Source: Sydney Morning Herald
By Georgina Fuller
As I sat in church looking at my eldest son Charlie standing before the gold altar, clutching a candle at his Holy Communion, I let the priest’s words wash over me. “Nothing,” he said, “will ever be more important than going to church.”
I glanced at my husband Dominic, who was beaming at the priest and Charlie. Could he not see that it was ridiculous? At eight years old, Charlie’s life should be carefree and revolve around sport, sleepovers, friends and fun … not heavyweight pledges about religion. But I buttoned my lip – it wasn’t the first time Dominic and I had had this debate.
I don’t remember when Dominic first told me that he was Catholic. When we met, in our early 20s, he rarely went to church, though his mother was a devout Irish Catholic. It was only when we got engaged and the words “mixed-faith marriage course” were mentioned that I had a sense of alarm.
I’d had a churchy upbringing, too (I’d been christened and confirmed), but by my 20s I identified as an atheist, and the idea that a celibate priest should advise us on marriage seemed laughable. Still, I agreed to complete the six-week course because it made Dominic happy, and while I baulked at the pledge we had to make to raise our unborn children as Catholics, I was so caught up in booking marquees that I went along with it.
Religion only reared its head again when we had our three children – now aged eight, five and three – which threw up all sorts of debates. First, should we christen them? (We did.) And, more recently, what about church every Sunday?