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Becoming a catholic

A Xt3 Member asked at 11:03am on October 23rd 2017
I'm 15 and my parents don't have a religion, so I grew up not believing in any gods. I was sent to a Catholic school when I was 9 and I still go to one. Through those years of religious education, I have come to start believing in God and the Catholic Church. I want to become a Catholic, but I'm not sure my parents will understand. What can I do?

I am planning on getting baptized once I become independent, but what if I die before I get to do it?

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Hi Marie, it's wonderful that you've discovered God, who is Love, and the Catholic Church.

One possibility would be to have a chat with your parents and ask them if they'd mind if you were baptised as a Catholic. After all, they did allow you to attend a Catholic school, and sometimes people who have no religion can at least have respect for it. If they would prefer you didn't, maybe it would be better to wait for a few years, as you say.

But even before you're baptised, you could get hold of one of those little booklets of Catholic prayers you can find at the back of some Catholic churches, or in a Catholic bookshop - or you can even find them online. And it might be possible for you to attend Mass sometime in a Catholic church. You won't be able to receive Holy Communion yet, but if you cross your hands on each shoulder, the priest will understand and give you a blessing at Communion time. Even desiring to receive Jesus in Holy Communion will bring him into your heart: remember he said 'Look, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with me' (Revelation or Apocalypse, chapter 3, verse 20).

He also gave us the basic rule that holds for all his followers: 'Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you did to me' (see the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25, from verse 31 on). So there are many ways you can begin to live as a Catholic even before you are baptized - by prayer (including, if possible, attending Mass), and by loving Jesus in each person you meet. Every time you do that, you're already building a beautiful relationship with Jesus, and even when you fail, the great thing about being a Christian is not being perfect, but being ready to start again. Then, once it's possible for you to seek baptism, you'll be so well prepared to become fully adopted into God's family.

I promise to keep you in my prayers, and I'm sure God will reward you for your courage and your patience - and also for your love for your parents, who gave you life and indirectly, by sending you to that school, for helping you to find the true faith. They also gave you the name of Marie, so Mary the Mother of Jesus, will be watching over you with all the love she has for her own Son. Very best, Fr Brendan
Xt3's Ask a Priest answered at 10:27pm on October 24th 2017 reply

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