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Lydia wrote:

Hi, guys —

My name is Lydia. I am 39 years old and I grew up in several different Protestant churches but was never baptized. I married someone who also grew up in several different Protestant churches but was never baptized. Neither one of us has been married before. We were married by a non-Denominational minister.

We have two sons, 10 and 7. I have felt a calling to raise our children in a church. I have been praying and searching my heart and I keep feeling that I should become Catholic. My husband says he doesn't want to join a church but Is open to my becoming Catholic.

I would like to first become Catholic and then later have my children baptized Catholic and raised in the Church.

  • Do you know if it is possible for me to become Catholic?
  • Is it possible for me to have them baptized?
  • Do you know if I can do this, if my husband isn't Catholic?

Thank You for your help.


  { If I join the Church but my husband doesn't want to, is it possible for my children to be baptized? }

Mike replied:

Dear Lydia,

Thanks for the very good questions.

The Church welcomes your family with open arms!

Your husband does not have to join unless he wishes to, though he would have to agree to the children being raised Catholic, on your part, in order for them to be baptized.

For that matter, any baptism in the Church requires that there is a reasonable hope that the children or recipient of the baptism be raised Catholic. This assumes being well catechized in what and, why the Church believes what she believes.

Since local parish religious instruction can be terrible, like it was for me, we recommend solid, age-appropriate reading matter to learn the faith on your own, done within the family.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, YouCat, or the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church are good places to start.

YouCat is intended for kids.

If the husband did object to you becoming Catholic, you could probably join through the Pauline Privilege. [another page]

Above what I have said, the best place to start is with the pastor at a local Catholic parish.

Try to find one that is faithful to the Church and has a lot of ministries to choose from.


Lydia replied:

Hi Mike,

Thank you for your response.

  1. If my husband agrees, can I then become Catholic?
  2. If my husband disagrees, am I prevented from becoming Catholic?
  3. What is Pauline Privilege?
    I was thinking of becoming Catholic even if he doesn't want the children to be Catholic.
  4. Is this possible?

I appreciate your help.


Mike replied:

Hi, Lydia —

You said:

  1. If my husband agrees, can I then become Catholic?

Whether your husband wants or doesn't want you to become Catholic is not an issue.
It's your free will, not his.

  1. If my husband disagrees, am I prevented from becoming Catholic?

No. You are still more than welcome to become a Catholic.

  1. What is Pauline Privilege?

It address this situation, where one unbaptized spouse wants to become Catholic, but the other unbaptized spouse doesn't want the other spouse to join. These postings should help:

  1. Is this possible?

You should talk to the pastor about this issue.

Sorry, that's the best I can do.


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