My brother

A little background info…

I was baptized as an infant, made my first communion, then was away from the Church for many years before recently returning. My brother was never baptized (my parents did not ever go to Mass, so there wasn’t enough hope that he would be raised in the Catholic faith. He just graduated from Basic Combat Training for the US Army, and is now at AIT. He has been exploring his faith while there. He told me he has been going to Protestant services because they are “more relaxing” than Mass (whatever thwr means). He is very much open to joining the Church, however.

He plans to marry his fiancé when he gets home. She is a lapsed Catholic, who made her First Communion and never really went back after that. They have two small children - one who is 18 months, the other 6 months. They were living together before he left, and will be when he returns.

How, exactly, should I go about trying to get him to join the Church? I very much care about his soul, but don’t want to come on too strongly. I realize he’d have to go through RCIA. Regarding their marriage, they would have to live as brother and sister until the Church blessed it, correct? If so, how strongly should I come on about this? I don’t want to scare him off, but I do want him to understand that there are rules that must be followed.

He is very impressionable at this point. Now that he is at AIT, I can talk to him much more often. How would you recommend going about this, step by step?

Please pray for him and for me.

In Jesus and Mary,

I would emphasize RCIA. Highlight the fact that RCIA is much more than something people “go through” to become Catholic. It’s not just a program. Rather, it is a process wherein conversion is facilitated. Let him know he can contact the parish RCIA coordinator and get further info. He doesn’t have to have made up his mind before he even shows up to RCIA. He can show up just to learn more and help him decide whether or not to continue.

As he goes through the RCIA process, his living arrangements will eventually come up and be addressed in the proper way by someone who is (hopefully) accustomed to helping people in such situations.

In other words, I probably wouldn’t lead with telling him he’s going to have to be chaste and get married before he can even think about being Catholic. Help him on the road to conversion in Christ. Then he will be in a much better position to hear and to understand what changes need to happen in his life and why. Putting the cart before the horse may only scare him away at this point.

Of course, you know him better than I do. :stuck_out_tongue: If you think he’d be open to such conversations, have at it. But at this point, it’s probably better to be overly cautious than “in-his-face”.

Go through the RCIA route. Have him speak with the Priest or RCIA Director of the Parish. Praying to the Holy Spirit to give your brother guidance & direction back to the Church. Praying for you also.

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