Returning to the Church, need some guidance

Hello everyone,

I am really excited to be here. Just typing out this post has been years in the making.

At birth I was baptized into the Roman Catholic Church, since then I was raised outside of the Church. I never really knew what it meant to be a practicing Catholic, or what it even meant to be a Catholic. Growing up I was exposed to the occasional prayer in the form of my parents telling me to talk to God to ask for guidance whenever I needed it, but I never really understood what it meant to truly have a relationship with Him.

I am now 25 years old. Since graduating high school, I have felt this desire to be closer to God and his church growing stronger and stronger within me. It had on one occasion a few years ago driven me to drive myself to Mass to which I found myself completely lost in the celebration, and yet feeling a strong sense of home. I also on a few occasions made it out to the Catholic service within boot camp during my time in the military.

At this point in my life, the desire within me to return to God and to the church is absolutely burning. I have spent the past two months now conducting a great deal of research, trying my best to learn and understanding more about the Catholic faith and what I should be doing next. I really am filled with so much excitement to be here now making active steps to reconnect to the Church! Really, I’ve spent the past couple days looking at secular mendicant orders- yes I should probably learn to walk before I run!

I have tried reaching out to my local parish via their website for more guidance, unfortunately I have not yet received a response. I guess not the best timing with the current state of the health crisis.

But enough context, I do have some special circumstances leading to my primary questions.

  1. At around age 13 or 14, my parents had me undergo the sacrament of Confirmation at a Catholic church while vacationing overseas. Truthfully, I did not truly have a grasp on what it was I was actually doing, and to my understanding, I believe there is supposed to be a formal process of schooling and education before receiving the sacrament of Confirmation (correct me if I am wrong). I did not have any of that before this Confirmation. In addition, doing my research now, I see that the Catholic church it was conducted at was not the Roman Catholic Church. It was a Catholic church that had split from the Roman Catholic Church in 1902.

As you can imagine, learning this information has led me now to more questions than answers.

Was the Confirmation I participated in truly a legitimate Confirmation to be recognized by the Roman Catholic Church? When the time comes when I can attend my local parish again (assumingly after the pandemic clears up) should I tell them I have only had Baptism and not confirmation so to be able to start from scratch- to which I would be more than happy to do. Or would it be correct to embrace the Confirmation I partook in and go from there?

I apologize for the lengthy post, thank you so much for reading to this point. I hope to find some guidance as to what my next steps should be going forward.

I look forward to reading your responses.

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The Mariavite Church Confirmation is not valid, I think. I recommend being Confirmed in the Catholic Church.

Revision: later I found out this was The Philippine Independent Church.

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Well, I don’t really know whether the Confirmation you participated in was valid or not. But I would just tell the powers-that-be the truth and try to explain the circumstances around your confirmation . If they need you to receive Confirmation again, then so be it. Of if they determine your previous reception was appropriate, then you can always do some background reading/study on-your-own to fill in any gaps… Your willingness to accept either option is in itself very good, and shows that you are on the right path. You should be fine! Take care and Blessings!

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Contact your local Catholic parish office, priest or deacon. They are the best to help you. Or go to Mass and ask one of the person there to point out someone to talk to. I think this would be the easiest and quickest ways.

There is a very high number of Catholic parish websites that need a lot of work. Links are disconnected or information as old as the street itself. One of the best comments I have found on a parish website when searching for the opening hours of the parish church is to “Look at the notice board in the vestibule for opening hours as they differ every week.”

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If I had to guess, I would guess that the church to which the OP is referring was the Philippine Independent Church, which did indeed break away from the Catholic Church in 1902.

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Thank you. Yes I see Mariavite Church was 1906 not 1902. The Philippine Independent Church, I see, is in full communion with the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion. Therefore Confirmation would still be needed in the Catholic Church.

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@murse24, welcome to CAF, we are so happy to have you here with us and to help you on your return to Church! :slightly_smiling_face:

Good suggestions have been given to you already, I would like to recommend you pick up a copy of Catholicism for Dummies on Amazon or elsewhere. Please excuse the name, it’s part of a series of easy to understand books. It will cover the basics.

Also, go on YouTube and watch some videos of Fr. Mike Schmitz. He has a wealth of information there covering so many topics.

And please come back here and read, and ask questions all you want!

