At what point is one Catholic? (potential convert)


#1

I have been attending inquiry classes after Mass…One of my classmates told an interesting little story…(She has been attending inquiry classes for about three months)…

She said that one day two weeks ago she was watching EWTN, and the doorbell rang…It was JWs at the door…She was polite, but not interested…One of the JWs saw that EWTN was on (the rosary)…The JW then said “So, you are Catholic?”…Well my classmate struggled…She wasn’t ‘officially’ a Catholic…She answered the person’s question with an enthusiastic “Yes”…

My classmate asked the two inquiry instructors if she had replied correctly…Well, of course the two instructors were tickled…But they became serious and said “Yes, you have been attending mass, praying the rosary daily, and atttending inquiry classes”…They went on to say that under some circumstances a person in the pre-cathecumate stage is able to marry in the church and to get a Catholic funeral, if so desired…One of the instuctors even said that we COULD go to confession if we needed to…However, the other instuctor interrupted and said that that should be for VERY serious sins or issues only…she said that it would be best to wait till you are initiated in the church…

They empasized that the ONLY sacrament we cannot receive is the Eucharist until we are officially initiated.

I have been attending mass and inquiry classes now for two months…I have been praying the rosary (I am actually praying a rosary novena). I have been at least bowing when I enter the church…I also do the sign of the cross now…I have been reading the Catechism…Plus, I have a small Catholic library…(Actually it is nine books)…And I kind of think that I am Catholic…I certainly love going to mass, it has been very rewarding…

Bottom line: Do official Catholics look at those like me and my classmate as Catholic? I realize that it is a silly question…

Joe


#2

Yes, you are Catholic and you are going through the process right now, learning about all the sacraments. One day you will have recieved all 7 sacraments of the Church.

Bottom line all Christians in some way or form are Catholic, even if they do not know it. This brings all people hope that one day in this time or the next they too can be in full communion with the Church.

This is you today, Catholic by choice, faith and desire and one day soon in this age you too will be in full communion with the Church.

please note
A Catholic that has commited a mortal sin is not in full communion with the church and needs to repent and confess his sins.


#3

Just as there are “Catholics in name only” I believe there are “Catholics in all but name.”

Your profile says you were baptized Methodist… so let me turn your question around. Do official Methodists look at those like you as Methodist?

As the CCC 818 says,

“However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers . . . . All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church.”

From one Catholic to another, welcome home!


#4

Erich: Great question…I really don’t know…My mom, who is a devout Methodist, told a few people at church…The reaction was “Oh”, and the topic was dropped…So, I really don’t know…But the CCC makes it clear to me now, thanks…

Joe


#5

[quote=bjd2006pc]I have been attending inquiry classes after Mass…One of my classmates told an interesting little story…(She has been attending inquiry classes for about three months)…

She said that one day two weeks ago she was watching EWTN, and the doorbell rang…It was JWs at the door…She was polite, but not interested…One of the JWs saw that EWTN was on (the rosary)…The JW then said “So, you are Catholic?”…Well my classmate struggled…She wasn’t ‘officially’ a Catholic…She answered the person’s question with an enthusiastic “Yes”…

My classmate asked the two inquiry instructors if she had replied correctly…Well, of course the two instructors were tickled…But they became serious and said “Yes, you have been attending mass, praying the rosary daily, and atttending inquiry classes”…They went on to say that under some circumstances a person in the pre-cathecumate stage is able to marry in the church and to get a Catholic funeral, if so desired…One of the instuctors even said that we COULD go to confession if we needed to…However, the other instuctor interrupted and said that that should be for VERY serious sins or issues only…she said that it would be best to wait till you are initiated in the church…

They empasized that the ONLY sacrament we cannot receive is the Eucharist until we are officially initiated.

I have been attending mass and inquiry classes now for two months…I have been praying the rosary (I am actually praying a rosary novena). I have been at least bowing when I enter the church…I also do the sign of the cross now…I have been reading the Catechism…Plus, I have a small Catholic library…(Actually it is nine books)…And I kind of think that I am Catholic…I certainly love going to mass, it has been very rewarding…

Bottom line: Do official Catholics look at those like me and my classmate as Catholic? I realize that it is a silly question…

Joe
[/quote]

Welcome Home!

