I would so appreciate any thoughts you all might have on this.
I'm really struggling. I am Christian. I was raised catholic but never really felt connected to the Catholic faith.
We are currently attending a non denominational Christian church but, I do not like their children's program at all. So, I bring the kids in with me to church but, it's so over their heads, they really get nothing out of it. So, I find that we rarely go.
My husband was raised catholic but does not believe in God. He hates attending the Christian church because its very modern, and finds any excuse not to go and when he does go, it's mainly out of guilt. He would much prefer a catholic church - I think because it's comfortable not because of any belief system. It's more of a safe, traditional place to him.
So, we've decided that our kids will go to a Christian/Catholic high school. There are only 2 in our area and, the one I prefer is Catholic. My nephews go there and it's just a really fantastic school.
So my dilemma.....tuition at the catholic school is $3000 less per year for practicing Catholics. My kids are 1 year apart so, we will have two in school for most of the time.
So, I'm considering joining a catholic church. Like I said, Both DH and I were raised Catholic and, we are struggling to find a church community but, there are things about the Catholic church that I struggle with. I probably wouldn't consider it if it weren't for the tuition but, I really do want to find a church community for my kids and, I haven't found anything else.
Sigh......maybe I'm just thinking out loud...... I just don't know what to do. I miss having a church community. I want my children raised in a church but, is choosing to go to a catholic church mainly because of the tuition break terrible? I'd also be doing it so that when they go to Catholic high school from a charter school, it's not a complete shock.
And, my children are really yearning for God. They say all the time how they wish they went to Christian school so they could be learning about God.
My church options in my area are pretty limited. So, if not the Catholic Church then we stay at the Christian church where my kids sit there not getting anything out of it.
I think that joining a parish and joining RCIA for all of you would be a good idea.
It would give you all a chance to come home, and have all of your questions answered. The current RCIA class is getting ready for Easter Vigil, so will have to wait to join RCIA during the next "school year".
Proud Catholic (30) and mama to V (10)
If you were raised Catholic, you can choose a parish and start attending. You can register as a member and there are generally lots of 'raised Catholic, now coming' meetings you could go to. RCIA if you've never been confirmed would be an option as well.
Everyone is welcome at RCIA, you can certainly go if you want to have that kind of group learning session to understand why the Church teaches what it does. But since both of you are baptized Catholics all you have to do is start attending mass. Of course you should go to confession before receiving the eucharist, and I'd make an appointment with the priest to discuss your situation.
You say you wouldn't have considered the Catholic Church if it wasn't for the tuition break, but it also sounds like there are some issues with where you've found yourself right now, and you're questioning if the Catholic Church might be the answer to what you're seeking. You're right that you shouldn't just convert because of finances, but there isn't anything wrong with the finances being what gets you thinking about it. It sounds like you need to do some thinking, praying, and learning about the Catholic Church to see if returning to the Catholic Church is really a commitment you want to make.
It sounds like you have several needs here. You need to assist your children in having a relationship with Christ. You need to oversee their education and find a way to pay for it. You need to work out what religion(s) will be practiced in your family by whom, and ultimately, you need to figure out what you believe and what beliefs and values you want to pass on to your children. Regardless of why you start looking at the Catholic Church, you need to meet these needs in a way that respects your authentic beliefs.
Joining a Catholic church (and getting the tuition break) requires more than just "signing up". I would definitely start attending regularly and maybe even jump right in to RCIA. Definitely talk to a priest. You may feel very at home there and decide to join for its own merit. You may decide you can't get on board with the doctrine but can definitely get on board with the community aspect of it. You may hate it but decide to endure it for the excellent education. At any rate it will help your sons to have some sort of foundation before they start attending. There will probably be classes about religion and doctrine and having some sort of knowledge about what the church believes will help them.
As far as the tuition goes you will want to check out if you have to be a member or if your kids have to be members or what the details are. It may require more than just joining the church.
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
Just wanted to point out that at our Catholic high school, being a practicing Catholic also meant being a supporting, contributing member of parish - using your envelopes and tithing each week. So your "savings" would not necessarily be $3000.
Check your diocesan website. Many dioceses are offering some sort of "Welcome Back/Welcome Home" program for lapsed/disenchanted Catholics.
See if any parishes in your area offer the Landings program for returning Catholics, which is very popular right now.
I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi