Hi, guys —
My husband and I are considering joining the
Catholic Church but I honestly don't have
any idea of how to go about it.
Neither I nor my daughter (She is almost
4 years old.) have ever been baptized
and my husband was raised Jewish. We would
like to send her to Catholic school but
in order to do this she must be baptized.
- If she is baptized into the Catholic Church,
do we also have to be baptized into the
Church as well or does it matter?
I'm so confused! I have been to all denominations
of churches and don't really subscribe to
one religion but do believe in God and Jesus
Christ. Anyway, I just found this web site
and thought someone could help me.
Can you provide how-to advice for our family, since we're thinking of joining the
Catholic Church? }
Hi, Heather —
Thanks for the question.
Let's start with the easy part. Your
daughter doesn't need to be a baptized
Catholic to attend most Catholic
schools. I attended Catholic school
from the third grade through High
School. Over the course of my years there,
I had several classmates who were
not Catholic and some not even Christian.
Now it's wonderful that your family
wants to enter the Church. The first
thing to do is to find and enter
a good RCIA program.
By good program, I mean the parish
priest, and those involved in the
program, need to be faithful to Rome
and the Pope. Unfortunately, that's
not always the case. If you tell
us where you live, perhaps we can help you locate one in your diocese.
Entering a RCIA program only means
you are in the searching stage. Neither
one of you are baptized and your
husband has a Jewish background,
so there is no need to rush through
things without really understanding
them. Typically, baptized Christians
go through the program between September
and April and enter the Church at
Easter. That's really too fast for
someone who doesn't have a Christian
upbringing and besides you really
need to be committed.
Catholicism isn't a buffet. A Catholic
can't choose to accept one doctrine
and reject another.
That doesn't mean we can't and don't
struggle to understand and accept
doctrines but ultimately someone
entering the Church must be convinced
the Church is the one Christ founded
on Peter and the Apostles. As such, we
are bound to submit to Her Teaching
Authority, even if it doesn't make
complete sense to us right away.
In other words, we are saying the
Church knows more than we do.
Getting to this point may take a
while but that's fine. This is a
journey in which you should allow the
Holy Spirit to lead both you and
your husband appropriately.