Non-Catholic children of converts questions

My question is how the already-baptized child of a convert goes about being received into the Church? The baptism was not Catholic but should be valid. Will she have to wait until she is older and can be confirmed with her peers (they do not do it at the same time as first Communion here for children) before she can receive Holy Communion, since she is technically still a non Catholic? Or are there exceptions that can be made under the circumstances or because she is a child? I am not sure how this is going to work. Naturally I will have to ask our priest about it as well but if anyone has been through this or has an idea of how this is going to work, I’d really appreciate it. There is also the issue of first Penance, she will soon be of the age of reason obviously, will she not be able to confess her sins despite being raised Catholic if she has to wait years for Confirmation because she was not baptized in the Church?

In our parish, we have RCIA for children. Depending on the age of the child and the program, they usually receive first Reconciliation and Holy Communion (if they are old enough–grade 2-3) after finishing a year of instruction. Some require 2 years. They receive Confirmation when they are in the 9-10th grade (in our Diocese).

Hope that helps!

At our Parish, any child over the age of reason - age 7 - who has been baptized would meet with our Pastor and DRE, they will determine where the child is, where they need to be, and put together a course of prep for them. Most of the time, they simply join the CCD classes and go along with the rest of the class. The sacramental prep is done on an individual basis.

If they come in with the parents, as of next year, we will have RCIA for children right along side the RCIA for adults.

just curious??? (we have a large Eastern Orthodox community so I am always learning new things) If an Eastern Orthodox family converted how would the children enter the “Roman Rite Catholic Church” since they have already been baptized, communed and confirmed? Just wondering since this thread was started ?

If Eastern Christians enter the Catholic Church, they are encouraged to join the sui juris church that most closely corresponds with the Church of origin.

For example, even if Antiochian Orthodox join a Roman rite parish, technically, they are considered Melkites unless they specifically stated they wished to change to the Latin Church at the time of their reception.

It depends on the age of the child. If they are very young, (under age 5 or so) it’s usually a fairly simple matter of recording baptismal information and sometimes performing some simple rites… But be sure to ask because each diocese seem to vary. If the child is older than age seven or so, they will have to make their own decision to enter the Catholic Church. This probably means going through RCIA but at a children’s level. But again, ask, because many parishes are revamping the way baptized Christians are received into the Church.

Children who are six years of age require a special mention, IMO. They are technically “infants” who can be received into the Church in the same manner as younger children. (It’s the parents’ choice, not the child’s.) But it would be especially wise to speak to the pastor because things can get “messy” should the child reach the age of reason (usually considered to be age seven) prior to whatever legalities are necessary for the child to be considered Catholic.

Since first grade is the usual age to begin First Reconciliation and First Communion preparation it is a good idea to know if a six year old, about to turn seven, will be receiving those sacraments with school classmates or with the adults. And this can vary slightly from diocese to diocese and from parish to parish.

*QUOTE=dixibehr;5076824]If Eastern Christians enter the Catholic Church, they are encouraged to join the sui juris church that most closely corresponds with the Church of origin.

For example, even if Antiochian Orthodox join a Roman rite parish, technically, they are considered Melkites unless they specifically stated they wished to change to the Latin Church at the time of their reception.*

I am fully aware of this, But I am specifically curious about the process if they were joining the “Roman Rite”?
does anyone know? Just curious?

If they are 7 or above, they would make their profession of faith with the other family members to become Catholic.

If below the age of 7, they would become Catholic by the action of the parents joining the Church.

Thanks for the replies :slight_smile:

This year we had a little boy receive his First Communion with his mother, who was received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. He had already been baptized Catholic because his father is Catholic, but the family had been attending the mother’s church. Then the father wanted to return to the Catholic Church and the mother decided to become Catholic, too. The boy and his sister attended CCD and since the boy was old enough for First Communion, he was prepared for it and received it with his mother. He was not Confirmed, though. That will happen in the usual manner when he reaches the proper age.

