Monday, November 8, 2010
Posted by Fr Joe
Lucas was born in Oxford and baptized at St. John's. Both parents were Catholic so we had his Baptism during Mass. However, his case was a bit unusual for the parish. Most couples are what the Church has called "mixed" (Catholic and non-Catholic) marriages. Although this may be WAY in advance for college students, some of you may be interested in finding out what the Church teaches concerning marrying a non-Catholic and raising children.
In the Southeast United States, it's not uncommon for "mixed" marriages to occur. In the Diocese of Jackson, Catholics barely make up 3 percent of the religious population. It stands to reason that a good Catholic boy/girl is hard to find.
When a Catholic intends on marrying a non-Catholic, they have to go through the normal procedures that any couple have in preparation for the marriage. When the instructions are completed, the Catholic party (not the non-Catholic) is asked to sign a statement verifying that they are 1. Going to continue to practice the faith and 2. they will do all they can to baptize and raise their children in the Church.
Why? Because marriage is a Catholic institution. It's a sacrament. Catholics come from Catholic homes. Most strong and growing religions insist on passing the faith on to the next generation. Look at the sheer volume of Islamic practitioners worldwide! Those aren't due to conversion alone. It's due to child-birth.
Catholics have always held marriage in high esteem because in marriage a couple have the possibility of bringing more Catholics into the world. Sadly, this isn't taught that much anymore or has been diluted to the point of having children baptized without any relation to the Church.
As you go through your college years, you will be making decisions about your future. The Church asks that you think of your future spouse and future children as well. If you're practicing your faith and living it, then why wouldn't you want to share it? Additionally, those who are happy about their faith usually inspire...INSPIRE...their spouse to also take on the Faith.
So, amigos and amigas, while you're working on resumes and internships, think about working on those spouses and babies! A church without babies is a church without a future. It's up to you. No pressure!
By the way, little Lucas is actually a "mixed" baby. He was born in Rebel country but his parents are Ragin' Cajuns. He wore the right cap for this weekend!