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How Does One Go About Becoming A Catholic?

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THUNDER HANDS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:46 PM
Original message
How Does One Go About Becoming A Catholic?
I was born to a Jewish father and a Catholic mother and was raised with basically neither in my life growing up as a child.

My girlfriend wants us to get married in a Catholic Church, so I'm thinking about becoming an 'official' Catholic. I just don't know what that means.

Is there some ritual or ceremony or process I have to go through? What are the requirements to get married in a Catholic Church anyway?
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Michigander4Dean Donating Member (588 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Contact your girlfriend's Catholic parish
I'm a 'cradle' Catholic, so I don't know much about Catholic initiation, except you are officially baptized the night before Easter (on the Easter Vigil).
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. I believe there are classes you have to take.
I think there is an official conversion process.

As to what the requirements are for marriage, that can vary by church. Some are more strict than others.

I'd start talking to priests from different parishes to find one you like.
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Loonman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
3. "some"????
Heh, heh heh...just joshing you, just call the church and ask to talk to the priest or deacon, be sincere. Nothing you can't handle.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
4. you are going to need to see yr girlfriend's priest
there is a series of lessons or catechisms that you will have to take before you can get married in the church

it is not a one day ritual, leastways didn't used to be

you need to explain the situation to her priest, and he will set you up with the proper counseling



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4_Legs_Good Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
5. It's actually kinda a big deal...
You'll prolly have to go through RCIA, which is a long process, but seems to be great for people who do it.

Anyway, there are no real requirements for getting married in the Catholic Church. You *may* have to agree to raise any children Catholic, but I think that's about it. You do NOT need to "convert".

Check with her parish about specifics, but it's not that tough.

david
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
6. You have to run through a few sacraments
Baptism, confirmation - adulthood in the Church, confession.

However, one does not need to be Catholic to get married in the Church. You must promise to raise the kids in the CHurch, tho.

There actually is a rather involved process to convert. Even if you want just to be married in the Church, you have to go through a process known as pre-Canaan.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
7. You have to enter the RCIA program at your girlfriend's church.
It is a series of classes that occur pretty much weekly for over a year.

Then, on Easter Saturday, you are welcomed into the Church as part of the Easter Week festitivies.

PS: You don't have to be Catholic to be married in the Catholic Church. If your girlfriend is a practicing Catholic, that is enough.
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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
24. You may have to do a Marriage Encounter, though
My first wedding was to a good Catholic girl in a Catholic Church.

I was baptised Catholic, but was confirmed as a Protestant. We had to do the whole Marriage Encounter thing, and we had to get a "dispensation" in order to have a Catholic marriage.

I don't think I'd ever do a big church wedding like that again, though. The next one will be small, intimate and outrageous.

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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. I think you mean the Pre-Cana conference.
That is the conference you have to go to prior to getting married.

Complete waste of time. Designed for 18 year olds. Talking about what item you wanted first, TV or VCR, blah, blah, blah.

We were combining households and trying to determine how to dispose of things.
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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Yeah, it was pretty ridiculous
me and the ex- were living in sin at the time when we went to ours, and we had the same combining households issues, too. Fat lot of good it did us, too, considering we divorced 8.5 years later.

Naturally, we had to sleep in separate rooms the whole weekend, which was really strange considering we'd shared a bed for the previous year. But at least her parents were happy that we had a "real" wedding in the Catholic church, and not some pagan ritual in front of the JoP or (God forbid) a Protestant ceremony.
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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
8. You don't have to convert to get married in the Church
You don't have to become a convert to marry your fiancee in the Church, though you will have to go through pre-Cana (or whatever it's being called nowadays :-) which is premarital counseling, RC-style.

If you've never been to Mass before, I suggest attending one or two before you do anything else. Just sit in the back and observe.

If your fiancee is part of a particular parish, make an appointment to talk to someone there about going through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). If not, I would look up the closest parish online and talk to a priest there.

I would suggest cross-posting this in the Catholic group if you can, so your query doesn't get lost here in the Lounge.
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matcom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
9. small animal sacrifice
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 02:17 PM by matcom
preferably a cut kitten
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arwalden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
10. Are You Doing It For Yourself? Or Just To Please Your Girlfriend?
Is it as simple as just filling in a form and signing on the line? Or... Do you have to convince the priest that you are sincere and comitted to being a dutiful Catholic?
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CanuckAmok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
11. Let Crusaders into your country.
That works well.
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. :)
Thats perty dang funny!
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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
12. If I tell ya, I'll have to kill ya....
You have to learn Latin, recite all 22,376 saints and what they are the patrons of, learn a new Our Father and, learn the pain of fasting for about an hour....
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. You forgot to mention.....
the knock-out punch at Confirmation.

;)
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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. I left the church, or, more precisely, asked to leave
when I kept questioning dogma in catechism class....

Never had to be confirmed so I don't have to go on the next crusade...
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #13
26. Nobody told me he was the Bishop!
So I hit him back.
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DS1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
14. Learn to carry around a constant feeling of guilt
even if you did nothing wrong.

That's what I hear, anyway :-)
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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. Q - How many Catholics does it take to change a light bulb?
A - None. The Catholic sits in the dark, asking himself, "What did I do wrong?"

(yes, a nun told me this...)
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:20 PM
Response to Original message
16. It's easy - just like joining Netflix
Ya sign a couple forms & give 'em some cash.

Oh, and you're supposed to actually believe something too. Off the top of my head, I don't remember how that works. Probably not all that important. Just a detail.
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ChickMagic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
18. I converted to Catholocism
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 02:24 PM by ginbarn
All I had to do was go once a week for about a month and get instruction. It was in the evening. After that, you make your first confession and take your first communion. If you've never been baptized, they'll baptize you. Just contact your local parish church.

on edit: I believe you have to be engaged at least six months to have a Catholic wedding and meet with the priest for premarital counseling a couple of times.
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billyskank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
20. Guilt. Massive quantities of guilt.
That's the ticket. :thumbsup:
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
21. I have seen many, many Catholic churches...
perform marriages between "mixed" religious couples. Find a more liberal Catholic church and there should be no reason for you to covert.
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tjwmason Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
22. My advice is don't
Unless you actually mean to. If you do genuinely mean to then plase don't be offended by that.

Officially joining the Church just to please your girl-friend is a total nonsense. An official Catholic is somebody who believes in Catholicism, not somebody who is ready to jump through the right hoops in order to get a Priest to say the right words. Catholicism isn't a just a club to be joined at will.

You should be able to marry in a Catholic church without joining (you may have to agree to raise any children as Catholic).
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Beware the Beast Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
23. You don't have to convert to marry.
And I wouldn't recommend doing it unless you feel truly committed to it.
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Thtwudbeme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
28. Conversion to the Catholic church will involve classes, studying
It's not all that hard...look at all the Catholics! (Ducks...runs...)

Seriously, be prepared to acknowledge the Pope, and all those doctrines.

Have you two seriously contemplated a middle ground like the Episcopal Church? It has most of the same "churchy" stuff as the Catholics do; in fact if you go to a High Episcopal Church, they can outdo the Catholics for sheer churchy like stuff! Latin and incense included!

Stephanie
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scarlet_owl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 03:16 PM
Response to Original message
29. You have to complete the RCIA process at your local
parish. It might not be too late for you to get in, as many churches have just started classes. In fact, I'm on our RCIA team at my church and that's what I'm doing tonight. Good luck to you.
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