Has your parish gone through a reverification of their records?


#1

Was this instigated by the Diocese? or the parish priest? office staff?
How was the laity notified?letter to each family? placed in the bulletin? calls made?
How was this implemented? let us say a long standing member didnt have proof of their baptism and was required to provide proof, what help did the parish offer? were they denied the other sacraments while verification was in process?
How was this news received?

I was in a parish for a short time where I became aware of the tensions created by such a reverification process. I was placed in a class where all the attendees were ‘missing’ one or more sacraments. I learned that long standing members had no proof of their baptisms, since many were originally from outside the US and this caused a burden on them, especially finding witnesses or contacting parishes (some of which no longer exist, burnt down, etc). Some went along with the class, some were frustrated because it called into question all of the other sacraments. The class was frustrating for Catholics, an unnecessary legality that had been thrust in their path. I saw the class dwindle, genuine questions unanswered, frustrated people left the class and I no longer saw them at mass. Each class I attended, I was more and more frustrated, I am not a young person, and although I can explain my faith in God, the intricacies of the whole catechism cant be brought up to mind in a split second and the deacon was less than merciful. I still think there must be a better way to handle this. I did not think it was charitable in bunching all these people together and frustrating them like that. How can this be better handled?


#2

I’ve never heard of a parish requiring sacramental records unless the person is receiving another sacrament (e.g., proof of baptism before confirmation, marriage, etc.).

In terms of registration in a parish, some have asked about which sacraments have been received (but did not require proof) and some have not.


#3

Was this an inquiry class fro RCIA?


#4

I don’t understand what you mean by reverification of records. It is my understanding that in my home diocese in Virginia, that the Vicar General checks each the records of each parish periodically to make sure that they are being properly kept. I don’t think that is unusual.


#5

I have never heard of this happening. :shrug:

My current parish wouldn’t have any records for me. Nor should they. I haven’t received any recordable sacraments from them. And the parish that would have these things recorded for me, doesn’t know my address.

Could you explain why your parish did this?


#6

This was separate from RCIA. I was not there when it was started, so I do not know how the parishners were initially contacted. But we were told over and over again that the bishop had wanted everyone to have all their records in order. There were long married couples in the class and older people that needed to have baptism, or confirmation or even first holy communion records ‘updated’, to insure proper instruction? Younger 30-somethings were the ones mostly frustrated, having to rush from work to cover something they already did but had no record of. It was mostly those that dropped out. They would argue with the deacon. I was placed there because I was never confirmed and the adult confirmation class was full and had already started and was told this class would accomplish the same goal. I dropped out because I could never get an appointment with the priest and the deadline to get all my paperwork in for convalidation?radical sanitation? had passed.


#7

I have never heard of this happening. I wonder if there was a problem with records being kept at the parish? Or maybe the archdiocese had problems with its own keeping of records. Usually these days a copy of the records are sent to the archdiocese too so both the parish and archdiocese has them. It would be common for a parish to ask those about to be married for baptismal records.


#8

Something is missing here.

To being with, there is no deadline for Convalidation paperwork. When the paperwork is done, then you have your marriage convalidated. My marriage was convalidated 11 years after my civil marriage.

Second, there is no reason for your current parish to have all of your sacramental records. Those records are kept at your Baptismal Parish. They are only requested if you are receiving another sacrament. A parish would have no reason to request the records of long married couples. For example, my parish doesn’t have my records. My Convalidation was completed many years ago, at a different parish. So there is no reason for them to have my records.

And the Bishop would know this.

So, there has to be more to this story. Do you care to share it, Casilda?


#9

I have never experienced this before as our records are kept at our parish where we were baptized.
Maybe this is to help those who fell through the cracks and didn’t receive all the sacraments?
If you know your parish of baptism, then the records should be there or not.

I just don’t know.
I know some have put in bulletins if you haven’t received such and such sacrament, please call the office. I guess a lot of assumption is on the person knowing they were never confirmed, etc or knowing WHAT confirmation is or if they received the sacrament of reconciliation even.:shrug:


#10

Well, YOU can say there is no deadline, but we were all consistently warned that all our paperwork needed to be in by December and everything had to be settled by the start of Lent in order to participate in baptisms, confirmations, marriage blessings, etc. as per the church schedule. That is why I had come here to ask if this was how this is suppose to be handled. I see that it is not the norm. I do not know if they will have another ‘Sacraments’ class, but I am going to go back and see if I can find out what instigated it. The deacon that taught the class was transferred before it was over. I do not know where. Maybe I will talk to the new deacon.


