Bringing older children into the Church?

I am a revert to the faith with children. My younger son isn’t an issue because he’s only 3. My older son is almost 7. The CCD program at the church states that the First Communion program is a 2 year program. Assuming we get him baptized ASAP, he still cant’ enroll until the next school year. The director wasn’t sure he’d be able to enroll in the 2nd year of the two year program. She suggested that sometimes older children are baptized, have first confession and first communion at the same time, like an adult convert, but not confirmation because he would then be able to enroll in CCD with other kids his age. I’ve left a message for the pastor, but he hasn’t gotten back to me yet. Does anyone have experience with bringing children into the church?

SAHmommy

[quote=SAHmommy]I am a revert to the faith with children. My younger son isn’t an issue because he’s only 3. My older son is almost 7. The CCD program at the church states that the First Communion program is a 2 year program. Assuming we get him baptized ASAP, he still cant’ enroll until the next school year. The director wasn’t sure he’d be able to enroll in the 2nd year of the two year program. She suggested that sometimes older children are baptized, have first confession and first communion at the same time, like an adult convert, but not confirmation because he would then be able to enroll in CCD with other kids his age. I’ve left a message for the pastor, but he hasn’t gotten back to me yet. Does anyone have experience with bringing children into the church?

SAHmommy
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Typically when older children (having reached the age of reason) are brought into the church they are baptized, confirmed, and receive first Eucharist at the Easter Vigil along with all the adult converts. Sometimes this is called RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation of Children.) It’s really just RCIA tailored to be meaningful to young people.

Usually age 7 is considered the age of reason. I guess since your son is almost seven it is kind of a judgement call as to whether or not he has reached the age of reason.

Generally First Reconcilliation/First Eucharist programs are two years, no matter what the age of the child when they enter the program. So children who enter the program as second or third graders still have to go through a two years of instruction. Parishes often have a special class for children who begin instruction from about third grade or up. But that is assuming the child has already been baptized.

I am really surprised that your parish is not recommending your son enter the Church via RCIA. Perhaps the perceived problem is that he would be confirmed sooner than his peer group. IMHO, that is a big mistake on the part of your parish.

[quote=SAHmommy]I am a revert to the faith with children. My younger son isn’t an issue because he’s only 3. My older son is almost 7. The CCD program at the church states that the First Communion program is a 2 year program. Assuming we get him baptized ASAP, he still cant’ enroll until the next school year. The director wasn’t sure he’d be able to enroll in the 2nd year of the two year program. She suggested that sometimes older children are baptized, have first confession and first communion at the same time, like an adult convert, but not confirmation because he would then be able to enroll in CCD with other kids his age. I’ve left a message for the pastor, but he hasn’t gotten back to me yet. Does anyone have experience with bringing children into the church?

SAHmommy
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If a child is received into the Church “as an adult” then the Rite requires that Baptism, Holy Communion and confirmation be celebrated at the same time. I would suggest that you speak with your pastor about Baptizing him ASAP. Prepare for Holy Communion in two years and Confirmation whith his class.

I converted when my son was 4, but we had him baptised at the Easter Vigil when the adults (and one other child in similar circumstances) were being baptised. We had asked him if he wanted to do it with everyone else (easter vigil) or by himself (small family service). He picked Easter.
In your case, your son is old enough I would ask him about it too, but still send him through the first communion preparation and just have him be the oldest one there. We have done that now in my current parish several times with converts, we’ve had kids 9, 10, 11 or so go up with the 7 yr olds for first communion. He is old enough I think he needs to understand what is happening and why, and he should have the training beforehand so he knows that the Eucharist is Jesus.
Just my thoughts as a fellow convert.

[quote=SAHmommy]I am a revert to the faith with children. My younger son isn’t an issue because he’s only 3. My older son is almost 7. The CCD program at the church states that the First Communion program is a 2 year program. Assuming we get him baptized ASAP, he still cant’ enroll until the next school year. The director wasn’t sure he’d be able to enroll in the 2nd year of the two year program. She suggested that sometimes older children are baptized, have first confession and first communion at the same time, like an adult convert, but not confirmation because he would then be able to enroll in CCD with other kids his age. I’ve left a message for the pastor, but he hasn’t gotten back to me yet. Does anyone have experience with bringing children into the church?

