General confession, which baptism?


Hi All, I (and my Wife) are planning to start RCIA this fall with the intention of joining the Church. At some point I’m going to need to do a general confession (I’m 55 and Protestant my whole life). The problem is… I was baptized as a baby by sprinkling in a Dutch Reformed Protestant Church, I don’t know if it was valid or not, Father, Son, Holy Spirit etc. More recently, 1993, I was baptized again as an adult. This was by immersion, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit thru a non-denominational protestant church, which was a valid baptism. Sooo… my question is… for the purposes of the general confession, do I need to go all the way back to babyhood, the age of accountability (12, 13?) or the baptism as an adult in 1993? Help with this would be much appreciated.
Thank You!
God Bless!!
Paul Q


This is a question to discuss with your pastor as first reconciliation approaches and he has had a chance to evaluate both of your baptism experiences to determine which was the valid one.


1ke: I really appreciate your clear and concise answers; I’ve learned a lot from your posts.



And if the one is determined to be “invalid” (not saying it was) while the other is valid then one would go from the valid one.

If the first is considered “doubtful” then – still examine for mortal sins (if any) --and note to the Priest in confession that such and such may have been prior to the valid baptism etc…(note what happened)…

(one had to only of course confess mortal sins)


Right. The second, more recent, baptism may have been in a form that is considered valid, but if your first baptism is determined to be valid, then that would be the one they would use. If the first one turns out not to be valid, then the second one will be the one they use. So, like 1ke said, let your pastor know when it gets closer to people’s first confessions.


Since you cannot ever be baptized a second time, its once in a lifetime, and since your first was valid, your priest will probably guide you to confess all sins you can remember. Plus “…for these and any others I am truly sorry.”

BTW: Welcome and glad to hear you are starting RCIA in the fall. I just completed my journey through that at Easter myself this year along with my wife.


Congratulations to you all, your in my prayers!!! Fivegs your just beginning the journey and I do hope you keep in touch with us during your RCIA classes. I just went thru them as a Sponsor for a Candidate and it was sooo precious to watch the candidates grow. They questioned, and that’s great, they doubted and wondered and questioned some more. Some were very surprised to learn that much they believed about the Catholic Faith wasn’t true. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Every question is important. It was a wonderful experience for me and I learned a lot too.
Bitznbitez, I know what you mean when you say you completed your journey at Easter, but believe me the journey never ends. It lasts a lifetime. I am 76 years old, have been a Catholic all my life, I taught CCD, (religion) for 20 years and am still learning. It’s awesome. God Bless, Memaw


Thank you all for the replies! Odds are it’ll be the original baptism. I just sorta dread confessing my way thru 56 years worth of sins :confused:. As far as questions are concerned I’ve been working my way thru them for a few months now. All the usual ones, authority, the Eucharist, Mary and the Saints, etc. The apologists have been a great help, Madrid, Hahn, Grodi, Ray, Currie, Keaton, Fr. Trigilio, Akins and others. Most of my questions now are practical ones. Liturgy, Sacraments, Sacramental’s, taking in the Catechism, learning prayers memorizing things (my memory is definitely not what it used to be :-). I’m also trying to find out how to contact the local Bishop to see if He’ll bless the 700 mission rosaries I’ve made since I found out having them blessed by a Bishop doubles their sacramental value :slight_smile: I figure since I’m not even a Catholic yet I want the Rosaries to have the most value they can for the people who receive them. Being led to make Rosaries back in December is what led me down this path. Anyway, my Wife only has to go back to 1990 :-). Again, thanks for the help!
God Bless!!
Paul Q


Please don’t dread it, look forward to your first Confession as an awesome gift from God. Your secrets are safe with him. He knows them already anyway. Confession is for our good, it heals our souls. Then you will have a fresh start to the rest of your life. God Bless, Memaw


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