#11

I may be misunderstanding, but it doesn’t sound as if the parish was requiring every single registered parishioner to update their records.

It sounds as if people who were having marriages “blessed” (by which I assume they mean convalidated) or who were receiving other sacraments were asked to get the necessary sacramental records updated by December. This seems as if it would eliminate the frustrations that sometimes occur around the Easter Vigil, for example, when it is discovered that someone who is entering the Church or being confirmed was in an invalid marriage.

Is that possibly what was going on?


#12

There is no deadline. Of course if you want your Convalidation on a specific day, then of course your paperwork would have to be completed before then. But I didn’t set my dated until all of the paperwork was completed. And our parish doesn’t do Convalidations at Easter. I was actually married the week after Easter, so I could have the beautiful decorations in some of my pictures.

But that has nothing to do with any “reverification.” What you are claiming is that *everyone *in the parish had to keep their sacramental records with their current parish. And that just doesn’t happen. There is no need for your current parish to have your records, *unless *you are requesting another sacrament.

So, again, I ask, is there more to this story? Were these people in RCIA? Or some other prep class?


#13

Since she’s talking about preparing for other sacraments like confirmation or marriage, that’s what it sounds like. Not something the whole parish did (though perhaps there was an announcement at the start of the process that anyone seeking sacraments should come to these sessions).

I know that in my parish when we started an adult confirmation class we discovered all kinds of sacramental needs. People came to us to prepare for confirmation, but we discovered lots of invalid marriages. So we started asking more about whether people were married in the Church and following up with them to convalidate their marriages. We also asked about the sacramental status of their children – had they been baptized, received First Communion, etc. While the Holy Spirit was so active in their lives we could provide for their other needs.


#14

Our parish goes through this every year, for the RICA class. Because, yes, the current parish needs verification that a member has received Baptism before they can receive Confirmation.

But this isn’t for the entire parish. This is only for those that are asking to receive another sacrament.

Which is why I keep asking the OP for the rest of the story.

So, here we go again.

Casilda, can you share with us the rest of the story? Are you really claiming that this was for the entire parish. Or was this for those that were requesting to receive a sacrament?


#15

The entire parish. There were people in the class that had been Catholics their whole life now needing to provide proof of it. The bishop wanted everyone’s records in order. If there was a discrepancy it had to be fixed, with classes on baptisms, confirmation, first holy communion, marriage, kind of a reeducation. You couldnt just say you were baptized, you had to provide proof.

To clarify, my case was different from others in the class. I walked into this parish wanting to return into communion with the Catholic church, I had been told I needed to be confirmed first. So I was placed in this class to learn about confirmation and receive that sacrament. Then they learned I had married outside the church, so I needed convalidation, too. I was very fortunate that my records of baptism and first holy communion finally arrived, or I would have had needed to start from scratch. Again, I dropped out of the class because the deacon was exasperating and I never had the opportunity to speak with a priest. Our diocese must be a mess.


#16

Could this have to do with a Maronite parish having been joined by a number of Latin Rite Catholics, and the Maronite pastor needing to determine parishioners with Maronite rite sacramental history?


#17

So, in answer to your question, has my parish gone through this?

No, because there is no reason for a bishop to want everyone’s information. What you are saying would not put the records “in order.” In fact, doing what you are describing would mess up the records. For a Catholic, Sacramental records are kept at the person’s Baptismal church, not at their current parish.

Even on the face of it, it doesn’t make any sense. I didn’t attend classes before I was baptized. I was just a baby. So what kind of “reeducation” would I need?


#18

After you get this all straightened out, what you may want to do on your own is ask your parish you were baptized at for a copy of your records so you can have them handy IF this should ever happen again!
I have copies of all my kids. I also wrote down important dates in my bible and theirs. So, they will know dates even if they don’t have a certificate, etc.


#19

BTW, welcome home! :slight_smile:


#20

The church I am referring to in this thread was a Roman Catholic parish. But I am now an Eastern Catholic. I had absolutely no problems with the Maronite parish.


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