How to come back home


A friend of mine was baptized as an infant into the Catholic Church. Shortly after, his parents left the faith. He was never confirmed. He’s around 17. Does he have to go through RCIA to come back to the Catholic Church? Or can he just go to confession to come back? In other words, does he HAVE to get confirmed in order to come back to the Church? Because I would say that no, he doesn’t have to be confirmed to be in full communion with the Catholic Church. Although it would be profitable to be confirmed. (I’m not any person of authority in theology so I’m asking you guys)

Thanks for the comment responses!

EDIT: He has done First Communion.


I believe he has to get confirmed. I may be wrong though. :shrug:


If he has done first Communion and first Confession, he need only make a good Confession to return to Communion in the Church. However, he should certainly be Confirmed, as that is the completion of the Sacraments of Initiation. He does not have to go through RCIA, which is for the unbaptized. Encourage him to talk to a priest. These things happen all the time and can be easily fixed.


Since he’s already made his First Communion, that means that he already did First Confession as well.

The only thing he actually needs to do is to go to a priest (this can be any priest) for Confession. Once he’s been absolved and reconciled to the Church, he can likewise resume receiving Communion.
That part is relatively simple. He is already a Catholic, just a non-practicing one, for the moment.

As far as Confirmation is concerned: yes, he really should be Confirmed. For that, he needs to speak with his local pastor about making arrangements. At age 17, it’s entirely possible that he can simply “join” with the next Confirmation class. He needs to work-out the specific details with his pastor.

Naturally, there is more to this than what I’ve posted here. He needs to commit himself to attending Mass every Sunday, and everything else that involves being a practicing Catholic.


First off, I commend you for helping this young man. Secondly, avoid asking people for advice on what procedure to do, especially on internet forums. There is no set procedure except taking him to see and talk to a priest. Go with him and make sure he is listened to and he gets all his questions asked and answered. I wish I had had such a mentor when I was a teen.


If he has only received the briefest of catechesis when he was young, it would really be a good idea to go to RCIA classes even if it’s not strictly necessary. As others have said, talk to the priest about it. Technically he is already a Catholic and all he needs to do is go to confession to be in full communion with the Church, but it would be in his best interest to have some sort of proper instruction because most of what he learned as a child is very basic and he probable forgot a lot of it and now that he is older it needs to be explained much more in depth. Talk to the priest.


Definitely contact a priest. Just call a local Catholic Church. If he is not available, arrange for a time to talk. He may ask your friend to come in to talk personally.



See a priest. Only he can judge your friend’s readiness. Mostly, welcome him and assure him that he is loved deeply. We can’t wait for him to join us!



He should talk to a priest and he will help him with what he needs to do. If he has never made his First Communion, he will need to be instructed. As an adult he will probably have to go to RCIA. God Bless. Memaw


There are at least two aspects of things to consider.

As people have already said, if he’s made his first confession and communion all he needs to do is go to confession and he can start receiving communion again.

But I think there’s another aspect to consider. You don’t just turn your faith or practice on and off like a lightswitch. He may want to spend some time with a priest or other trusted person to talk about what’s going on in his life.

What is encouraging him to start practicing again? What is he hoping for or expecting from the experience? How does he intend to nurture his faith and grow in understanding? Does he have some kind of support or is he on his own in this area?

Just dropping someone into a Mass and thinking that’s all it takes is unrealistic. If this is a permanent change he wants in his life then he needs more support.


He will just need to go to confession, then communion and eventually into a Confirmation class. Its part of growing into the faith is to be confirmed, if he wants to eventually get married, being confirmed is a pre requisite.

Anyways, being as young as he is he will indeed need someone for support. Either a pastor to become his spiritual director or a trusted, devout adult in the community or both! Like everyone said here, you cannot just get this like a light switch to just turn it on and off. Being a catholic these days requires one to stand up to the faith, Catholicism is not for wussies. What helped us a lot to grow is to do service in any way we can, the parish, and we found out that we have a passion in serving the youth…we have helped out in NET ministries and now we will be driving down to San Diego this weekend to volunteer for the Steubenville conference.

You know what, I think it helps teens to grow when they see kids their age being passionate about it. I suggest you guys should go to a Steubenville conference next year, they have bands, games, great talks and tons of prayer time that includes adoration and mass. Eventually you have to kick start that fire of wanting to know more, of wanting to get closer. Since you are the sort of driving force for him, go with him to one of these. Get busy!

God Bless and hopefully we see you next year!


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit