I’ve been divorced but am not remarried. Can I become Catholic?
Certainly. Unless you plan to marry, you do not need to obtain an annulment.
I’ve been divorced and am remarried, and my spouse is divorced and remarried. Can I become Catholic?
You and your current spouse need to begin the annulment process, and you should begin it as soon as possible even if your spouse is not considering entry into the Church. Please contact the parish staff for information on how to proceed. Of course, you can attend RCIA instructions while the annulment process is ongoing. But reception into the Church has to wait until the annulment process has been completed.
I heard I need a sponsor in order to become Catholic. What is that, and how do I get one?
A sponsor is a practicing, confirmed Catholic, over the age of 16, in good standing with the Church who accompanies you on your journey through RCIA. The sponsor has the job of helping you through the process, and of verifying at the main rites that you are ready to take the next step. This person should be a good model of the Catholic faith, who has a working knowledge of what the Church teaches.
Does my sponsor have to come to class with me?
Yes. Not only should they attend all sessions with you, they should also make a point to discuss material covered in class during the week. Doing so will help you really incorporate what you have learned into your daily life.
Can I be baptized again?
No. The Catholic Church recognizes baptisms from other Christian communities as valid, as long as they are as Christ instructed: “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”, with flowing water. If you are unsure if your baptism is valid, contact the church where you were baptized for clarification.
Why can't I receive communion yet?
The Church teaches that you have to be in communion in order to receive communion. Being in communion means that you are in friendship with God and His church. In other words, you need to be without grave sin, and you must have professed your adherence to the Catholic Church, its teachings, and authority.
If I join the class, do I have to become Catholic?
No. Everyone’s faith journey looks different. You may not be ready to join the church when all of our sessions are completed, and that’s okay. You are more than welcome to continue with us for as long as you would like.
Outside of class, what should I be doing?
You are expected to attend all sessions, practices, reflections, rites, RCIA-attended masses, and a retreat.
There are also many things that I would encourage you to do, such as:
· Encounter: First Friday of the Month at 6:30p.m.
· The Alpha Experience
· Join a Small Group
· Get Involved in a Ministry
· Pray Everyday
· Ask Questions
· Read About the Lives of the Saints
· Listen to Christian / Catholic Radio
· Talk with Your Sponsor Often
When do I go to Confession?
If you are validly baptized, you will be required to go to confession before your initiation at the Easter Vigil. If you are not baptized, you are not required to go to confession until after the Easter Vigil. In both cases, you must go to confession after the Easter Vigil as needed before receiving communion.
What if I have to miss class?
Family comes first. If you need to miss a class, make sure you contact the director for instruction on missed material, and to possibly arrange for a make-up session.
How do I know when I am ready to be Catholic?
This is a great and tough question, because the personal answer varies. In general, you know you are ready to be Catholic when you have adhered to the beliefs, teachings, and authority of the church, and you are ready to Be the Church. Becoming Catholic is not about joining a club, but about serving, tithing, engaging, praying, participating in sacraments, and sharing our faith with others. When you desire to do these things, then you are ready to ask the Holy Spirit for the gifts to do God’s work in your world.
Once I become Catholic, then what?
After the Easter Vigil, we will have several more sessions to help you in your next steps. The RCIA is not just about gaining knowledge, but growing in relationship with God AND HIS CHURCH! Involvement in parish life is essential to your faith journey. Statistically, 75% of new Catholics leave within 1 year of their initiation. Make a plan for how you will stay connected, and we’ll be here each step of the way.