A Question about Confirmation

I was baptized when I was born and then slowly became disconnected from the Church. Baptism is the thing I have done in the Church.

During college, I attempted to go through the confirmation process but was told by the lady who was in charge of the class that I could not become a member of the church because I had no recieved the sacraments at the correct age. I later talked with friends uncle who is a Priest and he said it doesn’t matter what age you are just as long as you complete each sacrament in the correct order. Is this correct?

Also, he said that no one can determine your relationship with God and that RCIA isn’t necessarily needed to become a member.

I am looking for clarification on the whole confirmation process as a 24 year old male. I recently found a new relationship with God during my mothers 7 month battle with cancer. When she passed, I felt this comfort only God could give me and decided to get back into the church.

Basically, my question is:
Do I have to enroll in RCIA and how long is the class?

Thank you,

Chris

If you were baptized a Catholic you do not have to go through RCIA. If that’s the case, talk to your parish staff about what’s needed.

If you were not baptized a Catholic, then you should go through the RCIA process.

Hope this helps. God bless.

First off, welcome! And you most certainly will be able to complete the sacraments of initiation and most certainly already are Catholic because of your Catholic baptism. :thumbsup:

You should call your local parish and ask about adult sacrament preparation. Ideally this will be a separate class for people like yourself who are already Catholic, but for whatever reason have not completed their sacraments of initiation. Unfortunately in the real world, many parish do not have the resources to have multiple classes, so you may be prepared for your sacraments along with the folks in RCIA preparing for baptism and candidates preparing to enter the Church, although you are not actually in RCIA. As for how long it takes, that just depends. Most parishes have a general schedule, but it will take as long as is necessary for your own personal journey.

The only way to get more specific answers to your question is to call your local parish, explain the situation, and ask how exactly it works there. :smiley:

Our parish has a special 10 week course during Lent and Easter season for Catholics who never received Confirmation. Our bishops grant priests the faculty to confirm on Pentecost so we celebrate Confirmation with them at that time. Some in the group never received First Communmion. After an interview we determine if they need RCIA or if the Confirmation class will be enough to prepare them. With adults, the proper order is to receive Confirmation before Eucharist, ideally both at the same Mass if they never received either…

It is correct that RCIA may not be necessary for a person Baptized as a Catholic. However it may be the best option.

It is not possible to receive a Sacrament and it be invalid because of your age, It may have been illicit to receive a Sacrament at some specific age. For instance in the Latin Church a 3 year old could be Confirmed, however unless the child was in danger of death, it would be illicit, but not necessarly invalid.

The only order requirement is that Valid Baptism must be received before any other Sacraments can be validly received. There is a specific order in various Rites of the Church but they do not efffect validity.

The “lady in charge” gave you wrong information, which is why it is always best to first make an appointment with the priest in charge–the pastor–and give him all the facts of your situation. My guess is the lady in charge did not have all the facts, or misunderstood what you told her, or simply was trying to pretend to knowledge and authority she does not have.

RCIA is for the unbaptized, or adapted for those baptized into another Christian denomination, and is the ordinary means for them to become Catholic.

Baptized Catholics fall under different provisions in the canon law, but there is an option under RCIA to include them in the instructional and preparation portion of the process, but they do not celebrate any of the rites, other than the sacraments themselves, and those are celebrated at the age, time and place the Bishop determines for your diocese.

Separate the formal class part of RCIA from the rites, because in most parishes, due to available resources, all adults preparing for any of the sacraments of initiation–Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion–will be in the same class for their instruction, but usually non-Catholic candidates meet also at another time for what they need in addition.

Yes you can be confirmed and make first communion, yes there is a procedure, yes your parish is the place to go for this. Some Catholic Campus ministry programs also offer this, at least the classroom portion, even the sacraments are celebrated elsewhere.

Call your pastor today.

Do try to be patient and go with the flow in whatever preparation is suggested, even if you think you don’t need it. In my experience and those of the colleagues with whom I work closely, baptized Catholics who come as adults to Confirmation are among those most in need of instruction. That may not be your case, but it is common enough that at least a year of preparation is prescribed in many dioceses for adult Catholics who come for Confirmation and/or First Communion. This is because, often like OP, they have become disaffected with the Church for various reasons, and have a lot of questions that need answers, and have a lot of misinformaion to overcome. It also is because often their are marriage or lifestyle issues that also must be addressed and worked through.

A Catholic who has been baptized, but has formally defected from the Church, usually through membership in another denomination or religion, is in a special case and deserves and needs to have both their pastoral and formational circumstances recognized and addressed. He most definitely needs to confer with his pastor, no lay person is competent to give him all the care he needs.

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