Will We See Our Family in Heaven?

Full Question

Does the Catholic Church believe that Catholics will be reunited with family members when they die and go to heaven?


The prayers of the Rites of Christian Burial often refer to awaiting the day we are reunited with the deceased through Jesus Christ.  As the Final Commendation prayers say: “May we comfort one another with our faith, until we all meet in Christ and are with you and (name) forever.  Through Christ our Lord.”

In the story of Abraham, Lazarus, and the Rich Man (Luke 16) all were able to recognize each other.  Moses and Elijah were recognized by the disciples (Matthew 17).  And, of course, the disciples were able to recognize Jesus after the Resurrection.

We also implore the Saints to pray for us so clearly tradition teaches that those in heaven know who we are.

So it does appear that we will be able to remember and recognize each other in heaven.  However, we will not be exactly the same as we were in this world since we will be purified from all sin and will be consumed with the presence of the Beatific Vision.

By Fr. Charles Grondin



  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    So when we die, we retain our memories? That means we will remember that there are billions of people suffering eternal torture and there’s nothing we can do to help them. Tell me again how this would be “heaven”?
    The only way heaven works for decent people is if their minds are wiped clean so they are no longer aware of how evil Yahweh-Jesus is in sending mere humans who live but a handful of decades to be tortured for all of eternity. However, wiping our minds means we will be zombies, and not who we are here and now. Why should we care about those zombies? They won’t be “us.”
    And even if heaven is reserved for those believers who relish and delight in the agony and torture of those who failed to believe, say and do the right things as dictated by celibate virgins dressed in robes, won’t it eventually get boring? I mean after a few hundred thousand years, won’t you get tired of watching those poor sinners turning on the spit? Even if heaven means getting any and everything you want, won’t there come a point where it will become sheer boredom?
    There’s a story of a guy who dies and goes to heaven and the angel at the front desk tells him he can have anything he can imagine. Being who he is, he chooses to have sex with countless beautiful women, to play endless holes of golf where he frequently scores holes in one, to dine on the very finest of foods and wines. After several thousand years, this starts to get boring, so he asks the staff if there are any other options. The angel tells him, “There is one other option. You can choose to simply die if you want to.” The man asks the angel, “Who chooses to do this?” The angel answers, “Eventually everyone.”
    I think believers instinctively realize this. I can’t recall once having a believer ask me if I will miss the rewards of heaven. They always go straight to the threat of agony in Hell. Heaven is simply avoiding Hell in their minds. I would prefer to burn in moral superiority to a god who would do such a thing to mere humans in the first place, particularly when he knows in advance what will happen to them and permits it to happen. I cannot fully respect anyone who would worship such an evil god.

  2. Aaron Reply

    Well, don’t you think that you’re one sided? It’s understandable that you don’t believe. Though it’s not ok for you to talk ill of what others believe.

    Why do people burn? It’s because of themselves. They can’t let go of their desire for things that don’t satisfy. What happens then? They’re not satisfied with just enough money. They want more and more. Even if poor people have to die because of their greed on some other part of the world. And you’re saying that a person who lives like that doesn’t deserve hell? You’re saying God is much worst than what He created?

    What God created was good. What man did was murder, steal, oppress, rape and so forth. God gave life and everything good. Man made weapons to kill and conquer. Take a look at the greedy western medicine world. The world is a world of the few with the many to suffer a hell created by the people of the world. And it is preferable to call on God’s name than to beg a back stabbing sob for help.

    The most ungrateful and arrogant species in the world is the human race. Take a look around and understand that man creates his own heaven and hell on earth.

    A man can have everything in this world. All the money, wealth, women and what not? But if he can’t find peace, then that is his hell. A beggar can have nothing. But he is more peaceful than the man who has everything. Because he is not burdened with things he’d lose. So he is in heaven.

    God is nothing but good. People who worship God respect other people and whatever it is they believe. If you’re so biased with someone just for what he or she believes in, your animosity isn’t well placed towards those particular people and is meaningless and futile.

    Rather run off and go blame the governments that do an excellent job of keeping the rich richer and the poor poorer.

  3. Aamir Akbar Reply

    I am Catholic and Baptised in early age now I am 40 years old when I was 38 a new missionary (he is against Catholicism ) visit my house and Baptised me according to his mission and church which I don’t liked please advise me now i should take new Catholic Baptised or not please satisfied me I am worried

  4. Doug Fontenot Reply

    Yahweh does NOT send anyone to Heaven, or to Hell. Souls in Heaven are not nound by time restraints and measurement, nor are they bound to Earthly interests, like golf.

    The fact that God allows suffering on Earth has no bearing upon total spiritual existence in eternity. I would hate to eat baking soda, flour, raw eggs, etc. However, I love cake. When life on Earth is over, then and only then, will we hopefully be entitled to the wisdom needed to understand the ingredients needed by humankind to understand eternal peace and joy in heaven.

  5. Jihan perez Reply

    For all God created has been good. We cannot blame God after he is giving us the free choice: to obey or disobey him. Like the angels we have our free choice to love God or hate God. In the end those who choose God from self is entitled of heaven.

  6. MarMay Reply

    Catholics believe in only ONE baptism, the first one. You do not have to be baptized again. Just go to a priest and tell him so you can continue in your original faith practices. God bless you!

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