SAHmommy
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An adult or child of canonical age, (about age 7, or the age of reason) must be admitted to the Church, after due preparation and with proper dispostion, with full initiation, that is the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Eucharist (first communion). That practice is not always followed but that is the law according the the new (since 1970) Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The recommended period of preparation varies, but should not be less than a year, beginning right after Easter and going year-round, two years is usual if the parish follows a “school year” schedule.

A child below that age is considered an infant and should be baptized as soon as possible, and then prepared for first communion and Confirmation at the age recommended by the bishop of the diocese. These are the practices of the Latin Rite, so unless the parents belong to one of the Eastern Rites we won’t go off the track by discussing their practices.

If you came to me my strong recommendation would be for you to baptize both children immediately, since neither is yet 7, and then enroll them in RE at the usual age for the other sacraments. The usual preparation of school age children is at least two years, no law says they must receive first communion in 2nd grade. Most parishes have children of varying ages in these programs.

If parents of another Christian denomination enter the Church, and their children have already been baptized, they are admitted to the Church at the same time, and prepare for first communion and/or confirmation at the same time, usually in a class with their peers. If the children are smaller (below age 7, already baptized) they are entered in the register with their parents, and prepare for the other sacraments at the usual age.

[quote=asquared]If you came to me my strong recommendation would be for you to baptize both children immediately, since neither is yet 7, and then enroll them in RE at the usual age for the other sacraments.
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Well, he will be 7 in 2 months. Right now, we don’t have a male Godparent for the boys. This has also been an issue. We have plenty of Catholics on my side of the family but DH wants one of the godparents to be from his family. He doesn’t accept that the godparents must be Christian. My parish requires that at least one godparents must be Catholic in good standing and the other can be a Christian, but must be in good standing, meaning church membership. The only family member on his side that belongs to a church, belongs to a Universal Unitarian, which the priest said doesn’t count as Christian.
SAHmommy

[quote=SAHmommy]Well, he will be 7 in 2 months. Right now, we don’t have a male Godparent for the boys. This has also been an issue. We have plenty of Catholics on my side of the family but DH wants one of the godparents to be from his family. He doesn’t accept that the godparents must be Christian. My parish requires that at least one godparents must be Catholic in good standing and the other can be a Christian, but must be in good standing, meaning church membership. The only family member on his side that belongs to a church, belongs to a Universal Unitarian, which the priest said doesn’t count as Christian.
SAHmommy
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Just to clarify:

In order to be a Godparent a person MUST be Catholic in good standing and meet other requirements. A validly Baptized Christian of the opposite gender as the Catholic Godparent can be admitted WITH the Catholic Godparent as a “Christian Witness” to the Baptism NOT as the second Godparent.

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]Just to clarify:

In order to be a Godparent a person MUST be Catholic in good standing and meet other requirements. A validly Baptized Christian of the opposite gender as the Catholic Godparent can be admitted WITH the Catholic Godparent as a “Christian Witness” to the Baptism NOT as the second Godparent.
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Does the child HAVE to have one of each gender? Whether the other one is a Christian Witness or a Godparent doesn’t change the fact that there are no Christians in good standing on my husband’s side of the family. Right now, he doesn’t want to have the children baptize unless one of his family members participates. His mother was baptized Anglican, but no one else in his family was and the only sibling that goes to church goes to a Universal Unitarian church. Am I correct in assuming that the Church does not consider the UU church to be Christian?
SAHmommy

[quote=SAHmommy]Does the child HAVE to have one of each gender? Whether the other one is a Christian Witness or a Godparent doesn’t change the fact that there are no Christians in good standing on my husband’s side of the family. Right now, he doesn’t want to have the children baptize unless one of his family members participates. His mother was baptized Anglican, but no one else in his family was and the only sibling that goes to church goes to a Universal Unitarian church. Am I correct in assuming that the Church does not consider the UU church to be Christian?
SAHmommy
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Only one Catholic Godparent is required for the Rite of Baptism or solemn Baptism. The Godparent is not necessary for the validity of the Sacrament. Your husband should not be interfering in you Baptizing the children in the Catholic Church. You are correct his sibling who is UU is not a validly Baptized Christian. Is his mother a practicing Anglican in good standing with her church? If so she could be the Christian witness along with a Catholic Godparent from your family.

