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Protestant Student wrote:

Hi, guys —

My question is in regards to the logistics of taking the first steps for RCIA

I am a student studying at a university with a couple more years of moving across the country ahead of me as I am interested to become a devout Catholic. My question is:

  • Would it be immoral to postpone RCIA until after graduation, so that I am settled in an area which I can properly build on joining the Church in a particularly stable manner?
  • Or, is it wrong to wait for ideal settings to arise in the foreseeable future?

Thank you for your time and response.

Protestant Student

  { Would it be immoral to delay RCIA until after graduation, so I can join the Church in a stable way? }

Mike replied:

Dear Protestant Student,

You said:

  • Would it be immoral to postpone RCIA until after graduation, so that I am settled in an area which I can properly build on joining the Church in a particularly stable manner?
  • Or, is it wrong to wait for ideal settings to arise in the foreseeable future?

No, it would not be immoral but, as you said, probably more practical and wiser.

Your question is interesting because most of the time we receive questions from those interested in joining the Church, (for which there are many), and there complaint is mainly:

  • "Why do we have to wait so long?"

The answer is becoming Catholic is not just about believing and accepting the Teachings of the Church, though it is that. It is also about becoming a family member of the Church, Jesus' only Church founded on St. Peter and his successors and finding your calling within the Church via the local parish's various ministries.

No, it would not be immoral to delay your RCIA program, as long as any delay is not extended over time. A good idea would be to make an appointment with a local Catholic priest. Tell him your interest in joining the Church and ask him about how you can develop your faith over time, before entering the Church, like by:

Sorry it told a while to get back to you. My colleagues may have other ideas.

I hope this helps,

Mike

John replied:

Hi P.S.,

Let me add one thing to Mike's advice:

Live like a Catholic as though you have already been received into the Church.

Obviously attend Mass as frequently as possible but, in particular, fulfill your Sunday Obligation (and Holy days of Obligations) not legalistically, but out of love.

Likewise, seek out good priests you can talk to whenever you find yourself in a difficult situation. You can't receive absolution in Confession yet, unless you are in danger of death, but you can still seek the counsel of priests for everything in your spiritual walk, including any struggle with sin.

Obviously confess your sins to God and repent. You can also share your sins with a priest and they are still bound by the Seal of the Confession not to divulge them. He can't absolve you yet but, as I said he can give you counsel. And of course, the Lord will forgive you without the benefit of absolution because you would confess any sins if you could. God looks at the intent of your heart.

In addition, say a Spiritual Communion when you attend Mass and go up to receive a blessing. A Spiritual Communion is simple. There are many forms . . . or simply ask Jesus to commune with you spiritually, even though you can't receive Him sacramentally.

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, (optional: with all my mind, with all my heart, and with all my soul). I love you because you are infinitely good and worthy of all my love.

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.

Optional add-on: Come Lord Jesus and glorify Yourself through my weak, broken body.

Amen.

Honestly, it's not unlike the Sinner's Prayer said by Evangelicals when they commit their lives to Christ and ask Jesus to enter their hearts. It is both an act of Spiritual Communion and an Act of Faith.

Welcome to the Church!! You're actually already part of it and have been part of the Church in an imperfect way.

We look forward to when that Communion is perfect and you can receive all the Sacraments.

Under His Mercy,

John DiMascio

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