For the last couple of years I have wanted to become Catholic. I have let a lot of my fears hold me back from doing so. In the last couple of weeks I have felt a stronger pull to become Catholic. I grew up Christian but I never really went to church past child hood because my parents hated it. My husband grew up Mormon and wants to get in to religion and wants to change religions as well. I have some questions though about becoming Catholic. My husband was married once before and got a devoice will, that effect him becoming Catholic? Are all Catholic churches the same? I was looking at some of the ones near me on line and 2 of them only give service in Spanish. I have talked to my mom about how I would like to become Catholic and we talked in depth about it. She told me a story about how on a trip to Mexico growing up they were going though some city’s were people lived in homes of sticks and stones you could see though yet the Catholic churches were huge and wonderful looking. Since then she has not liked the Catholic church and has tried discourage me from wanting to convert. As much as I wish to please her I don’t think I can keep ignoring this feeling this pull towards the Catholic church. If anyone can answer those questions and maybe give some words of advice I would kindly welcome them.
Hey, Michelle (I presume that’s your name…)
Welcome to the forums!
There is a reason why you are being pulled towards becoming a Catholic.
It’s called the Holy Spirit. He’s calling you home.
I strongly encourage you to follow the urge. Nothing but good will come of it.
And, while you’re at it, use the forums to increase your knowledge of the faith. It will be an invaluable tool.
About your husband’s previous marriage, he needs an anullment, because his previous marriage would have been valid and sacramental.
It will not impede his efforts to become Catholic, though you two will have to live as brother and sister till the previous marriage has been annulled, and yours blessed. When this can take place, I know not.
About your mum and her seeing nice churches in Mexico, while also seeing hovels in the same street, consider this verse:
[quote=Matthew CHapter 6]6 And when Jesus was in Bethania, in the house of Simon the leper, 7 There came to him a woman having an alabaster box of precious ointment, and poured it on his head as he was at table. 8 And the disciples seeing it, had indignation, saying: To what purpose is this waste? 9 For this might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. 10 And Jesus knowing it, said to them: Why do you trouble this woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.
11 For the poor you have always with you: but me you have not always. 12 For she in pouring this ointment upon my body, hath done it for my burial. 13 Amen I say to you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, that also which she hath done, shall be told for a memory of her
Not everything has to go towards the poor. God does allow us to make beautiful structures for him.
The Church believes that solemn promises are binding. Therefore if you divorce and take another wife the second marriage is not licit. That can be a very hard teaching for people who are brought up in a culture where marriages tend not to last, but we think that the consequences of not insisting on binding vows would be far worse.
You can get different flavours of Catholicism. Obviously Leeds University Catholic chaplaincy has a very different social atmosphere to a parish in a Mexican slum. However the readings and the main events of the Mass will be the same, and of course we have one Pope.
Poor people who attend church tend not to resent the fact that it represents a concentration of wealth. There is a happy balance and sometimes it is right to spend less on ritual and more on bread and potatoes, but it is also possible to destroy social institutions for a small temporary benefit.
You might consider talking to the person in charge of this at a parish. Someone in charge of RCIA. Or you could speak with a priest about it. I know it might be confusing as to what to do, etc. But once you talk to someone, they’ll point you in the right direction. I’m a Catholic convert.
Hello Michelle! I wanted to add a couple of thoughts. First, about the mass being only in Spanish…please call the rectory and inquire. When a Church in America has a large pop. of Spanish speaking folks in its congregation, there is normally a Mass in English, and a separate one in Spanish. I would be quite surpised if this were not the case in these two parishes…we’re still in America after all:p
About your mother’s apprehension…the Church being so beautiful, and the immediate area being so poor. Did she bother to ask the residents of the Church if they’d like a downgraded Church…one that was equally poor as they…It’s rhetorical…I know she didn’t. But if she had I would bet anything that an overwhelming “NO!” would be the answer. Mexican Catholics love their Churches…and why delegate them to a shoddy Church…essentially punishment for being poor…What this would say is “rich people get pretty Churches, and poor people do not.” Also consider this. In my diocese…and I’d bet in Diocese across America…we have adopted a Catholic Church in poorer Jamaica. We basically support this “sister Church” with collections frequently…when you join the Catholic Church you will find that it truely is one body…
Finally, know this: That Church feeds the area people…Clothes the area people and gives them beauty to worship in. I wouldn’t want to take that from them.
You mother might not know that those Catholic churches in Mexico are likely a few hundred years old…long before there was the concept of thrid world countries. And many of the people who built those churches were people who lived in shacks. Its not like they can sell the churches to give the money to the poor now. Who in the world wants to own a church? Especially in the third world where no one has money. Selling a huge Cathedral wouldn’t even put a den’t in the poverty. With that in mind you mother might want to wonder how much money the church does give to the poor? You would be shocked at the amount of money that comes from Catholic Charities poured into impovrished nations. In years past it was almost only Catholic charity organizations that existed. The worlds largest Charitable organization is the Catholic church…and it aint even close. I wonder how much money that trip to mexico your mother took cost. I wonder how many poor people that lived in houses of sticks and stones it wold have fed.
