Converting to Catholicism
The time spent traveling on the journey is worth the final destination.
Converting to Catholicism is an important decision - one that should not be made lightly. Whether you're converting for marriage or for other personal reasons, embracing the Catholic religion is done through education, acceptance and by following the rites set out by the Catholic Church.
While it takes several months to complete the process, it is a satisfying journey for those wishing to join the faith. The following is a simplified version of what is required to become a Catholic.
Infants and Children
Children born into the Catholic Church are usually baptized as infants. It is in this moment that the child becomes a Catholic. The same holds true for children from families who join the church; they will be baptized and thus become members of the Catholic Church. When they are about seven-years-old, the children will receive communion and then, in their early teens, confirmation.
1 The first step is to research the Catholic faith to be sure this is the religious sect in which you want to belong. Read the Bible, speak to Catholic friends and read all you can about Catholicism, one of the oldest religions in existence. Adopting a new religion is a life-altering decision; learning all you can about the Catholic Church is essential.
2 Visit a Catholic church and attend Mass. If you have a friend who is Catholic, ask to join them the next time they go to church. Having someone beside you through the service will be helpful to explain to you the traditions and meanings involved in Mass. This will help you enjoy the service and understand the proceedings.
3 Feel free to visit various churches to find the one you like and in which you feel most comfortable.
4 Once you find a church you would like to join, contact the office and explain to them that you wish to convert to Catholicism. Most Catholic churches hold classes for those interested Catholcism and there are many books for those interested in becoming a Catholic. Not only will these help you further understand the faith you are adopting, the classes will also give you an opportunity to meet others who are converting.
5 You will be asked to speak to a priest or deacon about your wish to convert to Catholicism. You will be asked why you want to become a Catholic as well as other questions the church will use to assess your interest in the Catholic faith. The Church will want to be sure that you are sincere, as well as inform you of the conditions involved with being a Catholic.
6 If you choose to continue, you will take more classes called RCIA, or Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. These Catholic education classes will teach you the history of the faith, the beliefs and values of the Catholic Church and all about Mass.
7 Once you have finished your classes and graduate, you will be able to participate in the Holy Communion (Eucharist) and you will be baptized (if you haven't already been) and confirmed by the church. All of these rites signal that you are now a Catholic and a member of the Catholic Church.
Becoming a Catholic is an important religious journey; one that requires much faith and dedication. However, for those truly wishing to join the Catholic Church, the time spent traveling is worth the final destination.