You bet you are a Catholic. I think you are! And, you are on your way to having full communion with the Chruch! But, we are Catholic in our hearts and beliefs before we can take communion. Still, you are living the faith, and that is what makes you a Catholic!

Again, Welcome Home!

Brad


#6

[quote=bjd2006pc]I have been attending inquiry classes after Mass…One of my classmates told an interesting little story…(She has been attending inquiry classes for about three months)…

She said that one day two weeks ago she was watching EWTN, and the doorbell rang…It was JWs at the door…She was polite, but not interested…One of the JWs saw that EWTN was on (the rosary)…The JW then said “So, you are Catholic?”…Well my classmate struggled…She wasn’t ‘officially’ a Catholic…She answered the person’s question with an enthusiastic “Yes”…

My classmate asked the two inquiry instructors if she had replied correctly…Well, of course the two instructors were tickled…But they became serious and said “Yes, you have been attending mass, praying the rosary daily, and atttending inquiry classes”…They went on to say that under some circumstances a person in the pre-cathecumate stage is able to marry in the church and to get a Catholic funeral, if so desired…One of the instuctors even said that we COULD go to confession if we needed to…However, the other instuctor interrupted and said that that should be for VERY serious sins or issues only…she said that it would be best to wait till you are initiated in the church…

They empasized that the ONLY sacrament we cannot receive is the Eucharist until we are officially initiated.

I have been attending mass and inquiry classes now for two months…I have been praying the rosary (I am actually praying a rosary novena). I have been at least bowing when I enter the church…I also do the sign of the cross now…I have been reading the Catechism…Plus, I have a small Catholic library…(Actually it is nine books)…And I kind of think that I am Catholic…I certainly love going to mass, it has been very rewarding…

Bottom line: Do official Catholics look at those like me and my classmate as Catholic? I realize that it is a silly question…

Joe
[/quote]

Someone who professes the whole Catholic faith and has been baptized is Catholic. You can’t recieve the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist until you are officially introduced into the Church. You can go to the confessional and confess to the priest but you can not recieve it as a sacrament until it is official.


#7

[quote=Erich]Just as there are “Catholics in name only” I believe there are “Catholics in all but name.”

Your profile says you were baptized Methodist… so let me turn your question around. Do official Methodists look at those like you as Methodist?

As the CCC 818 says,

From one Catholic to another, welcome home!
[/quote]

Keep it in perspective. The councils of the Church do say that the protestants are not a part of the Church. VII even says that the Church consists of those who confess the whole Catholic faith and are baptized. The catechism of Pius X says,

**9 Q: State distinctly what is necessary to be a member of the Church? **

A: To be a member of the Church it is necessary to be baptized, to believe and profess the teaching of Jesus Christ, to participate in the same Sacraments, and to acknowledge the Pope and the other lawful pastors of the Church.

**12 Q: The many societies of persons who are baptized but who do not acknowledge the Roman Pontiff as their Head do not, then, belong to the Church of Jesus Christ? **

A: No, those who do not acknowledge the Roman Pontiff as their Head do not belong to the Church of Jesus Christ.

**13 Q: How can the Church of Jesus Christ be distinguished from the numerous societies or sects founded by men, and calling themselves Christian? **

A: From the numerous societies or sects founded by men and calling themselves Christian, the Church of Jesus Christ is easily distinguished by four marks: She is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.


#8

[quote=bjd2006pc]I
I have been attending mass and inquiry classes now for two months…I have been praying the rosary (I am actually praying a rosary novena). I have been at least bowing when I enter the church…I also do the sign of the cross now…I have been reading the Catechism…Plus, I have a small Catholic library…(Actually it is nine books)…And I kind of think that I am Catholic…I certainly love going to mass, it has been very rewarding…

Bottom line: Do official Catholics look at those like me and my classmate as Catholic? I realize that it is a silly question…

Joe
[/quote]

It’s not a silly question, and I am delighted to hear about a catechumen embracing their new faith. Rock on, dude!

