3 quick questions about becomming Catholic


I am about to have lessons to become catholic (I am christened Church of England) My Husband is Catholic, we have been married 8 years and have 2 Daughters both Baptized Catholic and attend Catholic school, we go to Mass whenever possible. My Husband however is not allowed to recieve communion because I am a divorcee. I have the following questions

  1. Once I am Catholic can my Husband then recieve communion again?

  2. Once I am Catholic can we have our marriage blessed by the catholic church or would I still need to pursue an annullment?

  3. Once I am Catholic can I recieve communion?



First off - congratulations and best of luck on your journey into the Catholic Faith! Welcome and many prayers! :slight_smile:

You’ll probably have to speak to your priest about your particular situation. I’m not an expert on the annulment process, but I believe - IF your previous marriage requires an annulment (ask your priest) then your marriage can be blessed in the church. My guess is that this going to have to be the FIRST step. Once your marriage is blessed I think the rest will fall in line after that… but again - talk to your priest for your particular situation.

Good luck and God bless! :slight_smile:


Hi Mrs. Meg . . . from what you posted . . . your husband has already sought out the church’s position in relation to the validity of your marriage under Canon Law in the Catholic Church . . . and is acting according to the spiritual direction already given by Holy Church . . . in relation to partaking of Holy Eucharist . . .

Going by your original post only . . . it looks very much like you may need to walk very :gopray2: prayerfully and obediently through seeking an annulment in accordance with the Catholic Church’s Canon Law annulment proceeding . . . which . . . when legitimately accorded by the Church . . . can be a sweet freeing blessing . . . and will open wide the doors to your full communion within our wonderful Apostolic Holy Roman Catholic Church . . .

Every situation is highly individual . . . and there are many variables that can affect the outcome . . . such a proceeding is essentially a holy spiritual exercise in seeking wisdom . . . and living out holy obedience and patience within our wonderful Church . . . it can take a bit of time . . . but prayerfully :gopray2: approached it can yield holy and healthy results . . . and become a blessing for all your family . . .

I love the sweet Biblical counsel of the Holy Spirit given in regard to living under the authority of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church in matters such as these . . . it can be a great help in coming to know and understand how to walk with Christ in His Holy Church in such matters . . . If an annulment is necessary and holy communion is delayed . . . the wait will be the most important time of waiting you wll every need to experience . . . for at the end you will have the incomparable blessing of being able to receive the “real presence” of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist . . . God the Son . . . Jesus Christ . . . our Redeemer and Saviour of our souls for all eternity . . .

"Let every soul be subject to higher powers:
for there is no power but from

and those that are, are ordained of
Romans 13:1

Your Catholic priest is there for you to go to as your spiritual director . . . and he can help you with answers to all your questions . . .

God’s sweetest blessings as you complete your journey home to the Catholic church . . .

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . Lord, guide and direct+[/RIGHT]


Go see the priest about starting the nullity process for your prior marriage. A decree of nullity for your first marriage and then convalidation of your current marriage is necessary for your husband to resume the sacraments and for you to enter the Church.

The priest will speak to you about the particulars, which will depend on many factors including your ex-husband’s baptismal status and prior marriage status.


I join my best wishes and specific prayers for your great journey into the Catholic Church…and to work through the processes for annulment and regularizing your marriage. I offer the following respectfully, for you and your husband’s consideration.

First, you mentioned that “…we go to Mass whenever possible.”…I hope that is every Sunday/Holy Day of Obligation (specifically for your husband) and that the “whenever possible” is meant in an “above and beyond” this minimum but very firm Church Precept (there are only 5 precepts and this is the first and most important one).

** (Catechism of The Catholic Chruch–CCC–#2041-2043**)

2041 The** precepts of the Church** are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. The obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is **meant to guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor: **

2042 The **first precept **(“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation and rest from servile labor”) requires the faithful to sanctify the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord as well as the principal liturgical feasts honoring the mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints; in the first place, by participating in the Eucharistic celebration, in which the Christian community is gathered, and by resting from those works and activities which could impede such a sanctification of these days.82

Here is why…first it is a serious sin for any Catholic to miss Mass on Sunday/Holy Day of Obligation…not being able to receive Holy Communion is not an acceptable reason. Second…the reason that precept is so important is that even in a situation of not being able to receive Holy Communion (physically consume the Holy Eucharist)…the Church knows that Holy Mass sustains and strengthens your Catholic Faith…and most importantly…you can/and should always ask the Lord Jesus for spiritual communion with him…to come to you in his great love for you and your husband and especially your children…and for being obedient to His Church as you work through these spiritual processes.

