mass etc so it makes our children’s rejection all the more painful. Everyone is telling me just to be good examples and pray but it is so hard not to DO Something!
Especially as they make big life decisions. But i see we have no choice. Have to trust God with their future and ours.
I like the idea of rebelling not against God but against our poisonous culture.
Thank you for your prayers and i will include upur children in mine.


There is hope for everyone.


That is so excruciatingly painful. St. Monica has been my refuge in my suffering along with Jesus and Mary. It causes tremendous grief but I try to offer it up even as it breaks my heart.


You just don’t push as you did much as they were younger, but you put that understanding that it doesn’t change with you, they shouldn’t be trying to change the dynamics of their parents beliefs. Help grow with them and just maybe they will see through it.

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I pray the Rosary everyday for conversions of my adult children. I trust Jesus, and I do not worry. I trust Mary prays for them and will lead them to her son. I focus on my growing in my faith and conversion, I pray the Holy Spirit.


Evenly yoked? That resonates with me. Thank you for that. Personally, my wife of 33 years and I have been blessed with 8 children. We also have 7 grandchildren. Three of our children are married. Only one of our children is listening to the world while the other 7 feed off each other spiritually. It’s about all we talk about when we are together, how great our Faith is, prayers, Saints, whatever. May I suggest two things? One is that your wild child may well turn into a modern day St. Paul. Second, God wants the conversion or “reversion” of our children more than we do. I am certain you know that but ours is to continually pray. Lastly, for our one child, we recently all prayed the 54 day Rosary Novena for her. Now it’s up to God but our prayers certainly continue for her. Peace to you.


Thank you. Must always hope that God will put a spark in their lives and they will respond.

I say Fr Ripperger’s binding prayer daily for my kids who have lapsed in the faith.

Is that prayer easy to find? Binding prayer?
Not only am i sad about my kids not practicing their faith but i feel they have rejected what we taught them. This also creates a wedge between us and them.

I have a relative who was born when I was in high school. I spoiled her beyond measure. She fell into Wicca, and was a priestess with 300 students. She lived with my parents and me when we were adults. I was horrified to hear some of the things she wanted to do. I forbid them in our home and would not let her say her pagan prayer at meals. I never argued with her, and she knew I still loved and prayed for her. As she grew darker and fell deeper into witchcraft, she began to be afraid and finally gave up her craft and we welcomed her back into the church. All we can do is refuse to allow behavior which is against our church and keep praying until they come home. All things are possible with God. And sometimes these trials that feel like they will overwhelm us, are God greatest blessings. Choose to shine your light and never loose hope, in difficult moments, pray, Jesus I surrender myself to you, please take care of everything.

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God has ways of being salutary to those who do not know Him due to the absence of sanctifying grace. Baptism does not cover over what we call original sin. Original sin may be understood as something that is missing in the natural state of a human person. Baptism puts back into the newly baptized that which was missing, the presence of the Holy Spirit and the entrance into the Kingdom of God. So, pray that the Holy Spirit stir above the waters of your loved one’s life and that that same Holy Spirit may descend of them as He was intended to do through Baptism. and Confirmation and Eucharist. This requires a person who sees what I share and who believes in it. But also those who choose not to believe, also hear the same message. Pray that the work of the Holy Spirit may be completed in the lives of those you love and in your own life by the grace given to us through Baptism, renewed and matured in Confirmation, and nourishing us with the real presence of Jesus received each time we fully attend Mass (which includes Eucharist).

People leave faith and come back. Young adults especially question things. After life knocks you around enough, you eventually realise that you need God and the religion that you were raised with often becomes appealing again. That’s what happened to me. Just wait and they might come back.

There are certain Catholic values that rub people the wrong way, so maybe try being a bit flexible about those ones when you talk to them, at least for a while.

I think it’s better for someone to slowly chip away at accepting all the tenets of a faith, while not fully accepting all of them, than it is for someone to outright reject an entire faith identity because someone close to them wouldn’t respect that they don’t agree with a few tenets of the faith. Do you know what I mean? The sentence was too long but I can’t make it shorter

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My relatives dont outright reject Jesus. They just believe in God. Very frustrating since we were all raised Catholic. Im hoping that the truth that only with God does lifw make sense that they will come back. I pray that God is merciful to my family im praying that they would never outright reject Jesus. If he calls out to them at the end. Three times as St faustina reported

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Very much hoping that the sadness and tragedies Will force them to turn to God for comfort and meaning.

It really does for a lot of people. I also think that it’s just part of growing up. I don’t think God holds it against us when we question things. It seems to me like he’d prefer that we’re honest about the things we doubt so he can work on it with us, instead of pretending we believe every single thing that our faith presents to us if deep down there are parts that don’t yet make sense.

True. The mysteries are hard to explain.

I teach CCD and today tried to explain transubstantiation.
Rough! I dont understand it yet. Maybe never will. Just accept.

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When I really don’t get something related to faith and I sincerely pray about it and ask God to show me how it works, he always does. It works with stuff that I thought I’d never understand. I think he really doesn’t mind how we show up, as long as we show up. He wants us to ask him to make it make sense.

The answers for me are usually in the form of things other people say to me. Like suddenly someone will just say the exact answer to the question I had the day after I asked God to explain it. Or a fully formed answer just pops into my head suddenly.

Last night I asked a question and then watched an episode of a show and the first scene answered my question to God and it really improved my faith immediately (it was about the prophesy of the second resurrection)

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Will do. I have to say strange coincidences like that happen to me alot. For instance i was reading Fr Al Schwartz’s book about his life called KILLING ME SOFTLY iput the book in my car and went to the supermarket. What was playing on the loudspeaker but KILLING ME SOFTLY? My daughter happened to be with me and altho she is always skeptical she had to admit that it was a strange coincidence. I think Fr was saying hello!

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