Seeking full communion with the Church


#1

Hello all,

I apologise if this is in the wrong forum as I am new around here. Before I ask for advice, I would like to share a little bit about me first (if that’s ok). I was baptised in the United Free Church of Scotland as a baby, my mother is a Catholic and my father is a Protestant and they were married at the time. My parents since divorced after my father was having an affair over 20 years ago and I haven’t saw him since. From an early age, I would attend the local United Free Church of Scotland and was very curious about God. I also would attend Mass on a Sunday evening with my maternal grandparents - who are both Catholic. In 1998, I became a Pentecostal Christian and served in that church for several years before becoming disillusioned with my faith. I had been through a devastating time in my life and my faith in God was not as strong as it once was.

A few years ago, I tried to get back into what I believed only to find that I didn’t really believe some of the doctrine and teachings of the Pentecostal church. Most of which contradicted the Bible and this left me so confused. My children attend the local Roman Catholic primary school and they go to Mass on the Holy Days of Obligation. I would go to the Mass whenever they did with the school and I had an overwhelming respect for the Church.

I have recently been going to weekday Mass at my local parish and am totally convinced that this is the Church that Jesus left His people. The Eucharist - for me - reduces me to tears almost every time as I feel Him so close to me like I’ve never felt before. It is so solemn and exactly what it should be. The Mass itself gives me peace and brings me closer to Him, it is so biblical as well. Lately, I have been watching archives of The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi, reading books by Scott Hahn, watching videos of Michael Cumbie and reading my Bible a lot more than what I used to. The Mass has made me finally see that it’s about Christ, not about me. In my time in the Pentecostal circles, I was very me-orientated in getting what God could give me. Now, having observed Mass a few times, I realise that its all about Him and that is amazing!!

I am considering buying a Weekday Missal and a Catholic Bible (as most of my Bibles are Protestant) in the coming weeks. I truly believe that God is calling me home to the Roman Catholic Church. I have every intention of raising my children Catholic also - however they do need baptised first (sooner rather than later as my eldest daughter wants to receive Holy Communion in 2016 with her class). The Church is truly God’s church and I now believe that.

My questions now are as follows:

  1. what should I do next?
  2. do I need to be baptised again?
  3. can anyone recommend any other books about the Catholic faith to deepen my knowledge and faith?

Thanks for reading and looking forward to hearing from some of you regarding this.


#2

1: Not sure about Scotland but here in the states you’d go into an RCIA class. If that’s what they do there, find an orthodox, traditional RCIA that really teaches the history and fullness of the Catholic Church.

2: Again, not sure about Scotland, and even here there seems to be a lot of different experiences. But usually if you have a baptism certificate or paperwork or you have someone who can sign an affidavit for you, that should be all you’d need to prove baptism. The baptism would have to be considered “valid” by the Catholic Church (i.e., done in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost/Spirit…). You can ask your Priest or parish about that.

3: I loved Rome Sweet Home by Scott Hahn as well as Orthodoxy by Chesterton and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Confessions by St. Augustine is good too.

As they say a lot around here, welcome home. I’m still on my path to enter the church as well so you have a lot of company in that regard!!! :tada:


#3
  1. Call your parish and ask to set up a meeting with the pastor to discuss coming into the Church. He’ll help you figure out all the details, answer the basic questions and go over any further items that may need clearing up (like copy of your baptismal certificate or letter from that church about your baptism). I would encourage you to also bring your children with you, or set up a separate meeting with them included so they can be properly introduced, welcomed, and their entrance to the Church can be organized.

Usually, for those who are coming into the Church as converts are welcomed into the Church through RCIA or similar program. It usually lasts from Aug/Sept to Easter/Pentecost. (They are beginning to start now, so it is a perfect time for you! So don’t delay calling the parish.) At the Easter Vigil, the highest, holiest, and most solemn Mass of the Church year, you will be welcomed into the Church with Baptism (if needed), Confirmation, and your First Eucharist. It is a magical time.

  1. You can’t be baptized again. Baptism is a one-time event that sets a permanent seal on your soul. What the pastor will do is ascertain if your baptism was valid. If it was, then you will not need baptism. If there is some confusion, or they can’t track down the records of your baptism, or some other question about the validity of the baptism, then the priest will perform a Conditional Baptism. The priest will say “I conditionally baptize you in the name…”. The reason is that if there was a problem with your first baptism, the Conditional Baptism will be your true baptism. If your first baptism is valid, then it is acknowledged and the conditional has no effect.

  2. You mentioned getting a Catholic Bible, I would sugges the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible by Scott Hahn. It has tons of great info and learning material. The NT is out in print, as well as some books of the OT. Hopefully soon the entire OT will be available.

Welcome home!


#4

Have you looked here?
rcag.org.uk/
rcagliturgy.org.uk/events.html

Presbyterian baptism is valid.

The Faith Explained by Leo J. Tresse is a classic book on Catholicism.
Also the Catechism of the Catholic Church but a little easier is the Baltimore Catechism:

baltimore-catechism.com/

(There have been some slight changes in canon law since it was written, but no changes in the dogma covered.)

The newest dogma definition is The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 1950:
vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xii/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-xii_apc_19501101_munificentissimus-deus_en.html


#5

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