Also, note that the other precepts (there are 5 total) only require reception of Holy Communion once per year in the Easter Season and Confession (Sacrament of Reconciliation) only once per year…these two important and great sacraments…vs…the precept for the Holy Mass…shows how important Sunday Mass/Holy Days Obligation are in the Church’s Wisdom.
Second…I recommend that you take a look at the Sacrament of Marriage section in the Catechism…the depth and profound understanding/view that the Catholic Church has of this incredible Sacrament…in beautifully stated…see CCC #1601-1666.

Third, from the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota stcdio.org/annulment.htm …some good straightforward information on the** Declaration of Nullity (annulment)** Process…the “what’s and the why’s”…clearly stated (the link has a lot more information).

Once a marriage is entered into between any two persons, Catholic, Protestant, or non-Christian, it is presumed to be a valid and binding union until the contrary can be proven. And as long as a person is bound to a previous valid marriage, the Church does not permit a second marriage to take place. The Church has established certain procedures by which persons can attempt to prove that a previous marriage was not valid or binding, thereby assuring that they are free to marry according to the rites of the Church. This usually involves those persons who seek to marry in the Church, but have been previously married. However, others too may need the assistance of the Tribunal. For example, divorced Catholics may want to settle the status of a previous marriage that ended in divorce even though they have no immediate plans to remarry.[INDENT]1. What is a Declaration of Nullity (annulment)?
A declaration of nullity states that, according to Church law, a given marriage was not valid (and therefore not binding) at the time a couple spoke their marriage vows. A person asks this Office to look at a previous marriage which has ended in divorce, and, if possible, to issue a declaration that this previous marriage no longer binds either party to the union. In no way should this process be thought of as a type of “Catholic Divorce.” A declaration of nullity states that a marriage was invalid from the beginning. A civil divorce, on the other hand, asserts that a marriage, valid or not, is dissolved. The Catholic Church does not grant divorces.

[/INDENT]Fourth, FYI, your husband could receive Holy Communion well before you enter the Church or you get a decree of nullity on your first marriage and have your marriage regularized by the Church…buy essentially he would have to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and commit to living a Married life without conjugal relations.

Lastly, the wise advice of seeing your pastor to get his help and spiritual guidance is the bottom line…all my “stuff” herein is simply to share what (little) I know…to give you a “headstart” on thinking through the processes. Also, the Holy Spirit as stated by someone else is leading you…be docile…obedient and at peace…you will not be disappointed by the The Holy Spirit!

Pax Christi


Am I right in understanding from the replies which are greatfully recieved that I cannot have lessons towards becoming catholic unless I have an annulment first?

I really don’t want to have any contact indirecty let alone directy with my ex-husband, I don’t even want him to now about the annulment, he is a Northern Ireland Protostant and very anti cathoic as are his family (they all live 5 miles away from me in Wales not Northern Ireland, they left Northern Ireland 20 years ago). While I fully intend to become catholic I would like to become catholic as smoothly as possible.

Also my comment about “attending mass whenever possible” means our Children go to Mass every wednesday with school, I have muscular dystrophy and I’m in a wheelchair, due to this fact it is not always possible to attend mass.

Thanks again


Michelle, again the best advice will come directly from your parish priest. I am sure he is well aware of the tensions in Ireland and will know how to make the process run smoothly.

I also understand how difficult it is to get to Mass when you are in a wheelchair–we take my mother to Mass with us as often as possible. It is very good that the children go to Mass with their school classes. You might also want to give them the gift of going each Sunday with their father even if it is too difficult for you to attend each week.

I will be praying for you. Please, please do call the priest had have a chat with him about your situation and follow his advice.


