Baptism question

My husband was raised as Catholic and I was pretty much raised as “nothing”.

I am Christian now but have never received any baptism of any sort.

Can a Catholic priest baptize me?

My husband [if he finds his confirmation papers] can rejoin the Church but as a Protestant whose abusive ex-husband took off and divorced me from a “no fault divorce” state on the other side of the country, I don’t think they’ll even allow me to be a Catholic since that can’t be “annulled” regardless of the fact that I never signed the divorce papers.

In Oregon [where he divorced me] not signing those papers meant nothing other than he had wait a time period [3 months, I think] before he was “awarded” a divorce whether I agreed to it or not.

I would be thrilled to get my hubby back in Church again even if I can’t be Catholic, too.

I do, however, want to be baptized and I’m a terribly “social phobic” so the “mass baptisms” most local churches offer scare me to death.

TIA for any help offered.


You need to talk to a priest at a nearby parish. Your situation has some complications but not overwhelming ones.

An annullment looks at what happened when the marriage occurred NOT what happened when the civil marriage was disolved. You may *think *your marriage can’t be annulled but you never know until you present it for investigation. That’s where the priest comes in; he starts the process.

Regardless, you need to resolve the issue with your prior marriage before either you OR your husband can make things right with the Church. Your husband doesn’t need his confirmation papers but since he is living in an invalid marriage, he won’t be able to receive the Sacraments. If your prior marriage is found to be null, he can reconcile with the Church and you can begin the process leading up to Baptism and reception of the other Sacraments.

If you never received any baptism, you are not Christian, regardless of how you were raised otherwise. This means that if your ex was Catholic your marriage in invalid. Even if your marriage is valid you are candidate for annulment, and validation of your recent marriage.

You must contact your local parish.

You will be enrolled in RCIA (Initiation) process.

The baptism is on Eastern Vigil Mass, there are many people around, but no mass baptism, usually there are only two or three baptism even in a large parish. In extreme case one can be baptized individually, but the first communion and confirmation are also required steps. Do not worry, Catholics are not the socializing type, they do not surround you with questions.

This is not a true statement.

Thanks because I have been sitting here crying all day over that.

An annulment or invalidation is by no means out of the question for you.

If both you and your first husband were unbaptized, you would be eligible for an invalidation of that marriage under what is called the “Pauline Privilege”.

If your first husband was baptized and you were not, then you may be eligible for an annulment under what is called the “Petrine Privilege”.
Here is a website that gives some of the requirements for the Petrine Privilege.

I assume you mean the comment about the marriage because we certainly do not have enough information about the OP’s situation to make statements about it.

However, on the first comment it is correct that for a person to be a Christian they must have been baptised using water in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Without baptism a person is not a Christian.

the only way you will know if your first marriage was invalid is to visit the pastor of the Catholic church where you would like to be received, give him all the facts, and let him guide you on how to begin the annulment process. The divorce laws of the state have nothing to do with it, the judgement looks at conditions that pertained at the time of the original contract–capacity, intention and consent. Don’t assume difficulties where none exist. If you have reason to believe your first marriage was not valid because any of those 3 were missing, on either your part or your ex’s, pursue the annulment.

Your husband needs no papers, if he was baptized, made first communion and was confirmed in the Catholic Church he needs merely to go to confession and return to the sacraments. However since your marriage needs to be convalidated (since he is a Catholic who married a divorced person, and married outside the laws of the Church) there may be a delay. He will need to go to his baptismal parish and get a new record of baptism showing all sacraments received as part of preparing to convalidate your current marriage, but that won’t happen until the issue of your first marriage is resolved. The sooner you start the sooner you can get through this.

If you have never been baptized you are not yet Christian even though you share Christian beliefs, and yes you can be baptized, confirmed and make first communion in the Catholic church. The process to prepare for reception into the Church is called RCIA. Tell the priest you want to explore this when you make the appointment to discuss your marriage situation.

Most of the time these matters resolve themselves with much less difficulty, time, cost and trouble than people fear. It is also a healing process and you both owe it to yourselves to put your union on the right foot, under the protection of Christ.

Welcome home, no matter how long it takes. We hardly have “mass baptisms” unless you thing 3 to 5 adults is a lot. We do baptize 40 babies at a time, but adults are baptized at Easter in the most beautiful moving religious service, the Easter Vigil, you will ever experience. When you start RCIA you can discuss your anxiety issues with the priest and those preparing you and they will take your comfort level into account.

And yes Christ himself tells us baptism is the entry into his church, but you are quite right that for an adult this begins with faith, and you have already come a long way on the faith journey to have accepted the Christian creed. The rites are a way of participating in the specific ways Christ himself gave us as vehicles for his grace.


I was not refering to that portion of the statement. I didn’t cut the quote appropriately. Too late to edit when I noticed.

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