Help! My Children Have Lost Their Faith and I Feel Responsible

The #1 prayer request we receive here at Relevant Radio® is from parents asking us to pray that their fallen-away children return to the Church. With 80% of Millennials having left the Church by the time they were 23, many parents are praying that their children return to Christ and the sacraments.

Some parents feel that they did everything they could, but circumstances and worldly influences pulled their children away from the faith. Others, however, feel responsible for their children leaving the faith. Whether because they came into – or back into – the Church later in life, or they didn’t realize the importance of bringing their children up in the faith, or if they feel that they could have done still more to give their children an encounter with the Lord, many parents feel responsible and fear for their souls and the souls of their children.

This was the case for a listener named Susan who recently called in to The Patrick Madrid ShowSusan shared that she was “freaked out” because her children no longer believe in God and she feels that she did not raise them in the faith in the way that she should have. Reading about the messages of Our Lady of Fatima cause her great fear and she worries for the souls of her children and for her own soul when she hears about Our Lady’s messages. Patrick responded by saying:

“First of all, let me take your arm in my arm and let’s walk together for a little bit. Let’s step back, take a deep breath, and take note of the fact that, yes, the Fatima apparitions in 1917 said that there would be some really difficult and bad things that would happen in the future unless people did penance, prayed the Rosary, and turned back to God. We’ve seen that many people just didn’t heed that message. And other apparitions like Akita in Japan in 1973, and other apparitions approved by the Church have indicated the same kind of thing.

But in each case, and this is why I don’t want you to freak out, because in each case the Blessed Virgin Mary reminds us that if we stay close to Christ, if we pray the Rosary every day, if we do acts of penance and we seek to live the Gospel of Christ in the way we should be living it – that come what may her Immaculate Heart will triumph in the end.

So she emphasizes that there will be a triumph that will take place. So no matter what else happens, you can be assured of victory. And not only victory in a general sense, but also to pray for the victory for your son and daughter who have left the faith.

Part of what Mary is calling you to do is to pray, pray, pray. Pray the Rosary as an act of reparation for your own failings. We all have our own failings, we all commit sins by commission (things we do) and sins of omission (things we fail to do that we should have done) so you’re in the same boat with the rest of us sinners. I hope that gives you some comfort.

So take up the Rosary every day if you haven’t already done so, and let that be your way of making things right. So if you look in your heart of hearts, and you think that you really were at fault that you didn’t do something to help your children stay in the faith, you can help to repair that.

Also, your Rosary for your children will be a very, very powerful tool to help bring them home. You’ll also be enlisting the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who as a mother herself, will be praying with you for those wayward children of yours.

I can only imagine that is going to bring you some measure of peace, because you will know that you are doing what Our Lady said. … If you are close to Jesus and Mary, if you are praying the Rosary every day, I hope that gives you a measure of calm, even though things may seem a little bit crazy.”

Listen to the full conversation with Susan below:

The Patrick Madrid Show airs weekdays from 9:00 – noon Eastern/6:00 – 9:00 a.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio® and the Relevant Radio App.

Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.