Opinion: Epic Catholic fail

Commentary by Danielle Wilson

Recently we Wilsons had an interesting turn of events to which, in the broader context of parenting, I think many of you will relate.

My boy/girl twins are almost 15 and were set to make their Catholic confirmation last weekend. On the last day of their five-day preparation retreat, literally seven hours before the ceremony, I got a call from my son telling me he did not want to be Catholic. He would not be making his confirmation that evening. My initial thought was, “But I ordered two cakes!”

He couldn’t explain his reasoning over the phone but assured me that this decision was not something he had taken lightly. I told him I was proud of him for choosing his own path, but hung up in tears. Had I done this? Had I been the one to turn him away from Catholicism, from my heritage? Or was he simply acting out a teenage rebellion, deciding this was easier than smoking pot? With no time to contemplate my maternal shortcomings – his sister was still going through after all – I continued making pasta salad for the post-mass party.

I did however text the relatives to let them know what had transpired and left the question of gift etiquette in their hands. When I picked him up prior to the mass, I heard his reasons. They were good. They were strong. And in that moment, I realized maybe I was actually a decent mom. I’d somehow taught my kid to stand up for his beliefs, whatever they are, and even if they aren’t the same as my own.

To my surprise (and his, I suspect), the family recognized this as a special moment, too. They rallied around my son in support of his decision, showering him with cards and cash anyway. In one particularly brilliant recovery, an aunt simply crossed out the word “confirmation” and wrote “cool new glasses.” Perfect.

Teens don’t always make the right call, which is why at cross country drop-off I love yelling “Make good choices!” But in this case, my son made the right one. Peace out.

  • Cathleen Gillies

    Prayers for you and your family. Reading this post was like a punch in the stomach or a slap with a whip as our Lord Jesus felt on the night he was betrayed. I’m so sorry that your son refused to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord’s mercy be upon him and your family – I’m sorry that you, your husband, family and friend’s holy examples and the love of God wasn’t enough of a compelling reason to surrender and receive God’s grace of confirmation.
    Could you explain why members of your family decided to shower him we gifts, when he rejected the faith? It sounds like he still will be going to mass and following the 10 commandments to the best of his abilities and wasn’t just ready.

    Is it possible that he could meet with your local Bishop to better understand what the gift of confirmation brings? Bishop Doherty appears to be a reasonable and kind man – courageous too – maybe he would meet you guys on a soccer field somewhere.

    Having the courage to walk boldly like Christ loving our neighbor and choosing to do what is right and good with all the noise around us takes the community of the church, so that is why I made this moment. I often think of the young man who didn’t have the courage to follow Jesus and leave everything. I pray that upon second thought your son changes his mind and follows Jesus who built our church.

    Let us both pray for each other that we too don’t lose our faith and that our example will bring Catholics home to the Truth that resides in the heart of Jesus.

    St Joseph, Mary and Jesus, PRAY FOR US. Cathleen

    • Jerry Jones

      And it’s people like you that turn children away from this “holy spirit” or whatever you want to called. The kid made an educated choice and his mother and family stood by his side. Don’t go all ‘it’s the end of the world and crazy catholic’ mode now. Your comment makes you sounds like a complete lunatic right now. This is why people hate Christians nowadays, because of the crazy alt right people like you

      • Cathleen Gillies

        Perhaps you should read again what I wrote. As a member of the body of Christ it physically hurts me when a baptised member turns away from the sacraments of our church. From the imitation of Christ. O Lord, grant me the grace to live on earth without being so distracted by it.my desire is to live as a true Christian so that you will be the sole desire of my heart.

        • Jerry Jones

          I did, and you’re batshit crazy….