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]Only one Catholic Godparent is required for the Rite of Baptism or solemn Baptism. The Godparent is not necessary for the validity of the Sacrament. Your husband should not be interfering in you Baptizing the children in the Catholic Church. You are correct his sibling who is UU is not a validly Baptized Christian. Is his mother a practicing Anglican in good standing with her church? If so she could be the Christian witness along with a Catholic Godparent from your family.
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No, she is not a practicing Anglican.
He doesn’t see it as interfering. He sees it as unfair to have only my side of the family involved in this. To him, it’s the same as if only my side of the family were invited to the children’s birthday party or only my family invited to our wedding. He was raised an atheist. He doesn’t really comprehend the actual significance of Baptism. He’s read info on the subject, but since he doesn’t believe in God, he doesn’t “buy into it”.
SAHmommy

since you are coming back to the CAtholic faith, and your husband is not, he must be made aware of the promises you will be making with regard to rearing your children Catholic, and making sure your marriage is open to life. Even if he doesn’t buy into it he has to know what your commitment and obligation is. That is why when Catholics marry a non-Catholic (with a dispensation) in the Church both are required to attend preparation classes.

Don’t let the godparent issue delay you. Let your husband ask anyone from his family he wants to attend the baptism, and simply list the CAtholic person as the godparent in the church register. He may wish to give one of his relatives the “honor” of providing the garments for the children, hosting the party (which is a completely non-essential part of this whole thing), baking the cake etc. Since half the people there will not be CAtholic, ask your priest to baptize the children outside of Mass.

[quote=SAHmommy]No, she is not a practicing Anglican.
He doesn’t see it as interfering. He sees it as unfair to have only my side of the family involved in this. To him, it’s the same as if only my side of the family were invited to the children’s birthday party or only my family invited to our wedding. He was raised an atheist. He doesn’t really comprehend the actual significance of Baptism. He’s read info on the subject, but since he doesn’t believe in God, he doesn’t “buy into it”.
SAHmommy
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I understand what you are saying. However no one in his family from what you have posted is qualified to be a “Christian Witness”. His side of the family is not involved in your practice of the Catholic faith and the obligations it brings. When you requested your Bishops permission to marry him you promised to the best of your ability to Baptize and raise any children in the Catholic faith and to continue your practice of the Faith. He acknowledged that he understood your obligations to the pastor or he would not have requested the Bishops permission for the Marriage to take place. He does not have to “buy into it” he just has to “stay out of it”. Your child needs to be Baptized without unreasonable delay and it is your responsibility to see that this is done. I might suggest is there a qualified Christian friend that he knows?

[quote=Br. Rich SFO] When you requested your Bishops permission to marry him you promised to the best of your ability to Baptize and raise any children in the Catholic faith and to continue your practice of the Faith. I might suggest is there a qualified Christian friend that he knows?
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We had a civil wedding. I was a practicing Wiccan at the time. For most of our 10 year marriage, I was an atheist.

No, he has no Christian friends.

SAHmommy

[quote=SAHmommy]We had a civil wedding. I was a practicing Wiccan at the time. For most of our 10 year marriage, I was an atheist.

No, he has no Christian friends.

SAHmommy
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Your situation becomes complicated and has to be discussed with your pastor. However still do not let your situation or your husbands interference keep your child from receiving Baptism. Maybe the solution is to have the pastor ask someone from the parish to be the sole Godparent and leave all family out of this role. Since being family is not a qualification required by the Church.

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