Since you have been previously married and divorce, the Church presumes your first marriage was valid and so you were not free to marry. Your husband, as a Catholic, was bound by Church law on this matter. When he disregarded this law, he separated himself from the Sacraments including communion. No, you are no required to become Catholic to rectify his situation regarding the sacraments. What is required is to investigate your first marriage to see if it was in fact valid. this proceeding is referred to in shorthand as “annulment”.

The Catholic pastor is the one to approach about beginning this process. You will give a statement relating all the facts surrounding your first marriage and why you believe it is invalid (that is, at the time of the marriage the conditions necessary for full, free consent were not present). You will provide names and contact information to the best of your ability of people who can testify to those facts, and provide necessary paperwork (original marriage and divorce docs, baptismal status of both parties, info on any previous marriage by either you or your ex, etc.). The priest will guide you in this process so that the paperwork is submitted to the canon law tribunal of the diocese (where you live now, or where you got married). Should their investigation prove that your first marriage was indeed invalid you will be given a decree of nullity, and then be free to have your current marriage to a Catholic convalidated (witnessed and ratified according to Church law).

In fact should you wish (as we all hope) to become Catholic yourself, rectifying the marriage situation is one step that will have to take place before you yourself can receive communion and the other sacraments.

Sit down with your husband’s pastor to discuss your personal situation, as any discussion here is only general, and this is not the place to go into your own personal details.

You are to be congratulated for showing this care and concern for your husband’s spiritual welfare, that shows true love. Once your marriage is convalidated your husband can return to the sacraments, and you can pursue the idea of becoming Catholic. Welcome home!

You do not need to initiate any personal contact with your ex or his family in order to proceed with the annulment. The tribunal handles that, all you need is to provide your side of the story, with as complete detail as possible, and the best contact info you have. If there was an abusive situation make sure the priest and the tribunal representative know that. You will be protected. In fact if your ex refuses to cooperate in the annulment process, that will work in your favor.

  • Re participating in the **Holy Prayer :gopray2: of the Mass **as often as possible . . . I got rather smashed up in an accident in 2000 and was hospitalized for six weeks or so . . . and had a bit of a long road to recovery thereafter . . . and because Mother Angelica’s Eternal Word Television Broadcasts (EWTN) weren’t broadcast in our area . . . the Lord wonderfully blessed my soul with her network’s wonderful internet :compcoff: broadcasts each and every day . . . you may have already discovered the holy wonders and riches of EWTN . . . but just in case not . . . below is a link . . .

Link: http://www.ewtn.com/

*God’s sweetest blessings on your continuing journey home to our wonderful Catholic Church . . . *

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . St. Michael protect this precious soul+
. . . and her family on her journey+
. . . Holy Mother Mary+
. . . pray for us+


No, that is not what we are saying. You can certainly receive instruction. Being received into the Church and receiving the Sacraments of Initiation (baptism, confirmation and holy communion) are dependent upon resolution of your marriage situation. The priest will guide you on this.

You do **not **have any contact with your ex during a nullity investigation. The tribunal handles everything. And, the nullity proceedings do not depend upon the ex participating. You are responsible for giving the tribunal whatever information you have on his wherabouts, but if they cannot locate him they will proceed without him.

There are many things that must be investigated regarding grounds for nullity. The tribunal will guide you.

Michelle, as you may know, there is no obligation to attend Mass when one is *unable *to do so.

Please go see your priest about your marriage situation. On a board like this we can only give you general information. How this will all unfold in your case depends upon the **specifics **of your particular situation.


I think you can go through the Rite of Acceptance, but not the Rite of Election. I’m sure someone here who is more knowledgeable will verify or correct this.

See here for an overview of the RCIA process.


Just wanted to share this because it was a really beautiful experience:

There was one couple in our RCIA class, she was Catholic, he was not confirmed or had first communion and they had not had the sacrament. Their children had also not been baptized (they were still VERY young.) Their whole family came to mass. Along with the sacraments they received their sacrament of marriage and their children were baptized. Also the rest of their family visited from Central America as it was such a large family event. It was amazing. She was also his sponsor for RCIA.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.