Coming back to the church

Welcome Catholic Moms! Forums Religious Questions Coming back to the church

This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  catholicforlife 6 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #2242

    midwestgirl
    Member

    I am new to this forum and have a few questions. I am just starting to return to the church after being absent for over 10 years. I was raised a cradle Catholic and it broke my mom and dad’s heart to see me leave the church when I was a teenager. I went through a very troublesome youth and was involved with people who were very anti religion and into bad things and its taken me a number of years to come to terms with my past. I cleaned up my ways and met my husband who helped turn my life around and bring me to a more fulfilled place. We have 2 wonderful children, ages 3 and 1. My husband was raised Presbyterian and when we were married, we decided to choose our own church and started going to the Methodist church. When our son was born, we had him baptized in the Methodist church. My daughter is a year old and I have not yet had her baptized. This past year has been a challenge for me and I finally had an “lightbulb” moment where I realized that I truly was missing the church. I went through a serious bout of postpartum depression and feel as though God has punished me for my sins. I want to live a better life and return to my roots. It is important to me to raise my children in the Catholic church just as I had. I have really felt like a lost soul and attending Mass finally gives me a connection. God has a plan for me.
    I am going to contact our parish priest this week but wanted to get some upfront advice about my situation from you guys.
    My husband and I were married by a Presbyterian minister, then we joined the Methodist church before our son was born and our son was baptized there. We stopped going to the Methodist church just over a year ago and have returned to the Catholic church. My husband is wanting to convert to the Church.
    My questions then are:
    1. Our marriage will have be convalidated in order to be excepted by the church ( I did not get permission prior to marrying in the Presbyterian Church), is this correct?
    2. Our son, since he is only 3; will they have to baptize him again?
    3. Will we have to be full converts (marriage accepted and husband converted) before our daughter can be baptized?

    As I mentioned, I was a baptized as an infant and received my first communion in the Catholic church. I was never confirmed though.

    I would appreciate anyone’s advice on this, so I have an idea of what to expect from the priest and our meeting this week.

    Thanks
    Sue

    #3907

    rosannajames
    Member

    1. Our marriage will have be convalidated in order to be excepted by the church ( I did not get permission prior to marrying in the Presbyterian Church), is this correct?
    2. Our son, since he is only 3; will they have to baptize him again?
    3. Will we have to be full converts (marriage accepted and husband converted) before our daughter can be baptized?

    As I mentioned, I was a baptized as an infant and received my first communion in the Catholic church. I was never confirmed though.

    I definitely think you need to talk with the priest in order to get your questions answered. I am pretty sure that the baptism will be accepted for your son. I’m not sure about your other questions. Just ask the priest. Praying that all goes well! Welcome back to the Church! :D

    #3908

    ashersmomma
    Member

    Wow, that is an awesome story! I am a Catholic convert of 3 yrs and also from MO!! Welcome back to the Church!!! I agree, the only way to be 100% for sure is to of course talk to a priest. BUT, being that I am in a similar boat I can TRY to guess what the answers will be if that will help…

    1) Since you left the Church and are not in “good standing” with the Church you will probably need to go through part of the RCIA process, most importantly, reconciliation and have a brush up on Church doctrine and then be confirmed. After your husband has competed the entire RCIA process (will not have to be baptized again if he was baptized in a Christian Church in the name of the Father, the Son…) then your marriage will be validated by the Church. A lovely, simple, little ceremony. Even though I converted after marriage, my marriage with my still Protestant husband still isnt valid in the eyes of the Catholic CHurch, so technically I guess I am commiting fornication??????? Yikes.

    2) My son will be 3 in June and he is not baptized at all!!! If your son was baptized in the name of the name of the Holy Trinity and you have official proof of that, then that should be fine. That is waht they told me when we registered my son for Catholic pre-school. My husband and I are in the works of coming to an agreement over our son being baptized. He of course does not believe it to be a sacrament.

    3) the way it has been explained to me is that as long as one parent is Catholic then the child can be baptized. As soon as my husband “allows” it then it SHALL BE DONE!! After being confirmed then you can go ahead and baptize your baby!!