As far as what is the criteria for being a “true” Catholic; officially, to the outside world, it’s when you make your profession of faith and recieve the sacraments. Internally, it’s the point when you fully embrace the Church’s dogmatic teachings, even if it’s with some initial reservations.

Your instructors were just being cautious, and rightly so, they don’t want to say something that may give someone the wrong ideas. However, they were on the right track; for instance, if you were to die while seeking entrance to the faith, and your spiritual director knew of your intense desire to enter the Church, and that you had embraced it’s teachings, you could possibly receive a Catholic funeral.

Keep up the good work, and don’t be afraid to ask questions!


#9

[quote=Texan in DC]Yes, you are Catholic and you are going through the process right now, learning about all the sacraments. One day you will have recieved all 7 sacraments of the Church.
[/quote]

Not to nipick, but wouldn’t it be a highly unusual circumstance to actually receive all 7 sacraments in a lifetime?

Z


#10

whats a “catholic” funeral, is it in the church or something??

just wondering . . .


#11

[quote=vz71]Not to nipick, but wouldn’t it be a highly unusual circumstance to actually receive all 7 sacraments in a lifetime?

Z
[/quote]

Well, it’s possible, and I know one that I can remember. He entered the priesthood after his wife passed away. That’s the only way I know it can be done.


#12

[quote=Kitty Chan]whats a “catholic” funeral, is it in the church or something??

just wondering . . .
[/quote]

A Funeral Mass.


#13

Joe:

Congratulations!!! And Welcome to the Universal Family!

I like to think of it in marital terms. At this point you’re engaged. When Easter Vigil comes you’ll be married. You’re in a personal period of Advent/bethrothal in the sense that you’re anticipating the reality to come…but by the same disposition of Baptism by Desire—you’re a Catholic…on the other hand, the marriage is not fully installed until the I DO’s and the ‘consumation’.

God bless you in the remaining months. Prepare every aspect of your being as though you’re getting married…because in a sense, because receiving the Holy Eucharist is the Two flesh becoming One. Unity of Jesus Christ and you.

in XT.


#14

I have been attending inquiry classes after Mass…One of my classmates told an interesting little story…(She has been attending inquiry classes for about three months)…

She said that one day two weeks ago she was watching EWTN, and the doorbell rang…It was JWs at the door…She was polite, but not interested…One of the JWs saw that EWTN was on (the rosary)…The JW then said “So, you are Catholic?”…Well my classmate struggled…She wasn’t ‘officially’ a Catholic…She answered the person’s question with an enthusiastic “Yes”…

My classmate asked the two inquiry instructors if she had replied correctly…Well, of course the two instructors were tickled…But they became serious and said “Yes, you have been attending mass, praying the rosary daily, and atttending inquiry classes”…They went on to say that under some circumstances a person in the pre-cathecumate stage is able to marry in the church and to get a Catholic funeral, if so desired…One of the instuctors even said that we COULD go to confession if we needed to…However, the other instuctor interrupted and said that that should be for VERY serious sins or issues only…she said that it would be best to wait till you are initiated in the church…

They empasized that the ONLY sacrament we cannot receive is the Eucharist until we are officially initiated.

I have been attending mass and inquiry classes now for two months…I have been praying the rosary (I am actually praying a rosary novena). I have been at least bowing when I enter the church…I also do the sign of the cross now…I have been reading the Catechism…Plus, I have a small Catholic library…(Actually it is nine books)…And I kind of think that I am Catholic…I certainly love going to mass, it has been very rewarding…

Bottom line: Do official Catholics look at those like me and my classmate as Catholic? I realize that it is a silly question…

Joe

Touched by your story Joe. Praying for you.