INVESTIGATE THE CHURCH and you yourself will find that it is very concerned for the poor. More than any other organization on the planet. It is a wonderful Church to belong to. Welcome home.
Well the problem is his ex wife wont give him a annulment. She didn’t even want to devoice him. She wanted to stay married to him have him support her well she slept with other people both male and female. He caught her on more then once in there bed with another person. So since he wont be able to get the annulment and from the sounds of it we truly wouldn’t be excepted in the church because of it I don’t think being Catholic is right for me as much as my heart wants it. My marriage means the world to me and sharing my faith with my husband means a lot to me. Im sorry all.
He can get an annullment without her. It appears that she never intended to “be married” the way God intended and that is a problem…definately a large question in “was this marriage a sacramental one” question!
It might take longer…but the other ex-spouse does not have to comply.
THe church gives the annulment. How in the world do you know there wont be an anunulment? Although it is up to a marriage tribunal to determine…I can guarantee you from the little information I have gathered on your posts that this is far from being an impossible case in fact if I were to wager on it from the info you have mentioned I would say it is likely an annullment. Catholicisim is right for everyone becuase it is the authentic religion of the authentic god. Everything else is at best a incomplete form of christianity or at worst a phoney man made relgion. You have decided by a few posts on a message board that it isn’t for you? If you really feel drawn to a Catholic church…go to a church knock on the rectory door and talk to the preist, TELL him of your deisre. He will take it from there. Most likely he will put you into contact with the RCIA director of the parish and then go from there.
re: your husband’s pervious marriage & annulment…
The only way to know for sure is to go through the process. A person does not have to be Catholic to do it. There are a lot of factors to consider, we cannot possibly investigate them in a thread like this…
And an annulment not may not be the only option. There may be the possibility of a dissolution through “Pauline Privilege” or “Favor of the Faith.” These would be investigated in the same way an annulment would be. Just go to any Catholic parish near you.
In any case, he must look into it, not you, (beacuse with regard to his previous marriage, you have no standing).
And in response to the Big Catholic Churches in poor countries …
One of the Surprised by Truth books (2 or 3 I think - not the first one) has a conversion story of an American woman who went to live in Latin America as a protestant missionary. One of the things that drew her to the Catholic Church was that she noticed that when the protestants set up churches in her area, they set up two: one for the poor people and one for the wealthy. The Catholics - rich or poor - went to the same parish.
you will get the annuhlment. My former wife did not co-operate in our annuhlment process. Holy church will guide you. My current wife and I lived a continent relationship for over a year…what a blessing. Any discomfort you have in this process of coming in to the church is an opportunty for growth…but remember satan looks to sift you like wheat, so pray…go to mass (even though you can’t yet receive the sacraments), spend time with your husband reading scripture to better understand God’s plan for your marriage, spend a holy hour before our Lord in the blessed sacrament if you can, and you will not fail. Sacramental participation will come as you understand more and more…you are blessed!! Go and be leaven unto the world!!
Michelle, you should go talk with a priest before you make a decision not to convert. You should consider taking the classes so that you know what it is you are choosing to walk away from. Yes , if you convert your husband will have to petition the Catholic Church to investigate his marriage and see if it was a valid marriage. This is not the same thing as a legal annulment. The church will send papers to the other spouse to give them a chance to tell their side of the story about the state of their mind when the marriage took place.The reason for the church investigation is to see if a marriage took place at all based upon the way the Catholic Church understands marriage. Scripture is clear about divorce being reserved for only the worst situation. There is nothing about getting another marriage after divorce in the new testament. The Catholic Church defends marriage but it recongnizes when there is a defect in attempted marriages. This may be the case in your husbands marriage.
No one can say whether a decree of nullity will be granted until the paperwork is submitted.
The Catholic C does a lot of work for the needy. But a lot of the laity just don’t do much to relive poverty, etc… i mean, they could do more…
It is true that some in the Church don’t seem to care aboutthe poor… but that doesn’t mean the whole Church should be tossed out with the bathwater… i have to go… God bless.
Did she ask these catholics how they felt about having such a church, because I don’t think that they would necessarily be complaining. I’d presume that they were personally fine with the church, believing that that was a sign of the respect due to god. In fact - I’d bet that if someone started selling off bits of the church to give them money they’d be up in arms. I find your mothers argument can be refuted simply by looking at Mt 26:6-13.
Also there are two more points - these poor people probably used the church quite a bit so it was probably a communal building. And secondly regardless of what the church gives to god - she gives more to the people - both spiritually, and financially - than any other organization.