The wait, learning before baptism


#1

The Apostles were baptized before they received the Eucharist, the Last Supper were they not? Does anyone have an idea on when they were baptized? Children can be baptized shortly after Birth and receive confirmation later. I have someone attending the RCIA. She is mentally challenged. She comes with another who is a Cradle Catholic and also mentally challenged. She is like a child, he is like a child. All she knows right now is that she wants to be Catholic. She loves the Church, the Mass and Jesus. She has been attending Mass the last couple of months. She has begun the RCIA in just the last few weeks. She was not asked to go to the right of acceptance. I was told last night that she would have to wait until next year to be baptized. She is hurt, He is sad. They do not understand. But because she is special she will most likely stick around. Christ in me tells me that there is a problem here.

“Let the children come to me, do not hinder them”

Any thoughts?

God Bless


#2

Why do they have to wait till next year? What difference will it make?


#3

[quote=catholic-rcia]The Apostles were baptized before they received the Eucharist, the Last Supper were they not? Does anyone have an idea on when they were baptized? Children can be baptized shortly after Birth and receive confirmation later. I have someone attending the RCIA. She is mentally challenged. She comes with another who is a Cradle Catholic and also mentally challenged. She is like a child, he is like a child. All she knows right now is that she wants to be Catholic. She loves the Church, the Mass and Jesus. She has been attending Mass the last couple of months. She has begun the RCIA in just the last few weeks. She was not asked to go to the right of acceptance. I was told last night that she would have to wait until next year to be baptized. She is hurt, He is sad. They do not understand. But because she is special she will most likely stick around. Christ in me tells me that there is a problem here.

“Let the children come to me, do not hinder them”

Any thoughts?

God Bless
[/quote]

If the Rite of Acceptance (which is only for those who are not Baptized) was held in the last few weeks it was for those who will be Baptized at Easter 2006. The RCIA requires at least ONE FULL liturgical year, prior to an adult being considered for Baptism.


#4

I have a unique perspective on this and since I myself have not been baptised you can take or leave my advice. My own son has a organic brain disorder I will not go into the details but it makes him mentally younger than his age so I may if necessary delay his sacrimental steps to wait for him to be truly prepared for them. With each step also comes added responsibilities. I would not want him to obligate himself above his ability to perform. I also through a governmental appointment work with people who suffer all forms of disabilities.

Gods grace is sufficient for them. In many cases they are the most trusting innocent souls we will ever have the pleasure of encountering while we live in this sinful world. I am constantly in awe of them.

I understand your desire to help them be baptised. I understand that a year of preperation would seem daunting. But I have seen the other side of the coin practiced by another faith. A tramatically brain injured man who functions at a mid 8-12 yr old level was quickly baptised and took upon himself many comitments to that church. Only to just as quickly fall away from the church because he was inadequetly prepared for his actions and the church itself had not had the necissary time to become acustomed to the extra care this brother needed to be a fully functional member.

Unless there is an immediate threat of death the sure slow way is the best. You, your parish, and her RCIA group will be blessed as she participates and becomes fully integrated into your parish. If you have any questions on how to effectively teach to her individual strengths I can probably find you some local resources if you live within the U.S.A. or send you some teaching assists if you live outside.

Every situation is different so follow the spirit and know that my prayers are with you.


#5

previous poster is correct in saying that if any child or adult has a disability that may shorten their life, as is the case with some causes of developmental delays, they should be baptized, confirmed, and receive Eucharist (if physically able) as soon as possible. they can then be catechised according to their ability and level. Otherwise they should be prepared for the sacraments, in a regular class if they can otherwise participate to the best of their ability with children of their chronological age. for instance a child who is “mainstreamed” in a regular school classroom, perhaps with an aide, can be assisted to participate in CCD. No one adult or child should be expected to take on tasks or assignments beyond their capability before or after baptism.

the concept of when the person is ready does not go beyond what they are capable of understanding. the child or adult must understand, at their level, what they are asking, what happens during the sacrament, and be capable of expressing a desire for the results of the sacrament, even non-verbally. I am thinking of a deaf-mute child who receive first communion last year, and will never develop to the point where he could commit or confess a sin, but whose joy in church during Mass is so evident that he inspires everyone around him, and he is positively radiant when he comes back from communion. he will never say a word but he is the best evangelizer in the parish.


#6

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