A son's faith journey evolves - Catholic Courier

A son’s faith journey evolves

On April 20 the oldest of our three children, Andrew, will be confirmed by Bishop Matano at Sacred Heart Cathedral. The event is shaping up as a joyful and profound one, as my 14-year-old takes a big step toward making his faith his own.

And yet, as this evolution continues, I can’t help but wonder: My wife and I have made a concerted effort to raise our son Catholic, but where does he go from here? This brings to mind my nephew, Daniel, who on the night of his confirmation about 10 years ago asked me, his sponsor: "Now what?"

Indeed, now what? To what degree will prayer, Mass attendance and a relationship with God factor into Andrew’s life as he moves toward independence? What will occur when his parents are no longer attending church regularly with him and it’s up to him to maintain the commitment? How will he respond when he inevitably gets challenged on his beliefs by peers who practice another faith or no faith at all?

Obviously I can’t control these outcomes, any more than my parents could when I was in similar situations. But perhaps a good start is to not regard Andrew’s confirmation as a graduation of sorts. Instead, maybe Andrew — and his dad — can see it as a beginning, an opportunity to engage more frequently in conversation about our faith rather than simply be on autopilot with it.

Maybe his perspectives won’t line up 100 percent with mine. Maybe he’ll teach me a thing or two with his own insights — certainly I don’t have all the answers just because I’m a parent.

Hopefully many of these father-son discussions await us in future years, bringing us both to a better understanding of just why we do believe what we believe.


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