That is because the child is a Catholic.

If the child were a baptized non-Catholic, they should be received into full communion with both FHC and Confirmation.

any discussion of RCIA in general does not apply to Eastern Orthodox, who need only make a profession of faith, after enough preparation to make them comfortable in doing so, to learn differences in liturgy, practices etc. The DRE who is approached by an EO family should take steps to make sure the pastor contacts the diocese so the bishop can determine which rite they will be received into (usually that corresponding to their “home”). The average DRE and many pastors don’t have this knowledge.

as far as children of adults who are entering the Church through RCIA, those over age 7 are considered adults for this purpose and would participate in RCIA as adapted for their age and baptismal status. Younger children are considered infants and will be baptized asap, or when parents are baptized, and proceed to other sacraments with suitable religious formation at the usual age in their diocese. A baptized child younger than 7 is considered to be “covered” by the parent’s profession of faith, and is considered Catholic from the time the parent is received, The notation on the parish records should note his reception into full communion at this time. He then proceeds to the other sacraments at the usual age. this is in response to OP, not the other side issues. RCIA is not for baptized Catholics, although these candidates may join the non-Catholics for their catechetical sessions, but do not take part in the rites specific to RCIA, and celebrate sacraments at the time designated by the bishop for Catholics.

as a practical matter, when the RCIA is applied as written, when an entire family enters the Church, it may be that different members are “handled” differently, due to age, baptismal status etc., and the reasons for these differences must be explained carefully, accurately, several times over the course of preparation, to the parents and children.

the website for the AD of San Antonio has a good link to how to become Catholic, and to rules for pastors in administering RCIA, which covers precisely such topics as those raised here, and is a good guide for how it should be done.

I will suggest both possibilities, even though you already said she is under the Age of Reason.

A. Under the Age of Reason when the Baptism is determined to be valid she would normally begin the Catechetical process with children her age at the appropriate time. (K or 1st grade)

B. If over the Age of Reason or Catechetical Age (about 7 or 8) she would enter a Sacramental preparation process for First Holy Communion and be otherwise Catechized with her age group. Remember that Sacramental Preparation and “CCD” or “FF” should be two separate processes not one.

If she is not Baptized and under 7 or 8, she would be Baptized using the Rite of Infant Baptism, and continue at “A”.

If she is not Baptized and over 7 or 8, she would enter an RCIA process specifically prepared for her age. She would then be received as any “adult” would at the next Easter Vigil with the Sacraments of Initiation. (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion) The Sacraments of Initiation are not to be separated unless there is a SERIOUS reason and need to do so.


RCIA = Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults. There is no RCIA for children.

THERE IS RCIC. Rites of Christian Initiation for Children.

We’re Cathlolic, we have rites for everything.

Actually, in the eyes of Canon Law, an adult is any person over age 7.

You have that reversed. There is no such thing a RCIC.

There is RCIA adapted for children.

Interesting, yet when I google RCIC, I get lots and lots of catholic parishes offering it :shrug:

How odd that there is no official rites to welcome children into the church.

There is - it is RCIA.

But RCIA is for adults. It may adapted for children, but it is for adults… as the name says.

I can see how the church would end up in this pickle.

Normally children come into the church via their parents.
Adults come in via RCIA

Children are generally not allowed to convert until they have left home and are considered adults.

Children of adults who convert would be instructed in the faith by their parents whose faith is formed (quickly) via RCIA, and further by CCD, Religious Education, Faith Formation(FF) or todays name for it (whatever that may be).

But children in those middlen years, need a boost to get into FF… Hence RCIAMFC, or, as many parishes call it, RCIC.

We have two official Rites to welcome children:

Under the Age of Reason - The Rite of Infant Baptism.

Over the Age of Reason - The Rite of Chtistian Initiation of Adults.

Isn’t it interesting how many Catholic parishes continue to use terms and processes that are incorrect and misleading, and no one seems to do anything about it, but perpetuate it.

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