Coming Home Problems, RCIA and annulments...Please help


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy on me.

For the last 5 years I’ve been drawn to the Catholic Church. This week I started RCIA. We had to fill out a form and I’m so afraid I wont be able to become Catholic because of my past.

I’ve been married before, twice. The first marriage was in 1969. We were young and married for the wrong reasons. I married because I was so lonely and wanted to be with someone. She married to get away from her parents. Neither of us had ever been on a date. We knew each other only two weeks before we ran off and were married by a probate judge. We were both virgins and we really tried to make our marrage work. But after 13 years it became almost impossibe. Her parents interfered and we were both very unhappy. We separated. Her parents talked her into filing for a divorce.

Months later I met a young woman and eventually we were married. What I didn’t know was she was secretly seeing an old boyfriend off and on. We had two sons together and she had a daughter by a previous marriage. I suppose she really didn’t want to be a mother or wife. One day she left to be with her old boyfriend. She left the children with me. Our oldest son was in the second grade and the youngest was in the first. Her daughter, my stepdaughter, also stayed with us. After 4 or 5 years I finally filed for a divorce.

I never dated after that and never had a relationship with a woman. My second wife had 4 sisters and they were very supportive. We are still friends now. This was many years ago. My oldest son is now 26 years old and he was seven when she left.

I hurt so bad. I want to become Catholic but I’m not sure if I can. I am not in good health. I don’t know how much time I have left. I’ll begin dialysis soon.

Please pray for me.

I know I’ll need to deal with these two divorces. I’m afraid




I am not sure of what you will have to do about your marriages but wanted to offer you some encouragement now. I went through RCIA 6 years ago and had to have one marriage annulled so I know a bit about what you are talking about. It wasn’t all that bad as I recall. You should be fine and the folks should be able to help you. After all, RCIA is to help folks come into the fullness of the Church.

Hang in there! I will pray for you! How exciting!:smiley:


William, that’s great that you so ardently wish to become a Catholic. The parish priest, or someone there, will be able to advise you about how to approach the Marriage tribunal to clear up the question of your two marriages.
As I understand it, you have not remarried a third time and are not living with someone as if married. If that is the case, then your two marriages should not be an impediment to becoming a Catholic, even if they are not able to be annulled.
I will be praying for you as you come closer to Christ and for your health.
May God bless you and keep you strong in faith, hope and love.


please speak to the priest about this at the parish where you would like to be received into the Church, he is the only one who can give you immediate help and advice at this time. In circumstance such as you describe it is quite likely neither marriage is valid, but they must be investigated, in order, and a judgement rendered, so that your current marriage can be convalidated if necessary before you receive sacraments. It does take time and effort, but likely not as much as you fear. It is also a healing process, but you have to take the first step.

Yes if God wants you in the Church He will bring you, and we will do our best to facilitate this. When we are helpless to act due to illness God is most active, so have trust and faith. Welcome Home.


I am not married now and I do not live with anyone as if married. I have been celibate for the last 19 years. Thanks for the encouragement.



Talk to the priest and your RCIA director about your situation. But, based on what you have said, you are not impeded from joining the Church.


This is true. I agree that you should still speak with your Priest about your previous civil marriages. It may be suggested you seek an decree of nullity for the first and second just to ease your mind.

Prayers for you as you go through RCIA :slight_smile:

Brenda V.


As long as you’re not currently living in an invalid marriage it’s much simpler. You could be received into the Church with the understanding that you cannot marry unless/until your prior marriages are investigated and found to be null.

That said, I would strongly encourage you to talk with your pastor and start the process of obtaining a declaration of nullity. If you should meet someone and want to marry, I wouldn’t want to see you in the position of having to choose between your beloved and the Church. Dealing with the Tribunal can take time so I would suggest meeting with your pastor as soon as possible.


William, there are no barriers to you being received into the Church.

If you choose to seek an annulment of your previous marriages you may do so if you wish to consider marrying in the Church at a later time.

If you are chaste there is no impediment to being received in the Church.


I feel much better now. I lost a lot of sleep over this. Thanks everyone for clearing this up for me.


Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.
Pro 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Pro 3:7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
Pro 3:8 It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.


I am sorry I did not have full information when you asked, if you are not now married or planning marriage there is no barrier whatever to joining the Church posed by your previous marriages. Annulment would only become an issue should you ever plan to marry again. Please do as I suggest and speak to your priest right away. If you are facing a health crisis he will want to do everything possible to expedite this process.


Come on Home ,William Pitts, the family is waiting for you. :gopray:




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