    I’m so happy for you that your husband wants to convert, it will make things so much easier. Sorry to throw a few of my personal stuff in there when answering your questions, I almost feel the need to explain myself, it’s embarressing that my child isnt even baptized. Some people treat me like, “and you call yourself a Catholic????” I hope my opinion/answers helped. Dont be nervous when meeting with the priest, jsut be genuine and honest! So glad to have you with us!! May peace be with you, Gina

    #3909

    Hi Sue!

    Welcome home! I’ve just recently come back home too! It’s an awsome feeling, isn’t it! Because I hadn’t taken CCD as a kid, I did have to take RCIA classes before I could be confirmed. Additionally, I’ve done alot of checking into doctrine and cannon law on the issues you’ve mentioned. I’m not an expert, but I’ve already bugged plenty of them in order to get a good grip on it!

    Just in case you haven’t been able to get your questions answered yet….

    1) All first marriages are presumed to be valid under cannon law (unless/until proven otherwise in a nulification process). This includes even civil unions where no church is involved. So the answer to your concern about living in a state of sin, that would only be the case if one of you had previously been married. Since you had not been confirmed, issues of being married outside the church, or being in less than good standing, shouldn’t apply. You may find yourselves simply wanting to have your marriage convalidated, as a confirmation of this great new chapter in your life together and to receive the blessings it bestows!

    2) Your husband will definitely need to take RCIA classes. If you yourself had completed your pre-confirmation classes, you might only need a brief brush-up. I personally recommend taking RCIA with your husband. At the very least, it’ll refresh your memory and it can help your marriage grow in faith! A definite win/win!

    3) “We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sin…” Baptisms performed in other Christian denominations are nearly always valid, especially in more conventional churches. The only ones that aren’t recognized, that I am aware of are the LDS (or Mormon churches) and some of the splinter groups of the Baptist faith. The key things are that the person was baptized by water in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit or Ghost. “Baptized by water” includes sprinkling, pouring and immersion. I’m not well versed in the Methodist church, but I believe that your son’s baptism is valid.

    4)Do you have to wait until you’ve been confirmed before your daughter can be baptized? According to doctrine and cannon law, no. (The prefernces and practices of your local diocese and parish may differ at the bishops discretion.) What is absolutely required is that there is at least one Godparent who is a confirmed Catholic in good standing. In the case of my children, because I was a registered member of the parish, already taking various Adult Ed classes and demonstrating a sincere devotion to the faith, my children were able to be baptized before my RCIA classes officially began!! (Note that their father has no affiliation to the church whatsoever.) I did have to attend a pre-baptism parents’ class that explained the doctrine and laws regarding the Sacrament.

    If your preist is over-extended, like far too many are these days, your RCIA co-ordinator or DRE (Director of Religious Ed) can be great sources of information! I also recommend getting your hands on a copy of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”, it is THE best comprehensive source on the official Doctrines. A good easier reading overview of it is “The Cathechism Handbook” by Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

    I hope that this helps answer your questions, but really I hope that all I’ve done is reiterate what you’ve already learned from your preist!

    Congrats and God bless you!
    Laura[/i]

    #3910

    1. Our marriage will have be convalidated in order to be excepted by the church ( I did not get permission prior to marrying in the Presbyterian Church), is this correct?

    The possibility is good that it will. Unless you did something to formally cut yourself off from the Church, you still had a wedding while still under Canon Law, which requires all Catholics to be married by a priest or deacon in the Catholic Church (unless you got permission to be married elsewhere by someone not a priest or deacon, in which case a priest would have to be present for it to be valid), but this is a question that you’ll want to get an answer straight from your priest’s mouth. Be very thorough in explaining the circumstances under which you got married, and anything you may have done to cut yourself off from the Church.

    2. Our son, since he is only 3; will they have to baptize him again?

    A baptism is valid as long as it is done with the words, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

    3. Will we have to be full converts (marriage accepted and husband converted) before our daughter can be baptized?

    You’ll want to talk to your DRE about this.

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