Hi! So, I just joined a few moments ago after being a silent observer on this site. It’s a little overwhelming, so I do hope I’m posting in the appropriate forum and if not I would love if someone would let me know (and also help me to know what to do about that, haha.) Anyway, here goes!
My name’s Aurora, I’m twenty one, and I want to say a few things that I’m concerned about. Any advice at all would be appreciated.
After much research I’ve realized I would be considered a Catholic because I’ve been baptized but not able to receive communion because I haven’t been Confirmed. I didn’t quite know all the rules, and I felt a calling to the Catholic Church for five years now. During this time I’ve never had a source of transportation, and occasionally could get my mother to drive me to church on Sundays. Sometimes she’d get angry when I would ask, and I would get depressed and just leave it be and not go for a long while. Sometimes I would feel nervous because I was so young (a teenager at the time), and was nervous about most things anyway and I stop going for awhile.
So, I didn’t, until recently, know the rules about Catholicism so much. I have some knowledge now that I’ve been doing research but of course I’ve barely made a dent. My husband and I were married outside of church and I’ve realized that I did a very bad thing by doing this, but he didn’t because he was never baptized Catholic in the first place. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, at least not to the extent that I am now, so now I’m really nervous about having done the wrong thing. I feel terrible about it, and I really hope to make up for it in later times.
Now, I want to go through the RCIA and to prepare myself (I need to be prepared or, again, I get nervous not knowing. This is why I haven’t spoken to anyone directly but instead have been researching) I found out that there are different sorts of RCIA, if that makes sense? I’m sure people reading this are familiar that baptized persons have less step(s?) than unbaptized persons. My husband is an unbaptized person, and my mother has told me I’ve been baptized. I love my mother, but when I questioned her further about getting documents of my baptism she said she would look for them. It’s been some time and now I believe they may be lost. She says the baptism took place either in Baltimore, MD or near it. There’s also a Baltimore County in Maryland, so that’s why she may be confused. For those not familiar with this area, it’s huge, and it seems like quite the task to call all the churches and find out. I’m not sure what to do, and given my mother’s bad memory and health issues in the past, I’m not sure if she’s remembering correctly. For example, she has all of my sister’s baptismal and confirmation things. Somewhere between the time of my sister’s confirmation and after my baptism, my mother decided to stop raising us Catholic, I guess, because I have only one memory of going to Catholic church and I was very young at the time. I guess, after all this rambling (I do apologize), my question is… is there some way to find out if I was baptized short of calling all these churches? Should I explain this situation to the Priest when I find the right church for myself and my husband? I’m just very nervous, I’m sorry.
Just a couple more things. I know more than anything I want to be Catholic. For awhile, persistently, I thought I was being called to be a nun but I’ve either failed that or perhaps it wasn’t my calling, clearly, as I’m married now. I want to work within the church as a layperson and worship and it just feels so right to me. Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t feel the same. I feel like I’m complaining over nothing when I say I worry that he doesn’t want to be Catholic and I’m forcing him. He says that he wants to do whatever I do. Once, when I asked him if he would be Catholic if I didn’t want to be, he said no. He said he just wants to follow me in whatever I do. Is this alright? It doesn’t feel right. Would I be able to go through the RCIA alone? What if he doesn’t? I love him so much, but I don’t want him to join a church for the wrong reasons. I want to be with him, but am I allowed to be both a member of the Catholic Church and a wife to my husband? I’m sorry if these are stupid questions, I’m just ignorant on the subject.
Note: My husband says he wouldn’t go to church if we weren’t together, so it’s not a matter of different religions. He comes from a family of Baptists but has stated that he doesn’t like that, either.
I’ve currently not found churches I want to go to just yet, but I’ve been attending on Sundays (I actually should get to sleep now!) a different church each week to get a feel. So far I haven’t liked the three churches in my area, so I’m extending my search to places within an half hour away. I still have a lot more to go to, and I’m excited to find the church where I feel at home. I hope my husband will change his mind when we find the right church. My husband is more than willing to drive us to church, and so it’s been much easier since we’ve been married to expand my faith.
Also, with the hope that my husband sees the light and decides to join the church for his own reasons rather than mine, would we have to have another marriage ceremony or would the civil ceremony (conducted in a court house) be sufficient?
Please, I know I’ve done so many things wrong. I know, and I feel immensely guilty. I just want to know how I can make things right. Thank you all so much!