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Heather Orkin wrote:

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? }

John replied:

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.


Mike replied:

Hi, Heather —

I created a web page that specifically answers this question.

Here is an answer we gave to a similar couple:

Seeing your husband is Jewish, he may find this web site very interesting:

The Association of Hebrew Catholics

Seeing you may be preparing to take RCIA classes in the near future, I would encourage you to consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as faithful Catholics.

Under each boxed format for the Catechism you want, you will see, below the box, an option to buy a used version, which many times, is not really used but close to new.



Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
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The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.