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Extrapolating from the Pew statistics on Jewish intermarriage (over 70 percent among the non-Orthodox) and overall Jewish population in the United States (about 5.3 million, if one includes nonreligious, ethnic Jews), there are tens of thousands of Jewish-Catholic intermarriages in the United States.And a good number of them surely involve partners with strong commitments to their separate traditions. Woll and Sweeney married in 2010, a second marriage for each.Sitting in these Filipino-Catholic houses, trying to de-Catholicize the inhabitants, Sweeney was intrigued by iconography all around him.“I would look at all their Catholic stuff, and I was very interested, like in their home altars and their pictures of saints,” he said, when I met him and Woll in the comfy, New England-y Vermont house they were about to vacate for Milwaukee.
” they are italicizing the questions that all of us who believe in long-term romantic unions ask, every day of our conjoined lives: When is a sacrifice worth making, and when is it too much?
But in terms of becoming a Catholic, it was not in the cards, not just yet.
After returning from the Philippines, Sweeney began occasional visits to Gethsemani, Thomas Merton’s famous Trappist monastery in Kentucky.
One is committed to raising the children within the faith, while the other will give the children latitude to come to their own conclusions about God and the universe.
And I always imagine, as a Jew, that Roman Catholics have it easy.