EWTN Catholic Q&A
Question from Rachel on 10-14-2012:

Good day.

My Lebanese grandfather was born and raised a practicing Muslim. He was born in Lebanon, came to the US, studied medicine here, became an American citizen and was one of the youngest surgeons in the US army. During WW1, he along with the US army was stationed in the Phils. He meet my Filipina grandmother, a Catholic in the Latin rite. They fell in love, got married and their children were/are Latin Rite Catholics. He continued to be a practicing Muslim. In his later year though when he fell ill and was dying, he converted to Catholicism in the Latin Rite since there are no Eastern Catholic Churches in the Phils.

By virtue of his heritage, a Lebanese, doesn't he belong to the Maronites, the Eastern Catholic Church? As if so, as his descendants, are we his grandchildren Maronites also?

Although I was born, baptized, confirmed, raised and studied in a private Catholic school in the Latin Rite.....in the past year, I feel very drawn to the Maronites. I know that the Latin Rite Catholics and Maronites all belong to the one and same Catholic Church but which am I? Can I say that by virtue of my paternal heritage, I am a Maronite? Or am I Latin Rite because I was baptized as one?

Thank you so very much for the enlightenment.

God bless.


Answer by Richard Geraghty on 10-21-2012:

Dear Rachel,

You have an interesting background. Ask your pastor about the situation.

Dr. Geraghty