After the recent storm, I haven’t been the same. I feel like everything is crashing down on me, and I am feeling a lack of faith. Any suggestions?… It sounds like you’ve been jolted or shaken by a recent event. Whether it’s a storm driven by the weather or other life events, we understand your feelings of losing faith. Stress, anxiety, and the emotions
[...] questions marked the Houston couple's long on-again, off-again courtship and periodically have resurfaced in family life that now includes two young sons. Long faced by cross-cultural, interfaith couples like the Abou-Sayeds, these challenges to domestic harmony increasingly are gaining relevance as America plunges into a multicultural 21st century. Riley, a New York Post columnist and former Wall Street Journal editor who extensively has written about religion, said the durability of and satisfaction with such marriages vary depending on which traditions they unite. While her own research found no significant difference in divorce rates between interfaith and same-faith marriages, other studies have reported interfaith unions are three times more likely to end in separation and divorce. Infant baptism is paramount in Catholic teaching, he said, and the church exacts pledges from members marrying a non-Catholic to "do their best" in seeing their children are reared in the faith. Tere Johnson, a devout Catholic who now is assistant director of the local archdiocese's family life office, and her husband, Randy, a Lutheran computer software developer, have labored to ease the religious divide in their 25-year marriage. Tere Johnson, 46, recalled that her selection of a Protestant as a potential mate dismayed her widowed father, an intensely religious Mexican immigrant who spoke little English. The American Jewish community has responded to the perceived dilution of the faith through creating the Jewish Outreach Institute, which promotes "Big Tent Judaism" to interfaith couples. Paul Golin, the group's associate executive director, noted national surveys revealed a steady growth in mixed-faith marriages involving Jews. [...] despite an increase in interfaith marriages, last November's Pew Research Center study found that the children of such unions increasingly identified culturally and/or religiously with Judaism. Mark Herzfeld, a 45-year-old League City engineer, and his Methodist wife, Jackie, also an engineer, recalled the difficulty the couple had finding a rabbi to officiate at their marriage 19 years ago. Herzfeld, himself the offspring of a Jewish-Christian marriage, finally arranged for his reform congregation rabbi to perform the ceremony, which took place at an area yacht club. In 1970, up to 25 percent of non-Jewish women married to Jewish men converted to Judaism. Like the Herzfelds, Smith and her husband, David, a lawyer, plan to embrace aspects of their dual religious traditions. [...] Gongora, perhaps yearning for the comfort of her own Catholic girlhood, saw no problem in reciting familiar children's prayers to the youngsters as she rocked them to sleep. The couple met 17 years ago at the University of Texas as Gongora, passing a knot of students on the Quad, witnessed her future husband verbally spar with a sidewalk evangelist.