It’s my neighbor. Baptized Presbyterian I think. Never went to church until in his 90s, with his Catholic wife. I told him he should become Catholic, and he said okay! But his wife never talked to the priest, she says “he wouldn’t know what to do… bla bla”. He was married before, I don’t know in what church. She divorced him while he was in Italy during WW2. Any advice? Thanks.
It starts with RCIA classes, the process through which interested adults and older children are gradually introduced to the Roman Catholic faith and way of life. The ideal is for there to be an RCIA process available in every Roman Catholic parish. Those who want to join an RCIA group should aim to attend one in the parish where they live.
If I remember correctly these classes lead to baptism.
Ninety-four and still willing to undertake such an arduous process! Wow!
I would tell him to talk to the priest as soon as possible. There may be some “wiggle room” for him since he’s at such an advanced age. If not at that parish, at another parish that will work with people of that age and not try to force them to be just like the young folks enrolled in RCIA.
I agree that there may be some “wiggle room”, as I remember there was a woman in her eighties who came with her Catholic husband to Mass for many years. She decided to become a Catholic, talked to the priest, and it was done a few weeks later.
Just proves you’re never too young for God to pull at your heart!
The fast process likely had to do more with the fact that she had attended Mass for many years. Priests and facilitators usually look at everyone on a case by case basis because candidates and catechumens come from such a wide range of backgrounds. You can have an unbaptized man who has been attending Mass for 50 years with his wife, or an unbaptized man who has never been to a single Mass. Both catechumens, both radically different backgrounds.
I would advise you to speak with your priest. Hopefully he can take some time to stop by and visit with this man at his home. If he is still interested, a good parish should try to find a way for someone to come to his house and help him learn about Catholicism, if he is not able to leave his home.
Don’t give up hope, it is really inspiring that at this age he is interested in this.
If his Baptism is considered valid by the Catholic Church, then he only needs to complete his Christian initiation with the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation and with the reception of the Beloved for the first time.
From your words, I presume he is your friend. In which case, I also advice you talk to your pastor about him. Find out exactly what can the Church do in this exceptional case - there is no need to let us know - and then talk to your friend, or arrange a meeting with the pastor.
This is something I found on a diocesan publication:
What is involved in the reception into the Catholic Church of someone who is baptised?
After sufficient preparation through catechesis, prayer and worship, and an introduction to Catholic life, values and mission, a Christian is asked to make a profession of faith, and to express their acceptance of Catholic teaching and to make a clear intention to live as a Catholic. Following this affirmation, the Christian is sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation and will receive Holy Communion at the table of the Eucharist. This ritual is called the Rite of Reception of Baptised Christians into the full communion of the Catholic Church.
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:4.
I knew a man in a similar case within the past 6 months. He was 80 something, coming towards the end of his life and the only non-Catholic in the family. Been married 60+ years and wanted to be buried with his wife. The local Priest had a “pastorally sensitive process” which enabled him to enter the church and receive the sacraments. I met him about a month before his death when he proudly stated he was Catholic!
As mentioned, find a local Priest, preferably old and wise, and ask him about it.
At 94 years old, I would think a priest would have the common sense to forgo the RCIA route and do private instruction, at the minimum for him to go to Confession, be confirmed, receive the Eucharist and Last Rites should he need them. 94 is a delicate age.
Sorry, couldn’t help myself :o
Seriously, may God bless you for suggesting it to him.
There was an elderly man in the neighborhood of my former parish who used to walk by the church and through the church grounds (not uncommon in that neighborhood). One day he walked in to have a look since the door was open (it’s a new, large and quite beautiful church). RCIA was getting underway, and the leaders greeting him and offered him a cookie. Some time later he enrolled in RCIA, claiming (not seriously) that he came back for the cookies. Both he and his wife, who was raised a Mormon, were received into the church in subsequent years.
Great story. Thanks to all.
=pollycarp;9522542]It’s my neighbor. Baptized Presbyterian I think. Never went to church until in his 90s, with his Catholic wife. I told him he should become Catholic, and he said okay! But his wife never talked to the priest, she says “he wouldn’t know what to do… bla bla”. He was married before, I don’t know in what church. She divorced him while he was in Italy during WW2. Any advice? Thanks.
IMMEDIATELY PUT HIM IN TOUUCH WITH YOUR PARISH PRIEST!
God Bless you BOTH!