Converting...what next?

Hey everbody, I’m 17 and converting to Catholicism.

I was raised Evangelical Christian, in schools, church, and my mother had a Christian TV and Radio show.

I’ve been baptized when I was 10, and I missed the last round of people getting confirmed this Easter, so I won’t be confirmed this Easter Vigil.

What happens next? I told my youth leader who is helping me with things, and she says I’ll probably receive first communion before Easter, and that the priest says I may not have to wait until next Easter to be confirmed.

But what is the process? Are there specific classes I take, how should I choose a confirmation sponsor. Even though I’ve been baptized, can I have a conditional baptism?

Thanks for your help.

Probably it is the RCIA that everybody has to go through before convertion.

If you know that you have been baptized, and surely you do as you was 10 and still recall it, you will not get a conditional baptism

Why do you want conditional baptism?

Your baptism in a evangelical church, conducted in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, is as much a valid baptism as any catholic baptism.

Conditional baptism only applies if there are doubts if you were baptized or not, or if it was valid or not, such as if you was baptised at Jehovas witnesses or the Mormons.

The reason their baptism is not valid is because they do not believe in the trinity as traditional christians do, and they are : Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants.

Theologically we differ but not on the matter of baptism or belief in the holy trinity.

For the first communion you must confess to a priest before you can communicate.

Welcome!!

Make an appointment to speak with your Priest, he will give you great guidance.

You will be asked to provide some documentation of your baptism, that it was in the trinitarian formula. As long as you were baptized in water and in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, your baptism will be considered valid.

As an adult (the Church considers you an adult), after some instruction, you will make your first Confession. Then at a time determined by your Pastor, a profession of Faith, recieve First Holy Communion and Confirmation all at the same time.

Do some study, pray and know that you are beginning a wonderful journey. Get involved with the Parish, living the Catholic life, doing good works and living a life as a light to the world.

You may want to check out the Coming Home Network, it is aimed at helping Evangelical/Protestant ministers and their families who are coming into the fullness of the Faith.

.orgwww.chnetwork

Here, Catholic Answers has great forums, and the library of podcasts are valuable information.

As a young person, I’d suggest the Lino at Large podcast

www.usccb.org/ccc/lol.shtml

One final apostolate to look at is Steve Ray’s Defenders of the Catholic Faith at www.catholic-convert.com

Yes i was just reflecting on that, how is it possible that as OP said he/she will probably get first communion before easter but not confirmation, that doesnt make sense.

It use to be all in once

Thanks for your help. I didn’t need a Conditional Baptism for any specific reason, I just thought if there was one, it would seem like a bigger signifier of some life changes. But it doens’t matter, does it matter if i have ‘documentation’ of my baptism? Because I don’t have any papers or documents for that.

Yes it does, the Catholic Church doesnt accept two baptisms, You can only be baptised once, but i am sure you can get the documents from where you was baptised.

And try to get it because you should not be baptised again, it is not like the evangelical church, for catholics it is a sacrament and can be done only once.

yes there should be a class specifically for children youth and adults like yourselves, baptized in another faith and now preparing for Confirmation and First Communion (preceded at some point by first confession). It is not necessary or even preferable to come into the Church at Easter but the timing depends largely on the bishop–whether he retains his right to confirm you, or delegates it to your priest. No baptism may not be repeated, and conditional baptism is done only when very real doubt exists about the circumstances or actual event of baptism.

You do not need to choose a confirmation name, your Christian name is your saint name, but you should learn about this saint sometime during your preparation. If you have a devotion or feel close to a particular saint, yes you can add a Confirmation name. (does not change anything legally).

Ask your youth group to arrange an appointment with your pastor to discuss how you will be prepared. Often it is in a class with other Catholic youth your age preparing for their confirmation. Depends on the parish, and needs of those involved.

How long does it take? as long as it takes. everyone is different and has different needs. there should be no delay as these programs should be year round, and people invited to enter when they are ready, and they receive sacraments when they are ready, or when a substantial group of like candidates are ready.

if there is no paper record of your baptism, it can be attested by witnesses who were there, old enough to see and remember and will provide the details. If you are nervous about enlisting help of family members in this, ask the priest for guidance.

You can consider yourself lucky that you dont live in Sweden, here it takes 2-3 years:D

Your Pastor and the folks at the Parish will help you out with this, contacting the congregation where you were baptized and asking for documentation. If that cannot be found, a letter from someone who was there will usually suffice. Believe me, the people at the Parish have helped out many others on this journey.

Question from another converting teen. I have studied the christian/catholic faithfor a while now, so would I have to go through the ENTIRE RCIA program? I’ve heard that it’s basically geared towards people coming in fresh w/ little or no knowledge of catholicism…

Meet with your Priest, he will help you know the best way for you where you are now.

I suppose you could ask the priest for an exception and perhaps somehow prove to him your knowledge? My priest made an exception for me because I have small children and allowed me to study on my own. I have a feeling that since you are young, he might say that it will be a good experience anyway to meet fellow converts and go through the process. But you could always ask!

My teenaged daughter didn’t have to do RCIA and took her first Communion about one week after she first talked to the priest about converting. I have a feeling that this was because she was a non-Catholic attending Catholic school who had had religion classes for years. So exceptions are possible.

I didn’t go through RCIA or any really formal classes. I had studied on my own for 5 years before I was confirmed. I met with Fr. one on one for several sessions, took a test on paper (to satisfy the Bishop), and was confirmed a few weeks later (I could have been confirmed the next Sunday if I wanted to, but I wanted to wait until Pentacost Sunday).

Ericka

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