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Sanil Joseph wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am Pentecost believer and I want to take membership in the the Roman Catholic Church.

  • How can I go about doing this?

Sanil

  { As a Pentecost believer who is interesting in joining the Catholic Church, how do I proceed? }

Eric replied:

Sanil,

Welcome to the family!

Find your local Catholic parish, call them up, and say you want to enroll in RCIA classes. These are classes for people interested in learning more about Catholicism or interested in joining the Church.

Eric

John replied:

Dear Brother in Christ,

My colleague, Mike sent me your e-mail because he knows I'm a former Pentecostal Minister. I left the pulpit in 1996 to become a Catholic Layman. I'm thrilled to hear that you wish to come into full Communion with the Catholic Church.

If there are any specific doctrines that you are having difficulty with, I would be happy to help you understand them. Having a Pentecostal background myself, I might be able to explain Catholic doctrines in a way that makes it easier for you to grasp.

In terms of how to enter the Church, well, the first thing I suggest you do is visit a Catholic Church and then approach the priest after Mass. He will likely ask you make an appointment to see him during office hours. If you could tell us where you are located, perhaps we could help find you a good parish to visit.

I would also encourage you to find a Catholic Charismatic Prayer group, where you can worship with Catholics that have a similar spirituality. Catholic Charismatics, embrace the use the gifts of the Holy Spirit, described in detail in 1 Corinthians 12-14. We pray in tongues, believe in prophecy, healing, and all the other gifts. The Catholic Church recognizes that to this day, the Holy Spirit continues to bestow these gifts on the faithful but that they should be used in their proper context . . . in a prayer meeting . . . as opposed to a liturgy.

As I said, the first step is to discuss your desire to become a Catholic with a local priest. You will likely be enrolled in a program we call RCIAIt stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Because you are already a Christian and already share our faith in Jesus Christ and the Trinity, the program will be shorter, than if you were a non-Christian converting to the faith. At the end of the program, you will be received into the Church.

This usually takes place on the Easter Vigil. The program usually starts around September or October and runs up until Easter. For non-Christians joining the Church this can take longer.

This all assumes there are no impediments. For instance, if you are divorced and have remarried, there are some other steps that need to take place. If there are no impediments, it's just a matter of learning and accepting some basic Catholic doctrines.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Under His Mercy,

John DiMascio
[Related posting]

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