Welcome home!

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It will take some investigation on the part of the Catholic Church to determine that. All you need to do is tell your pastor the relevant information, and he can work with the diocesan curia office to make the determination on validity.

You should tell them everything, and they will investigate and determine the validity of the confirmation. Confirmation can only be received once. So, if you were validly confirmed, then that is that. If you weren’t, then you need the sacrament. If it’s doubtful, you can be confirmed conditionally.

Thank you for being patient. Some parishes have volunteer staff who might not be working right now. Others are working with reduced staffing. I would hope that the priest would reach out to you soon, but it’s possible he didn’t get the message or the message is going to a mailbox that isn’t monitored right now.

Maybe give the parish a call? Look on their website for a phone number or for a copy of the bulletin which may have the priest’s phone number on it.

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Everyone else has given you great advice. I just wanted to say it’s fantastic that the Holy Spirit is leading you back to active practice of your Catholic faith. I will pray for you on your journey. I agree with IrishMom’s recommendation of “Catholicism for Dummies” so you can review the basics.

Also, with respect to contacting your parish: I recommend you telephone them rather than use website or e-mail. Many if not most parishes don’t respond all that well to e-mail even when there’s not COVID going on. Try calling during regular business hours and see if you can get a live person to talk to. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while because many parishes are also short-staffed or have reduced opening hours because of COVID.

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Register at the parish website for mass. I think all parishes require a mask and maintain social distancing.

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Welcome back :slight_smile:

It has been a dicey time in these past few months, in many places we are are just slowly starting to be able to come back to Mass after months of everything shut down. I know where I am, all our parish groups were shut down as well except some of us online, a lot of the shut downs included the groups for adults joining or returning to the Church for full Confirmation. So it may take some time and patience until everything sorts itself out. But if you call the church you should eventually get a response. Patience and persistence will pay off. I will pray for you.

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Some parishes don’t require registration. Many of the churches in my area just allow people to show up whenever. If the number of people exceeded the number of available pews (since many pews are closed off to provide social distancing) then they might change that, but so far, hasn’t been an issue.

You can see on the parish website whether you need to register in order to attend Sunday Mass. There are also often weekday Masses which are smaller and shorter.

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Try calling them. Most Church offices have been open this whole time.

As far as I know, when I registered at my local parish, they contacted my previous diocese for records of Baptism, first Communion, Confirmation, wedding, baptism of my kids, etc… I remember when we got married my wife had to get her certificates & documents from her Church in Mexico.

Whatever was lacking, to be on the safe side, we did again.

Pray, hope, & don’t worry.

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Parishes are not know for having the most reliable websites, updated and monitored.

Call them.

Welcome home

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I am overwhelmed by the amount of responses and warm welcomes. Thank you all for taking the time to read my post and offer some guidance! It seems the overwhelming answer is to call and discuss my circumstances with the local parish, I will definitely do that this week!

This is correct! The church I was confirmed at was the Philippine Independent Church, you guys are good! Hmm and so you do say I would have to be confirmed again at the Roman Catholic Church.

I love book recommendations, I will look into this, thank you!

Father Mike is great! I also enjoy watching/listening to Bishop Barron, Breaking in the Habit, Catholic Talk Show, so many great resources!

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That is a question that pretty much is above the pay grade of anyone in the forums. You will need to speak with your priest, or call you diocese/archdiocese and provide them with the information. They ultimately are most likely the ones who will be able to make the decision.

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I would also recommend watching the Catholic programs on EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network), founded by Mother Angelica (now deceased). If you can get that in your programming, give it a viewing.

I would suggest acquiring a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (latest edition). and a copy of Catholic Replies by James J. Drummey. You should be able to find these at any Catholic bookstore.

Do you have a Catholic Bible? If not, you should get one.

And, welcome home! Please feel free to ask us anything. We’ll try to help.

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Make an appointment with a Priest and go over all of this with him. He will help you.

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Definitely Call your parish office and ask for an appointment with a priest or the pastor of the church. Explain your situation with him including where you were baptized and how you were not confirmed in a proper church. I don’t think it would have been valid your confirmation because confirmation is all affirming your belief in In the teachings of the catholic church and saying you want to be catholic the rest of your life. But definitely talk to your priest about it. Hope this helps! Welcome home!! Dominus vobiscum

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