I Didn’t Grow Up Catholic and Everyone I Know Did

On this weeks episode of “My Upbringing Was Different Than Most Of My Friends” I bring you: Religion!!

Now before you get stressed out, I’m not hating on religion on this post, this is just me explaining how different it is to grow up not practicing Catholicism when almost everyone you know, including your family, is Catholic and you’re not.

SOOO backstory: my mom’s family, the white side, is Irish Catholic. Very typical Boston, right? And my dad’s family, the black side, is Baptist. I won’t go into the in-depth differences, but I’ll give you a quick rundown (shout out differencebetween.net for this):

  •  “The central focus of the Baptist Church is salvation through faith in God alone, whereas the Catholics believe in the same plus the belief in the Holy sacraments as the way to salvation. 
    • This basically just means that Baptists don’t take communion
  • Catholics believe in infant baptism, while the Baptists only believe in adult baptism, or at least to someone who already knows how to believe.”
    • this means that Baptists don’t baptize children, you have to decide when to get baptized by truly believing in your faith in God and Jesus.

I went to church for a chunk of my childhood, and we went to my dad’s Baptist church, so I’ve never been baptized, and I’ve never taken communion, I never went to CCD or got confirmed. In our lil bible study classes, we took before the church services on Sundays, we learned Bible stories, Noah’s Arc and Jonah and the Whale are the only ones sticking out to me, but there were definitely Veggie Tales marathons. Then the church services the Reverand would preach and we’d sing songs and after my dad would take us to the Dunkin Donuts down the street and I’d get a lemon powdered donut, and that’s really everything I remember.

So, as you can see, my religious background was mostly revolved around talking vegetables and donuts. I didn’t even know there was a difference between my church and my friend’s churches until we went to my cousins’ first communions and confirmations. I was super confused as to why people were eating crackers and drinking wine, and why I wasn’t allowed to have any. My friends would tell stories about CCD and the priests and fathers of Wakefield, and I was completely lost. I know the basic jist of Christianity, mostly from history classes and the brief week that I was in a medieval history class in college, and just absorbing what my friends talk about.

Now you’re probably thinking that this really isn’t going to affect my day to day life, and for the most part you’re right. The two major times it has affected me are when there are Catholic references or jokes in the media, and when I go to Catholic funerals or weddings. But these seem to happen more and more.

I went to see one of my favorite comedians, John Mulaney, with a bunch of friends, all of whom were Catholic, and a big chunk of Mulaney’s set was about growing up Catholic. I was so lost as to what was happening and what the joke was about and seeing as the show was in Boston, about 99% of the audience was probably Catholic and they were all cracking up. I laughed along, but I felt left out.

My friend Kelly’s funeral was held in the big Catholic church in my hometown, and I’d be willing to bet that more than 95% of the people in attendance were raised Catholic. I didn’t know the sayings, or what to repeat to the Priest, I didn’t even know if it was the priest who was talking. When it was time for communion, they said if you were unable to take communion, but still wanted to be blessed you would just be blessed, I wasn’t fully paying attention, but in my group of friends that were there (there was a very large group of us) only 3 of us couldn’t take communion. Again, I felt left out.

This isn’t about FOMO, it’s about feeling different. Almost like an outcast. I have never resented not being raised Catholic, and I still don’t care either way to be completely honest, but when people start talking about church and CCD and confirmation, and even just using bible story references, I feel like it’s an inside joke that I’m just not a part of.

This was a post a little different, but I guess it’s still on brand because it’s all about how I didn’t grow up like everyone else that I grew up around. Hope you enjoyed, and just a reminder to love everyone equally no matter what (or what not) they believe in!

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