***This is the first of a three-part post chronicling the spiritual journey of our marriage. Born and raised a devout Catholic, I didn’t take my faith as seriously in college and began dating a pro-choice agnostic. This is the story of how we balanced the yoke. If you’ve ever wondered if a Catholic can marry an agnostic without compromising the Catholic’s faith, read on. Our story may help you discern whether a marriage of “mixed cult,” or between a baptized and unbaptized party, is a good idea.
I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the first of my parents’ six children. My dad worked as an engineer, and my mom was a stay-at-home mom. My parents were cradle Catholics, married in the Church, and all six of us were baptized as babies. My dad had attended 12 years of Catholic school, and was well-formed in his faith. Though Catholic, my Mom’s family stopped attending Mass when she was a teenager. As she got older and without a supportive foundation at home, Mom fell away from the Church. My Daddy always went to Mass, even when he was sick. Momma chose to attend a Protestant church, and my brother and I always chose to go to church with her. It was more fun, after all. The preacher sent the kids to “children’s church,” where we got grape juice, goldfish crackers, and talked about God. It was SOOOO much more fun than Daddy’s “boring” church!
When I was in third grade, my dad invited me to attend First Friday devotions with him at his parish. I will never forget those special nights with him. We attended Adoration and Benediction together, and I was mesmerized by the incense, the chanted prayers, the Latin, and the solemnness of this type of prayer. Even though Dad’s church was “boring,” those Friday nights really stirred my soul. Looking at the Blessed Sacrament in the beautiful Monstrance, I was transfixed. I didn’t know it yet, but I was falling in love with Jesus.