How does my child become Catholic?

My husband and I converted from Anglicanism, and we were confirmed in the Church at Easter 2011 in City 1. We then moved to City 2, and the two older children began attending our local Catholic school. In the application process, we submitted their baptismal certificates and a letter, explaining we had converted, from our priest in City 1. All went well.

It is now time for our third child to apply for school, but our current priest in City 2 says that she is not Catholic, as she has not been received by the Church. He himself says he is not sure of the process for receiving a young - four years old - child into the Church, and he has not had much luck with finding out. To be clear, she has already been baptised in the Anglican faith, so that is out as an option.

My husband and I presumed that our children were Catholic, once we both converted and they began attending mass weekly with us. Indeed, our eldest has had her first Holy Communion. Are our two younger children Catholic since we are? If not, what is the process for them to become Catholic, given they are too young for First Holy Communion and have already been baptised?

Generally speaking, if a child is baptized into another faith community the child is considered a member of that faith community. When you and your husband were brought into the Church your children probably should have been included in some formal manner. Your older children, if they have not already received first communion and confirmation in the Catholic Church should enter into a RCIA program to receive those sacraments. If they already have received Catholic first communion and confirmation then they are already Catholic and don’t need to do anything else.

Your 4 year old is below the age of reason and therefore can simply slip into regular religious education classes at the appropriate time. Since the child is below the age of reason she cannot reasonably “choose” to enter into the Catholic faith. IMHO, as her parents, when you converted she was brought into the Church with you.

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