Both my Husband and I grew up in the Catholic church. I spent my K-8th grade years in a Catholic school that was not at all tragic to my childhood. There were no strict nuns and I haven’t needed therapy to discuss how it all ruined me. My Husband did not attend Catholic school but did go through all the normal rites of passage, if you will, for the Catholic faith. Baptism, first communion, reconciliation, etc.
Since leaving our parents home and becoming adults, neither of us have been particularly crazy about the Catholic faith nor have we gone out of our way to make sure we attended Catholic church more than the Christmas Eve/Easter holidays. For several years I did attend a non-denominational church in my town and Rebecca joined their Sunday school program. I felt like I got a lot out of it but as it happens, we didn’t go one week, then the next and now it has been about two years since we have attended.
Flash forward to today, a baby on the way, and suddenly we are digging deep on our faith and further considering which direction to go with our child. I would consider both my Husband and I to be more spiritual than religious people and we have a tough time with organized religion. We have faith in God, believe in an after life, and pray each night with Rebecca. But there are those questions that family members like to start asking you, or more specifically, Grandmothers. Will you baptize your child? Will you raise your child in the Catholic faith? How will your child know about God? I honestly didn’t realize this would be such a big topic of conversation but I found myself this past Sunday, with my Grandmother, being interrogated about all things religious for my unborn child.
The Husband and I decided we needed some sort of game plan, before this got out of control with the families, on what they might think would be right or wrong. It seems quite different from when we were infants. There is no hard or fast rule with our generation on baptisms and so forth. Call it the Catholic ingrained in us but we both are uncomfortable with our child not being baptized. The only Catholic church I even have an attachment left with is my Grandmothers church. We came to the conclusion that we would have her baptized there.
For a number of reasons, Rebecca is not baptized nor has she gone through any other Catholic rites of passage but she does attend a private Catholic school. The few times we have found ourselves in the church setting, it truly bothers both the Husband and I that Rebecca sits in the pew while we go up to receive communion. I’m not quite sure why it bothers us so much, perhaps the disconnect, but we know we would like our child to at least have her first communion through the Catholic church. Again, perhaps just the years of being a Catholic drilled into our heads, those of you out there raised the same way probably understand, but it is something we feel should happen. We feel being both baptized and having communion in one faith will give her a base for whatever direction she may want to take as an adult.
We plan on teaching our child about God, faith and having an open mind spiritually. For us, some of it just comes from what is ingrained in us from our childhood, some is what we have learned as adults. In some ways it seems more difficult, these days, to come together as parents and decide on how to teach your child about religion. In other ways, these days, it seems people are more open-minded to different ways of celebrating religion and beliefs. I think it is a tricky topic to navigate for a lot of couples though because it may not be one that a lot think about until they are shouldered with the task once a child is on the way. Thankfully, the Husband and I previously had some basic conversations about this back when we were dating, so this wasn’t completely out of left field. Our families great interest over it seemed more surprising to us.
Religion, like finances, is one of those tricky topics while you are dating, married or even once a baby is on the way. For most though, it is very important. For now I feel like we have a starting point and can adjust our sails as God sees fit from here.