When Matt and I first began to date, he mentioned to me casually that he was raised Mormon but no longer practiced his religion. Being a girl who, at the time, never thought in a million years she would come face to face with her future husband, that fact went in one ear and out the other. Not so since we became engaged.
After speaking with my priest at the Basilica of St. Josaphat, Milwaukee (Note: you must be an active member of the parish for at least six months before you can marry in that particular church), Fr. Jim mentioned to me that a Mormon baptism isn’t recognized in the Catholic Church as a true baptism. While Mormons do believe in the Holy Trinity, they don’t believe in “three persons in one God,” but rather three individual gods.
After speaking with Matt about this new development in our wedding plans, we’ve come to a decision.
Yes, we do have differences in our religions, but not so when it comes to our faith. We both believe in a higher power, in doing good for others, in keeping an open relationship with God at all times, and helping one another grow in this relationship. I believe that the way that I can do this is through the Catholic Church, by regularly attending Mass, going to confession, and spending time in eucharistic adoration. This is where our views begin to differ.
Matt does not believe in organized religion, which is why he no longer practices Mormonism. However, he does have a great respect for those who choose to follow religions. While he isn’t a Catholic, and isn’t planning on becoming one (We have yet to speak to the priest to see what the next steps are to getting married in the Catholic Church), he does support me in my faith journey. He attends Mass with me regularly, and together we discuss what our faith (not exactly our religion) means to us. He knows that I want to bring our children up as Catholics, and has agreed to support and help me to do just that.
However, in a very candid and honest conversation a few weeks ago, he told me that he couldn’t convert to my religion just for the sake of doing so. To do that, he said, would be to lie to himself, his family and all his friends. This is very true, I realized. As I was told when taking confirmation classes, you shouldn’t do so because your parents want you to, but because YOU want to.
While I would love to be able to share that religious aspect with Matt throughout my life, I know that no matter what, we will be together on a faith voyage that will take us far. I’m excited to support Matt on his journey, and I know that he is equally excited to do the same for me.
Now, if I could only convince my parents of this. Stay tuned for more updates…
Song playing while writing this: “A Shot in the Arm” by Wilco