Not only can a marriage involving a Catholic and a member of another faith community succeed “without either person ‘losing’ his or her faith in the process,” but the couple can make their home a holy place, Carol Gastelum writes in this little book.
She firmly believes there is no need for a husband and wife in a mixed-faith marriage to sweep their religious values under the carpet. They can take steps that allow faith to enter into their lives together.
At the same time, Gastelum speaks with readers about the risk of indifference toward faith that might develop if one’s spouse is worshiping “elsewhere or not practicing his or her faith.” Try not to let indifference “destroy your participation in your faith community,” she urges, noting that “Catholic values are based upon worshiping in community.” Her concrete recommendations here seemed particularly helpful.
The author, a long-time family catechesis leader in Arizona, offers discussion points for mixed-faith couples who hope to keep faith alive at home. She asks, for example:
- “Do you pray together? How? If you don’t would you like to? How would you like to pray?”
- “What religious art or symbols, if any, would you like to display in your home?”
- “How will you celebrate each other’s holidays and holy days? … If you are not married yet, what arrangements, if any, have you made to accommodate each others’ traditions and practices?”
Given the great many married Catholics today in mixed-faith marriages, Gastelum’s insights and recommendations seem especially pertinent. Advising these couples to take steps to assure that faith is not neglected in their homes, she writes:
“Whether or not you share the same houses of worship, your home, marriage and family need to be your sanctuary. As a couple you should both declare your family to be ‘holy ground.’”