Baptism that maybe should've been conditional

Prior to my baptism this past Easter Vigil, I asked my 77-yr old dad if I’d ever been baptized (my mom passed away several years ago; couldn’t ask her). He couldn’t remember but was pretty sure that the answer was no. By the time of my birth, he was a fallen-away Methodist and my mom a fallen-away Catholic. He could not find a baptism certificate or any pictures. I do not remember being baptized. My older brother doesn’t remember either of us being baptized. I told this all to my priest and was baptised at Easter Vigil.

This evening, my dad seemed to think that we (my older brother and I) might have been baptized as infants. He’s just not sure but thinks maybe. And I understand that Methodists practice infant baptism. Some pretty fuzzy memories of baptism of an older son who died in infancy have surfaced for my dad, it seems. Under these conditions, I imagine that my recent baptism should’ve been conditional.

Since I made the best possible effort to find the facts, I know that the Lord understands if a mistake was made. :rolleyes:

But does the Church require anything else? I wonder, do people who get conditional baptisms have to go to confession prior to confirmation and first Holy Communion, as do previously baptized Christians? I got baptized at Easter Vigil and knew that forgave all of my past sins and I could NOT go to confession first. But if I was baptized as an infant, then I got 50+ years of confession to do…or do I? :stuck_out_tongue:

BTW, I go to confession every two weeks, and every other is with my spiritual director, with whom I am discussing all the past sins (prior to baptism). And I do know that every confession forgives past sins that you forgot to confess, as long as you weren’t hiding them or otherwise gaming the system.

I’m not stressing about this, just wondering what is the right thing to do? The really good side of all of this is that my dad, who has been away from any kind of faith for 55 years, is thinking hard about things like baptism. :smiley:

Dear Gwen, it is probably academic now,
but If you contact Methodist and Catholic churches near where you were born and raised, and there is no record of your baptism, then it is reasonable to assume you are not previously baptised.
If you cannot produce records of your baptism and any place of Baptism cannot be traced, the presumption would be that you are not baptised.

I don’t think you need to have concerns about your recent baptism. If you have memories of an elder deceased sibling being baptised, it may have been because he was dying.
And the baptism, if it occurred, of an older sibling doesn’t guarantee that later children would have been baptised. Infant baptism for a dying child may have been a residual response of your mother as a lapsed Catholic, but she may not have considered baptism for her healthy children.

I think you can be at peace. The main issue is that, thank God, you are Baptised! In any case, you were honest and open with your priest and if there was any problem he would have said so.

God’s kindest blessings to you. :slight_smile:

If someone was previously baptized validly…than that was the only Baptism that had the effects of baptism…so yes…a person would then go to confession for all mortal sins committed since that baptism…in number and kind (as they are able…) they would not have been washed away by any further baptism…

You acted in good faith…such is not held against you :slight_smile:

So it would seem you would need to confess …

But make an appointment…:slight_smile: In the confession tell him that it turns out you may have been baptized as an infant after all…(as part of the confession as well…so that it is stated in the confession that it is possible that you were not baptized…)

and welcome home :slight_smile:

What is the normal procedure for someone coming into the Church who gets a conditional baptism? Do they go to confession prior to confirmation and Holy Communion?

The only thing that worries me a bit is that I’ve been receiving Holy Communion (I’m a daily communicant) since Easter. If I needed to go to confession, maybe I’ve been receiving unworthily?

Conditional baptism is something done in Private. Then afterward’s I believe the Priest would hear the person’s confession of any mortal sins right there…confessed I believe in sort of a conditional way…for the baptism that just happened may have been the only valid one…

Formal reception and Holy Communion and confirmation would happen usually later…

As to you…it sounds like you were in good faith? Not knowing you should confess anything? …(thus if not there is not moral fault here for you honestly did not know) of course I would refrain for now and make an appointment for confession…unless you already made a confession since then …before you found out…and thus those sins and all the mortal ones from the past (assuming you were sorry for all your mortal sins per se…not holding onto one) were absolved then indirectly…but still need to be confessed in the next confession…

But if one knowingly received Holy communion in this circumstance thinking one should not etc…then get to confession right away…

But sounds like you have not even been to Confession…so I would say hold off and get thee to a priest :slight_smile: (again telling the priest in confession what you are doing and why…and that these sins may have been washed away)

Bookcat, as I noted in my OP, I’ve been to confession every two weeks since Easter Vigil, including this past Saturday.

Prior to Easter Vigil, my father was nearly 100% sure that I was not baptized as an infant/child. I do not remember being baptized. We have no certificate or pictures (and no living relatives that would know). Based on this information, I was baptized at Easter Vigil, and told that I could not (as an unbaptized person) go to confession until after baptism.

Just last night, Dad said “I think you might actually have been baptized.”

In re- reading your post…I see you have gone to confession! Again so long as you did not deliberatedly withhold mortal sins you knew you had committed …those confessions would have absolved the past sins as well…

but you still need to round em up and bring em in :slight_smile:

still need to confess the past mortal sins…telling him what you are doing.

I’ll try to corner the priest after tomorrow morning’s Mass.

I’m thinking that since I underwent the baptism in good faith, based on the best information I had at the time, and since I’ve been going to confession since then and not intentionally hiding mortal sins, that any and all past mortal sins have been absolved through sacramental confession. But, I need to treat my pre-Easter Vigil mortal sins like sins that I honestly forgot to mention in confession and bring those up at my next confession.

Sound sensible?

yes. that is correct and sensible

Right on! (good sacramental theology for someone who just became Catholic)

if there was any lapse it was not on your part or by your intention so you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Either you were baptized years ago, or you were baptized at Easter, God knows, that is what matters. The priest and you acted in all good faith and intention so “invalid” is not even an issue. Every new Catholic should be prepared for first confession shortly after Baptism, that is part of the mystagogy process after Easter. If no one has given you this privilege ask you RCIA catechist, sponsor or priest for help. In the case of a conditional baptism the priest guides the candidate and determines if confession beforehand is appropriate, and the answer is usually yes. Simply tell at your first confession all the sins you have committed since Easter. If there is something in your past life that still weighs on you heavily, tell him about it and he can give you the assurance you need. (this is general guidance for others who have asked).

OP should simply tell the priest who received her into the Church what she has learned from her father, not because any action needs to be taken or because she has done anything wrong, but simply because it is bothering her so much and she needs his assurance that all is well.

Simply tell at your first confession all the sins you have committed since Easter

As I’ve posted a few times, I’ve been to confession every two weeks since Easter. Thanks for the thought, though.:slight_smile:

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