God Bless


#15

I knew I was truly Catholic when I was going through RCIA when the question of receiving the Eucharist came up. The catecheses I was getting was long on Church history but short on such things as what sacraments we could receive and when. So, as one who was coming from high Anglicanism, I had been receiving the Eucharist all along not knowing I shouldn’t have been. :eek: It was the Holy Spirit who prompted me to ask the priest if I shouldn’t have been receiving. He hedged a bit (trying no doubt to be pastoral, bless him!) and then asked me if I believed in “the Real Presence.” As God is my witness, I’d never heard that term before! But, I answered without hesitation, “Yes! I do!” because that that instant I was given a perfect understanding of what it was as a gift of faith. The priest was amazed and relieved to hear me say that, and told me I could continue to receive. Now, I’m not so sure if he should have given me that permission or not, but I do know that at that moment I knew I was a Catholic and would be for the rest of my life.


#16

[quote=bjd2006pc]I have been attending inquiry classes after Mass…One of my classmates told an interesting little story…(She has been attending inquiry classes for about three months)…

She said that one day two weeks ago she was watching EWTN, and the doorbell rang…It was JWs at the door…She was polite, but not interested…One of the JWs saw that EWTN was on (the rosary)…The JW then said “So, you are Catholic?”…Well my classmate struggled…She wasn’t ‘officially’ a Catholic…She answered the person’s question with an enthusiastic “Yes”…

My classmate asked the two inquiry instructors if she had replied correctly…Well, of course the two instructors were tickled…But they became serious and said “Yes, you have been attending mass, praying the rosary daily, and atttending inquiry classes”…They went on to say that under some circumstances a person in the pre-cathecumate stage is able to marry in the church and to get a Catholic funeral, if so desired…One of the instuctors even said that we COULD go to confession if we needed to…However, the other instuctor interrupted and said that that should be for VERY serious sins or issues only…she said that it would be best to wait till you are initiated in the church…

They empasized that the ONLY sacrament we cannot receive is the Eucharist until we are officially initiated.

I have been attending mass and inquiry classes now for two months…I have been praying the rosary (I am actually praying a rosary novena). I have been at least bowing when I enter the church…I also do the sign of the cross now…I have been reading the Catechism…Plus, I have a small Catholic library…(Actually it is nine books)…And I kind of think that I am Catholic…I certainly love going to mass, it has been very rewarding…

Bottom line: Do official Catholics look at those like me and my classmate as Catholic? I realize that it is a silly question…

Joe
[/quote]

Yes Joe, you’re Catholic. Father God, thanks for bringing Joe home to the Catholic Church. In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. If you are interested in apologetics, pick up books by Scott Hahn (I personally recommend the Lamb’s Supper : The Mass As Heaven On Earth), Patrick Madrid, Stephen K Ray (and search other authors on Amazon as well), and especially Father Corapi. Visit the Catholic Home Study Service and get the free study courses. Go to Scripture Catholic, and newadvent.org/fathers/ and study the writings of the Early Church Fathers. Grab the 7 free apologetics CDs from Mary Foundation.

God bless!


#17

[quote=Della]I knew I was truly Catholic when I was going through RCIA when the question of receiving the Eucharist came up. The catecheses I was getting was long on Church history but short on such things as what sacraments we could receive and when. So, as one who was coming from high Anglicanism, I had been receiving the Eucharist all along not knowing I shouldn’t have been. :eek: It was the Holy Spirit who prompted me to ask the priest if I shouldn’t have been receiving. He hedged a bit (trying no doubt to be pastoral, bless him!) and then asked me if I believed in “the Real Presence.” As God is my witness, I’d never heard that term before! But, I answered without hesitation, “Yes! I do!” because that that instant I was given a perfect understanding of what it was as a gift of faith. The priest was amazed and relieved to hear me say that, and told me I could continue to receive. Now, I’m not so sure if he should have given me that permission or not, but I do know that at that moment I knew I was a Catholic and would be for the rest of my life.
[/quote]

Wow, fantastic story :heart: :angel1: :amen:


#18

[quote=Erich]Just as there are “Catholics in name only” I believe there are “Catholics in all but name.”
[/quote]

Good point! I agree 100% !!


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