We thought we were doing everything right.

Every Sunday, we went to Mass as a family, our children received their sacraments, they went to CCD, and we taught them their prayers. However, over time, we realized the faith never ignited in their souls. We recognized we had to make a change, and that we were losing our children. Because of our own inadequacies in our faith we didn’t know what to do. We were upset and very concerned.

One weekend we decided to search for a parish that would meet our desperate needs. We found St. Francis Cabrini in Littleton, Colorado and the Life Teen program. We truly felt it was the right place for our family, but only two of our three children embraced the Life Teen program. Our frustration continued with our oldest son and we reached out to a Life Teen staff member for help. Acting on her suggestion, we asked our son to attend a Steubenville conference but he was absolutely against it. He rebelled at the suggestion of a retreat and we were so desperate that we bribed him. We told him that if he went to the conference we would forgive the debt he owed us and he begrudgingly agreed!

That conference changed his life. He experienced an unbelievable conversion thanks to the Holy Spirit and today he is a Catholic priest.

Our message to parents is to never give up. Do whatever you need to do to save your child’s faith, and to lead them in the right direction, which is God! Think about this, if your child was stuck in an addictive lifestyle or had any major life problem, you would go to great efforts to help him or her. It should be no different if he or she is losing the faith. Take that step, make the effort, and fight for your child and his or her faith life – even if it comes down to a bribe.


About the Author

Mary and Darrell Nepil

Mary and Darell Nepil live in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. They have three children and three grandchildren. Their oldest son, Father John Nepil, is currently studying for his PhD in Rome at Santa Croce University. Steve, the second oldest child, is married with one daughter. Steve is the Youth Director at St. Francis Cabrini Catholic Church in Littleton, Colorado. Katie, the third child, is married with two little boys. Mary is a retired elementary school teacher and is active in Endow, and Darell works as an HR Director for CH2M Hill and is completing his fourth year of formation and will be ordained June 2017.