Post # 1
Hello Bees! Let me just give you a little background on my situation. My fiance was born and raised Catholic – his grandparents are very religious but his family is more laid back. I was raised without any religion. For a little while now I’ve started to be interested in joining a church, and because of my fiance’s background, I am starting to strongly consider joining the catholic church. I know that it will require work, which is where I need your advice.
I would like to get married in a small chapel right down the street from my house. It is owned by the St. Louis Parish in Clarksville, MD (if anyone is familiar?). What do I need to do to make this happen by October 2015? Do I even have enough time? I’ve never been baptised or anything. Please let me know where to start 🙂
Post # 3
@sauerdragon: Most parishes are going to require the following:
- One member of the couple needs to be registered parishioners (attending that church)
- At least one member needs to be baptised (and usually confirmed) Catholic
- You need to attend pre-cana (pre-marital) classes or go to an Engaged Encounter retreat or have pre-marital couseling with the pastor
- The non-Catholic partner needs to sign a waiver agreeing to raise any future children Catholic
If it is just the chapel down the road and you guys haven’t been attending that parish, the liklihood of being able to get married there this year is pretty slim. If you actually want to become Catholic and your Fiance wants to get back involved in church, I’d start attending Mass there, register and ask about RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults- basically how an adult “becomes” Catholic).
Post # 4
@MexiPino: Well my fiance has never lived in my hometown so he is not a parishioner. I would like to raise my children catholic, and I am fine with pre-marital counseling. Also, in case there was any confusion, it would be over 1.5yrs from now. Hope that helps.. I’ll look into RCIA
Post # 5
@sauerdragon: If your Fiance isn’t living in the town where you want to get married but you are, yeah- it’s probably going to be a good idea for you to start looking into the parish and maybe RCIA if you want to. RCIA classes are actually pretty interesting and set up so that the first couple months are an “Inquiry” period for people who just want to know more. But yes… if you want to get married there in 2015 there’s totally time assuming you get involved in the parish.
Post # 6
@sauerdragon: Start going to church there, and you’ll be fine for a year and a half from now. In Canada, it seems more common that they want to work with you, to the common goal of your belonging to the Church. In the US. from what I’ve seen on herepet hey seem to be more of thdoing should we consider you good enough” mind set.
We put it all together in five months, having not attended church in a long, long time.
Post # 7
Some of the rules are going to be the same wherever you go, and some will depend on the parish. Anywhere you go, at least one of you will have to be Catholic. I’m pretty sure all parishes require Engaged Encounter or a similar pre-marital counseling session. But beyond that it varies. The church where we married let us do it there even though we weren’t members, but other churches in town requires us to be members for at least a year. Our church didn’t care that my husband is not Catholic, but some might (of course, we still had to get a dispensation for this).
I’d inquire with the specific church ASAP. It may be easier than you think, but if there are membership requirements or if you want to convert before you marry, it’s bet to get started soon.
Post # 8
@sauerdragon: I’d definitely open the lines of communication with the church you’re interested in. Especially with your interest in joining the faith, they will probably be pretty helpful.
Post # 9
The process of RCIA is rather long and intesnse, for those who truely want to join the church. You should still be able to get married there even if you don’t decide to go through with as long as your Fiance is a practicing member of the parish. Just something to think about!
Post # 10
@sauerdragon: Not all Catholic churches will require you to be a member of that particular church. I know in the small town where I am getting married, the priest just loves that people come there to get married because it is a beautiful pre-Vatican II church.
If you are interested in joining the church, I really suggest meeting the priest and attending mass regularly just to get a feel. Even though there are rules across the board in the Catholic church, there is a lot of differences priest to priest. There will be 3 priests involved in my wedding. One is local to where Fiance and I live where we are doing pre-canna, one is the priest who is in charge of the church where we will be getting married in my home town, and the third who is preforming the cerimony who is my uncle. They are three very different people who have three very different points of view. The only way you will know what they will and will not do for you is to actually meet and get to know them.
I think the litergical calander for RICA is starting soon, so I would meet with your priest soon. The final steps of RICA is done with the Easter season, so I would start looking into it. That way you know if you can complete your RICA prior to getting married.
Post # 11
I agree with the Bees who said you need to start going to Church there… so you become a familiar face, and that it is clear you have an interest in the Catholic Faith (there is a lot to learn… even tho Catholicism is Christian based, it has a lot of customs etc that make it quite distinct from the Protestant Denominations)
Only by going will you be able to investigate further, and be sure this is the Religion / Life Change that you want to make… and is right for you
As others have said converting is a long process… it takes months. Many Churches only do it once a year… and often over the period of Lent so that NEW Catholics can fully participate in that High Holy Holiday.
If I was you, I’d start going to Mass… read the Church Bulletin and find ways to become involved in the Church Family / Community… even if it is just going to the Coffee Meet & Greets that many Congregations hold.
Eventually, you’ll want to meet with the Parish Priest to discuss your own “Religious Journey”… be that converting or not.
Hope this helps,