My Husband the Reluctant Catholic

He's not the most reverent guy on earth, but he's deepened my faith.

My mom called him a "convertible." That was her way of saying that even if my husband wasn't much of a Catholic, he had a lot of potential.

But I had to wonder. There was that Sunday, three weeks before our wedding. We were driving home from the 10:30 Mass. I was sitting in the passenger seat reading through the church bulletin when he tossed out this: "I just don't get anything out of church."

I dropped the bulletin and stared at him. This was the man who wanted to marry me, a cradle Catholic, and who had promised that he would become a Catholic before we had any children.

"What?"

"I just don't get anything out of church. It doesn't do anything for me."

That elaboration was not helpful.

"You don't get anything out of church?" I was starting to feel like the Grand Inquisitor.

"Nope," he answered, as if I had just asked him if he wanted cream in his coffee.

So I did what any good Catholic girl would do. I called a priest. "He doesn't get anything out of church! Can I still marry him?"

Eventually Eric (that's my husband's name) and I came to an agreement: He would continue going to Sunday Mass with me, even if he drifted off to sleep or thought about his golf swing the whole hour. He would honor his promise to convert to Catholicism before we had kids. We got married. Four years of Sunday purgatory for him ensued. Then I got pregnant. I enrolled him in RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) classes. As his sponsor, I made sure he attended every week and also participated in the group discussions for catechumens after Mass.

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We were only two classes away from the Easter Vigil service that would mark his formal reception into the church when I dropped the bomb: He had to go to confession before he could be confirmed. (He had already been baptized, as a Presbyterian. That had come as a surprise to him, but with a little help from his mother I had unearthed his baptismal records.)

Confession. That almost killed the deal.

"I'm not going into some dark phone booth to spill my soul to some celibate man with a 90 percent chance of being gay or a pedophile," Eric said. "Besides, I can't really think of anything I've done wrong."

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