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Kay wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'm interested in learning more about the Catholic Church. I'm a baptized Christian who was raised in the Lutheran Church. In my adult life, I have attended several different denominations:

  • Baptist
  • Assemblies of God, and
  • currently, the Methodist church.

I am seeking a closer relationship with the Lord, Jesus.

  • Can I attend a Catholic Church? or . . .
  • Must I go speak with a priest, and ask for permission to attend?
  • Also, I have been divorced and remarried, so will I be allowed to become a Catholic?

Kay

  { As a Methodist drawn to the Church, can I just attend a Catholic parish or should I see a priest? }

John replied:

Hi, Kay —

Of course you will be allowed to attend a Catholic Church. All are welcome into the Church of Jesus Christ. No permission slips required!

Because you are not in the Church yet, you may not receive the Eucharist.

I would assume that your first marriage was not Catholic, and will probably be seen as
non-sacramental. Since the Protestant denominations don't treat matrimony as a sacrament,
nor do they have valid Holy Orders, odds are there is no impediment.

You should find a solid, orthodox, Catholic parish, and talk to the priest. He will point you in the right direction. You will be required to enter what is called R.C.I.A., which is a series of classes about the Faith. It stands for: Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.   Then you can be received into the Church. You also may have to have your current marriage blessed.

If you let us know where you are living, we might be able to locate a good parish for you.

Also, consider buying a cheap copy of hte Catechism of the Catholic Church so you understand the teachings we believe as faithful Catholics, and . . . .

Welcome home!

John DiMascio

Mary Ann replied:

Hi, Kay!

Of course, you may attend any service at a Catholic Church. You are welcome at any time, even just to come in and pray and that is a good place to start. Find out where the Blessed Sacrament Chapel is (maybe it's in the main church area), and just go there to pray and ask the Lord's guidance. You will discover something wonderful.

As for the divorce and remarriage, there are a variety of issues there that can be sorted out best with your local priest. People who are divorced and remarried are certainly allowed to become Catholics. In order to receive the Eucharist, the current union would have to be a valid marriage or become one. That may be very simple to ascertain or accomplish, or it could be a bit more complex and take a little time.

In any case, you can trust that Jesus will lead you and strengthen you for His will.

God bless you on your journey.

Mary Ann

Mike replied:

Hi, Kay —

Thanks for the question.

Some of the issues that may be involved in reviewing any previous marriage would be:

  1. The religion of both parties at the time of first marriage.
  2. Were both baptized?
  3. Was this the first marriage for each?
  4. Who officiated at the marriage?
  5. Was this the first marriage for either party?
  6. Who officiated?
  7. Where did the marriage take place?

As both John and Mary Ann said, I'd recommend making an appointment to talk with a faithful Catholic priest about these questions. I'm sure he'll strive to do whatever he can to help your entrance into the Church.

Mike Humphrey

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