An increasing number if Americans are counting themselves among the “nones” – people who have no religious affiliation. What if some of them are found within our own families? Many parents may have a child who has left the Faith, or live with a spouse or close friend who is not Catholic. In more extreme situations, holiday gatherings may bring us into contact with people who are outright hostile towards the Church.

In these situations, how can we share the love of Christ with friends and family members without turning them away? Maybe they’ve been hurt by the church, or were never properly catechized – perhaps they simply lost interest. Whatever the reason, Bishop Wall offers some advice to people looking to navigate the holidays without angering or alienating their loved ones.

Discussion points:

 
 
01:20 – How do we celebrate Advent around our non-Catholic or fallen-away friends and family?
 
02:50 – More Americans are identifying as “nones” – people who have no religious affiliation. Rather than self-blaming, how can parents positively interact with their non-religious children around the holidays?
 
04:10 – Many parents may look back and realize they did not properly catechize their family. Or, perhaps they did their best to raise faithful children, who then rejected Catholicism anyway. How can parentss be positive role models in the future?
 
05:20 – Why the “open arms” of St. Peter’s Basilica are such a powerful image
 
06:45 – How should we deal with spouses who do not share our faith or who have rejected it?
 
09:05 – How should we handle group gatherings where someone present may be antagonistic towards the faith?
 
11:02 – How do we answer questions about the Catholic faith that we don’t know the answers to?
 
11:51 – Pope Francis’ example of love and openness to all people, and how the Church is “like a field hospital”
 
13:36 – How the relationship between St. Augustine and his mother, St. Monica, provide a wonderful example for all parents and children
 
17:36 – Practices and prayers for Advent, a season of waiting 
 
 

Useful Resources:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (Online version)

catholic.org – A resource for prayers, readings, and articles

Catholic Answers – Apologetics and answers to nearly any question about Catholicism

Prayers to St. Monica for the return of fallen-away Catholics

Recommended Reading:

Pope Francis: “The Church is like a field hospital”

 

 

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