I’ve been chatting with our parish’s new RCIA director and the poor man always seems to be confused by our situation.
HIM: OK, so both you and your husband need to be baptized?
ME: Well, my husband was baptized in the Baptist church and I was baptized in the Catholic Church. So I guess not.
HIM: [Thinking that I am Catholic] Oh, so you don’t need to do RCIA then?
ME: Well, I don’t know, but I think I do. Don’t I need to do something else other than being baptized to be Catholic?
HIM: Well, have you [asks questions about things that I don't understand like confirmation]?
ME: No. My baptism was the first and last time my parents took me to church.
HIM: So you weren’t married in the Church?
HIM: So one of you was married before?
ME: No. We didn’t have a religious ceremony because we weren’t very religious back then [understatement of the year].
HIM: OK…[confused silence]…let’s plan to just discuss this in person sometime this week.
He seems to be an extremely devout, religious man so I think he’s perplexed by our case. Anyway, in having these conversations I realized that I have no idea what needs to be done here. All I know is that I need to take a class called RCIA. I don’t know what goes on in those classes or what happens at the end of them.
In order for me to make my situation more clear to our adult education director, could someone give me the terminology for what it is I need to do to be in communion with the Catholic Church? My questions are:
- Do we just need to be “confirmed” or is there something else?
- What exactly is a confirmation? Is it just the first time you take communion or is there some other ritual involved?
- Does my husband need to do anything extra since he was baptized in a Baptist church?
- How does the RCIA class fit into all this — what’s its purpose? Is that where we learn about the Cathecism and Church history?
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