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Returning to the Church and the sacrament of marriage QUESTION from Kimberly March 11, 2000 I have been away from the Church for a very long time. I was baptised Catholic and made my first holy communion. After my parents divorced, my Mom stopped taking my sister and I.
The past few years I have wanted to return, but didn't know how to do it. I've felt ashamed, embarrassed, etc.
I've just recently become engaged and now my wish to return is even stronger. My fiance is Catholic as well.
First, do you have any suggestions as to what I should specifically discuss with the priest? I am happy to say that I returned to church for the first time last Sunday, and also made sure that I went to Mass on Ash Wednesday, and am observing the Lenten season to the best of my knowledge.
My other question is how do I go about being confirmed? I would like to be confirmed before we get married as we have decided to have a 2 year engagement.
My strongest desire is that our future children have as strong of a Catholic upbringing as my Mother was blessed with and that I was deprived of.
Thank you very much for any suggestions you might have.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on March 20, 2000 Dear Miss Kimberly:
May God be praised that you are seeking to return to the Church and have your marriage a proper one in God's eyes. You are to be commended for your integrity and love of God for wanting this.
As to what to tell the priest, tell him your story. Tell him that you wish to be in full communion with the Church, that you were never confirmed and wish to be so, and that both you and your future husband wish to be good Catholics and married in the Church.
You will need to make a Confession that covers the period of time since your last confession. Don't worry about forgetting things, just sit down and think about how you have lived your life and what specific sins you have committed over your life. Ask God to bring to memory any forgotten sins. Then go to confession and tell God all, let the cat out of the bag :-), as it were, and be cleansed of the residue of sin over the years.
You will need to NOT take the Eucharist until you are confirmed and go to confession. Between now and the time you are confirmed, you should participate in Mass each Sunday, observe all Church precepts (such as for Lent), and live a Catholic life -- just without the Eucharist until you are confessed and confirmed.
Let me welcome you back to the Holy Mother Church. The angels rejoice and a celebration is made in heaven when one come back to the Holy Mother Church.
Talk to your priest about what you will need to do to be confirmed, live a good Catholic life as you know how (but without the Eucharist until you are confirmed), and praise God that He is such a wonderful God.
May God bless you and your future marriage.
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