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Vision: To Foster Catholic Men's Spirituality in Chicago Southland
How To Help Your Adult Children
Leaving the Catholic Faith
By Frank J Casella
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Photo: 'Growing In Faith' - Copyright 2017 Frank J Casella. St. Joseph interacts with Jesus, as Mary is supportive. This statue of the Holy Family sets an example, or symbol, of parenting and teaching the faith – how men and women should relate to one another in complementary ways and how important mothers and fathers are to children.
Many Catholic men and their wives feel anguish over how their adult children have stopped going to Mass or are leaving the Catholic Faith that they raised their children in.
Watching your children drift away from the faith can be a heartbreaking experience. For those of us who have raised kids in the faith, attending Mass every Sunday, sending them to religious education programs, or sending them to Catholic schools can feel like a futile effort. We often ask ourselves "what did I do wrong?", "what should I have done differently?"
I have heard Bishop Perry respond to these questions as "You didn't do anything wrong" .. children are naturally bundles of constant change
You don't have to live with a powerless feeling. Because here is some hope: Continue to give a witness even if the child left the house; always provide an open door, a way back if they are not married - Model your love of the Faith; Believe in the power of prayer, fasting, penance, and blessing - these are not little small things. 
God and the Saint's can work on their heart better than you can.
Living a devout Christian life means that we turn everything over to God loving Him with our whole heart. One reality about Catholic's, would you agree, is we follow the rules, we do the right things, but do we really know Jesus and thus we don’t do a good job of talking about our relationship with Jesus. 
And speaking of our children leaving the house, many of them are staying longer and not marrying. One man I know says that his son has been out of college for a few years and has moved back home three times after living with friends. He feels that because his son is not married you can't send him back (to his spouse) to work it out
An article by one young adult woman writes "four of the most important problems that affect devout Catholics when it comes to getting to know a potential spouse and considering marriage: dysfunctional discernment, divisions in the Church or “Catholic camps,” poor examples and mixed messages from parents and mentors, and lack of universal courtship (or dating) customs."
And she goes on to say, "How, I often wonder, can I know so many single Catholic women who say they can’t find a man and so many single Catholic men who say they can’t find a woman? Why aren’t they all finding each other? The answer, I suspect, lies in the fact that far more single men consider themselves traditional Catholics than single women, and those traditional single men want to marry a woman who falls into the same Catholic camp" .... "For this reason, it makes sense to narrow your search down to truly practicing Catholics and not attempt any “missionary dating.” "
So I hope that what I have shared here shows you are not alone if you're experiencing this, and how there are several things converging in our culture, as well as within the Church, contributing to this. And again, you did nothing wrong. In fact you did everything right in providing a faith based foundation for your children while growing up .. now just keep doing it ... and praying for them. 
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Catholic Men Chicago Southland
Aplostolate of Bishop Joseph N Perry
Executive Director, Frank J Casella 

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The CMCS Mission: Catholic Men Chicago Southland (CMCS) is engaged in fostering holy and courageous men and proclaiming the importance of husbands and fathers to children and the family. CMCS is a Catholic Apostolate founded in 2004 by Most Reverend Joseph N. Perry, Deacon John Rangel, and Mr. Frank J Casella.
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