Is Easter Vigil the only time a non-baptised adult can join the Church?

I was raised in a Baptist home, attend an evangelical university, but would consider myself theologically Catholic.

I was not ready this past Easter to join the Church however, a turn of events in my life have left me desiring a deeper, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ right now. I am in need of great spiritual and psychological healing. For my sake, for the sake of those I love and for God’s sake I want to join the Church to receive healing.

Is Easter the only time I can join?

I believe you can join at any time, but not completely sure. It may depend on your knowledge of the Church, etc. Were you baptized in a Baptist church? This would be valid if you were.

Welcome to the original Church of Jesus Christ!:thumbsup:

The Easter Vigil mass is the traditional mass at which new Christians are accepted into the Church, but it is possible for adults to enter the Church at any time. My father was baptized in our home by a priest who had come for a sick visit at the time. My father had cancer and it was thought he would die within the year. My father requested baptism from the priest and was baptized immediately. My father took the Christian name of Perigrine, in honor of the patron saint of cancer patients, and survived his cancer. My father credits St. Perigrine for his aid in helping him to enter the Church and for helping him survive his disease.
My wife was also baptized as an adult here in Japan. She was baptized at the Christmas Vigil mass in 2004 and took the name of Rachel as her Christian name. So, yes it is possible to be baptized at a liturgy other than the Easter Vigil or in a place other than a Church, but if at all possible, it is best to be baptized in the midst of the Christian community and during the greatest liturgy of the Church calendar; namely the Easter Liturgy.

No we baptize infants at any time during the year (although len and advent are times when baptism is delayed for a better season (Christmas and Easter).

No - it’s the usual time but it is not exclusive. Your priest is responsible for assessing your understanding of the commitment you are making, and can receive you at any time (possibly not on fast days except in an emergency, but I’m not sure about that).

YES, The Easter Vigil is the time for Adult Baptism. There is of course exceptions, When a person is sick and in danger of death, when it is not possible to receive Baptism at the Easter Vigil due to events outside of your control. (such as remote location, Military deployment, etc.)

Although that delay is not required by the Church who, unless I’m mistaken, only rules out non-emergency baptisms on Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

If you were baptized as Baptist, you can come into the Church at anytime with the proper
preparation. This information can be found in starting in section 473 of the RCIA Rite book. The priest at your parish will be able to guide through this or the person is in charge of RCIA.

Easter is the only time an unbaptized adults should *expect *to be able to be received into the Catholic Church. It *might *be the only time some parishes are prepared to receive baptized adults into the Church. Many parishes receive baptized Christians into the Church at other times but it is still somewhat traditional (but not required) for this to happen during the Easter season.

Unless there is a catechist who is available to work one-on-one with those who wish to convert, most parishes expect baptized non-Catholic Christians, uninitiated Catholics, and the unbaptized to attend inquiry and/or formation classes (that are held in support of RCIA.) The length of time for this preparation (which is for forming the heart and soul and for informing the mind) will vary.

If you were validly baptized into your Baptist Church (or elsewhere) you might be able to be received into the Catholic Church at another time of the year. But if you were never baptized then it would be highly unlikely (barring some emergency) that you could be received into the Church at a time other than the Easter Vigil.

Thank you all for your replies.

I have not been baptised.

I am, however, a religious studies major and have taken numerous courses at a local Catholic university that is partnered with my evangelical university. I tried to go through RCIA last year but found it too basic and not deep enough for me. Most of the others there had not had much of a theological education let alone a Christian background so I completely understood the need to have the basics of the faith presented as basically as possible.

I actually stopped going to RCIA because I felt that I had already grasped the concepts they were explaining.

So catechetical understanding of the faith is not something I am concerned about. I suppose its just a matter of whether or not the ‘dunking’ and confirmation can occur at another date. It seems to me that many Protestant pastors who converted were received into the church on other dates. At least that seems to be the trend from the stories I’ve read.

There isn’t anything in canon law that precludes baptism of adults at other times of the year, nor anything that requires you to receive classes on material that you have already mastered.

Talk to the pastor of the parish you wish to join.

RCIA is not just catechesis. The R is for Rite and RCIA includes a number of rites that people go through on the way to being baptized.

One of these rites is the Rite of Election where the bishop accepts you as one of the Elect. As far as I’m aware, the Rite of Election happens once a year on the first Sunday of Lent. There are also scrutinies which happen on the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent and are connected with particular gospel readings.

Br. Rich would know if these rites could take place at other times of the year. It would certainly be out of the ordinary.

“It seems to me that many Protestant pastors who converted were received into the church on other dates.”
That is correct an adult who has been validly Baptized as a Christain can be received at any time into the Church, once they have shown that they understand the practice of the Catholic faith.

Even though you may know much more than what is presented RCIA, you will still most likely be required to attend for other reasons.

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