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Susan wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have been quite interested in the Catholic faith for a while. I was baptized at the age of 10 and raised Southern Baptist however I divorced my first husband due to abuse and adultery and have since remarried. (We have now been together for almost 25 years.) I have spent the majority of my life in church but over the last ten years, I have felt that there is more to the faith than just a set of pre-planned church programs.

  • Would I even be allowed to attend a Catholic service?

Susan

  { As a Baptist interested in your faith, could I attend a Catholic service and become a Catholic? }

Paul replied:

Dear Susan,

Yes, absolutely, you may attend a Catholic service. No one will ask who you are or what you're doing there, for in most churches no one will notice.

And yes, there is much more to the faith than pre-planned church programs.

Jesus offers Himself to the world, and to you and me, on the Cross so that we may participate in divine life. The Catholic Mass, or Divine Liturgy, is the participation in Christ's salvific act, where His Body is offered for us and to us. There is nothing greater than continuously being in the bosom of Christ by receiving the Sacraments of Communion and Confession.

Contact us again if you have any further specific questions or call a church rectory near you and make an appointment with a priest. If you find yourself wanting to convert to Catholicism, the priest can walk you through what would need to be done to seek validation of your marriage.

Peace,

Paul

Mike replied:

Dear Susan,

Just to add to Paul's fine answer, Yes!, you could attend a Catholic service also known at the Mass. Nevertheless, at Communion time, you would have to refrain from receiving Communion until you become a Catholic.

This is not uncommon, even within the Church. Faithful Catholics know that they can't receive Communion if they have committed a grave sin . . . which requires going to Confession first before one can receive Communion again.

  • Some, in the situation, go up in the Communion line with their arms crossing their chest. This tells the priest distributing Communion that the recipient cannot receive Communion but still wishes to receive a priestly blessing from the priest.
  • Others, in the situation, remain in their pews and pray a Spiritual Communion:
Spiritual Communion

O Lord Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
I love you [above all things]|[with all my mind and my heart] and I long for thee in my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now sacramentally, at least come spiritually into my heart.
I embrace myself entirely to You and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.

Come Lord Jesus [optional add-on:] and glorify yourself through my weak body.

Amen.

Hope this helps,

Mike

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