Skip to main content
Tags: Pope Frances | Catholic | aleteia | mother despised | son converted

Pope Francis Made My Mom Stop Hating Catholicism

Pope Francis Made My Mom Stop Hating Catholicism
(Andreas Gerbert/DPA/Landov)

By    |   Monday, 06 April 2015 04:41 PM EDT

A Journey Home, Thanks to the Holy Father

My mom was raised in a big and very Catholic family. Bad things happened in that family. In my mom’s mind and more importantly, in her heart, it seemed that the church, religion, God, the whole works, had not been there to protect her and her siblings. All of that Catholicism seemed to my mom to be bound up with and even responsible for the harm that took place.

My mom raised me to ridicule and scorn religion, especially Christianity, more especially Catholicism, and most especially the Pope. It broke my mom’s heart when I, at the age of 30, against all odds and contrary to anything she or I expected, became Catholic.

Now, for the first time in the 22 years since my conversion, she feels differently. She sends me text messages telling me the latest news about Pope Francis. Though her health will not permit it, she told me recently that she wishes she could go to Philadelphia with me in September to see the Pope.

For the first time my mom sees my lifelong love for the poor, something I learned from her, as being central to my Catholic faith. My Catholicism makes sense to her in a way it never did before.

My mom understands that Pope Francis hasn’t changed any church teachings. But it makes a big difference to her when someone who says we should focus on the poor backs it up by riding around in a Ford Focus; when someone who upholds traditional teachings on marriage complements that by saying, "Who am I to judge"; when someone so clearly, palpably, obviously believes that the Gospel is "good news of a great joy for all the people."

My background includes not only anti-Catholicism, but also poverty, drug addiction, and homelessness, followed by many thousands of 12-step meetings, conversion, and a great struggle to faithfully live out my conversion.

These are some of the reasons I am always so drawn toward those who don’t feel as if they belong in the church. But at times I have felt as if my concern for and focus on those outside the walls of the church is a strange and foreign thing to my fellow Catholics. Pope Francis is changing that. All around me Catholics are getting excited at the notion that our faith can be more relevant to more people in more places and more ways than we ever hoped for. That’s a beautiful thing.

My mom is terminally ill. Currently, she and I are walking together along the last leg of her journey here on earth. As we go through this, drawing closer to each other, my mom is feeling more comfortable with the Catholicism that lies at the center of my being and therefore at the center of my love for her. And she is becoming more comfortable with the good that was there all along together with the wrongs in which she was raised as a child.

My mom still loves the old hymns that were played with great frequency in the home in which she grew up. She told me recently that although she’s not quite ready for them now, she wants those hymns to be played in the room with her when the end draws near. I’m not looking forward to losing my mom. But I am looking forward to listening to those hymns with her. And I’m grateful to Pope Francis for helping to make that possible.

Dave Sloan is leading a mission to Love and Serve with FRANCIS IN PHILLY during the papal visit to Philadelphia. Read more information at www.francisinphilly.net or davesloan@mail.com.​

This article was first published at The Georgia Bulletin and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
My mom was raised in a big and very Catholic family. Bad things happened in that family. In my mom’s mind and more importantly, in her heart, it seemed that the church, religion, God, the whole works, had not been there to protect her and her siblings.
Pope Frances, Catholic, aleteia, mother despised, son converted
629
2015-41-06
Monday, 06 April 2015 04:41 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
TOP

Interest-Based Advertising | Do not sell or share my personal information

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Download the NewsmaxTV App
Get the NewsmaxTV App for iOS Get the NewsmaxTV App for Android Scan QR code to get the NewsmaxTV App
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved