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Lutheran Wife has questions before joining Catholic Church

Posted on 05/01/2007 9:13:13 AM PDT by Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey

Hello Brothers & Sisters --

We want to join a Catholic Church here in Michigan. I was raised Catholic, my wife was raised Lutheran - MS.

We were not married at a Catholic or Lutheran church.

She (as do I) have some questions. We would appreciate any answers or comments:

-- Why is the RCIA program so long (September to Easter Vigil) for someone who is not a 'non-Christian' and with so much Christian schooling already (Lutheran MS School - K-8)?

-- Why is she considered a 'convert'? She is still Christian, willing to accept a fuller understanding way of the church and way of practicing the Christian faith.

-- The Catholic Church does say we are married, but we have to apply for a "dispensation" and have another marriage ceremony. If the RCC accepts her baptism, why not our marriage (two baptized Christians who exchanged rings "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit")? This makes her feel like our wedding in 1998 "didn't happen."

-- She didn't really know this one: Why do Lutherans only have 3 sacraments (baptism, holy communion and reconciliation), as opposed to 7 in the RCC?

Thank you for any and all your thoughts.

This is harder for me than I imagined.

Peace.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: lutheran; romancatholic
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1 posted on 05/01/2007 9:13:20 AM PDT by Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey
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To: Siobhan; Canticle_of_Deborah; NYer; Salvation; sandyeggo; american colleen; Desdemona; ...

Catholic ping!


2 posted on 05/01/2007 9:16:42 AM PDT by Pyro7480 ("Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus" -St. Ralph Sherwin's last words at Tyburn)
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To: All
This is a smart move, as there are no “Lutheran School Girl Uniforms”
3 posted on 05/01/2007 9:20:45 AM PDT by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey

http://www.ecatholic2000.com/rcia/rcia4.shtml

This might help you too.


4 posted on 05/01/2007 9:25:28 AM PDT by netmilsmom (To attack one section of Christianity in this day and age, is to waste time.)
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey

I’m no expert but I think I can offer some input on a couple of your questions.

In many parishes you can have a much abbreviated RCIA program if converting from another Christian faith.

I do not think you actually have to have another wedding, you simply have to have the marriage blessed by the Church. This simply means that the Church needs to confirm that your marriage meets the typical requirements. For example you were not married under duress or that you are not ineligible to be married because you are close relatives or some such thing.


5 posted on 05/01/2007 9:26:41 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey
I am going to assume that this is not just a sophisticated form of Catholic-bashing.

Talk about making it complicated?
You need an official certificate saying "I have converted" because?

I was born a Catholic, so I can't from experience relate how I would "join"; but I know I would not question every official requirement after I make a special effort to ask for them. That is suspicious.

I would read CS Lewis' Mere Christianity, and A Grief Observed (where he calls God the Cosmic Sadist) to get a notion of what conversion involves.

I know that every religion has the extremist militants. Those of Christian sects are no more desireable to me than militant islamics.

6 posted on 05/01/2007 9:27:27 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey
Let me see what I can so here.
 

-- Why is the RCIA program so long (September to Easter Vigil) for someone who is not a 'non-Christian' and with so much Christian schooling already (Lutheran MS School - K-8)?

The RCIA program stretches out so long because there are lots of new materials to be learned.  This person will realize that many in the class are not as "churched" as he and his wife are, and so need much more catechesis.

-- Why is she considered a 'convert'? She is still Christian, willing to accept a fuller understanding way of the church and way of practicing the Christian faith.

I don't believe that his wife is considered a convert.  She will not received all the Sacraments that he does at the Easter Vigil.  Many couples tend/want to update themselves on the Catholic Church along with their spouse who is becoming Catholic.

-- The Catholic Church does say we are married, but we have to apply for a "dispensation" and have another marriage ceremony. If the RCC accepts her baptism, why not our marriage (two baptized Christians who exchanged rings "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit")? This makes her feel like our wedding in 1998 "didn't happen."

Your wedding in 1998 did happen!  Through this ceremony you receive the additional blessing of the Sacrament of Matrimony along with other blessings for your family.

-- She didn't really know this one: Why do Lutherans only have 3 sacraments (baptism, holy communion and reconciliation), as opposed to 7 in the RCC?

Christ did institute seven Sacraments.  Luther only recognized three of them however.  Think of all the added knowledge you will receive (and blessings) received when you DO receive these additional Sacraments.  (Although I doubt that you will be receiving the Sacrament of Holy Orders -- LOL!)

BTW, Catholic instruction continues formally through high school, and informally for adults as long as we live! Learn and grow!

7 posted on 05/01/2007 9:27:29 AM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey
My Dad was raised Lutheran and Republican, while my Mom was raised Catholic and Democrat. After about ten years of marriage, they reached an accommodation: they adopted her religion, Catholicism, and his politics, Republicanism.

All three of us children are Republicans. My brother remains a Catholic, while my sister and I are Protestants.

9 posted on 05/01/2007 9:30:19 AM PDT by Hebrews 11:6 (Do you REALLY believe that (1) God is, and (2) God is good?)
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey
Here are my RCIA links:

Lutheran Wife has questions before joining Catholic Church

Belleville Bishop Braxton in Brouhaha with his priests (title mine)

A Ramble through My "New Catholic" Wish List {RCIA referenced]

Help with RCIA (Vanity)

Catholic Liturgy - Funeral Masses for a Suicide And More on Confession for RCIA Candidates

Confession for RCIA Candidates And More on the Prayer of the Faithful

RCIA and Holy Saturday

10 posted on 05/01/2007 9:31:45 AM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: bigcat32

So I guess where you go to church they about as fond of Christian charity as they are on canon law, eh?


11 posted on 05/01/2007 9:32:57 AM PDT by Claud
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To: bigcat32

Well I don’t know, my Husband just became Catholic last year and feels much closer to Our Lord.

Maybe some have a problem with the “rules and regulations” but to some of us, that makes us feel much closer to Jesus’ suffering on the cross.


12 posted on 05/01/2007 9:34:00 AM PDT by netmilsmom (To attack one section of Christianity in this day and age, is to waste time.)
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To: bigcat32
“If you really want to establish a relationhip with Jesus then I suggest you avoid the Catholic Church. If you want to bang your head against the wall trying to figure out all of these kinds of rules and regulations then by all means join the Catholic Church.”

An almost perfect statement of ignorance. You rival Gore in being almost completely wrong. What do you have against Christ?

13 posted on 05/01/2007 9:34:07 AM PDT by IrishCatholic (No local communist or socialist party chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing.)
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To: Claud

We’re fond of Truth.


14 posted on 05/01/2007 9:34:55 AM PDT by bigcat32
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To: Hebrews 11:6

Sounds like you have a nice well rounded family!
God Bless you!


15 posted on 05/01/2007 9:35:21 AM PDT by netmilsmom (To attack one section of Christianity in this day and age, is to waste time.)
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To: IrishCatholic

Nothing. He’s my saviour.


16 posted on 05/01/2007 9:35:47 AM PDT by bigcat32
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To: bigcat32

So are Catholics, that’s why we live it.


17 posted on 05/01/2007 9:35:59 AM PDT by netmilsmom (To attack one section of Christianity in this day and age, is to waste time.)
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To: bigcat32; Religion Moderator

Why are you bashing Catholic beliefs?


18 posted on 05/01/2007 9:37:45 AM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: bigcat32

If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a tinkling symbol. And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. —1 Corinthians 13


19 posted on 05/01/2007 9:39:46 AM PDT by Claud
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
Congratulations to you both! And 'Welcome Home' to your wife!

I believe you will find answers to some (if not all) of your questions at Marcus Grodi's excellent web site:

Coming Home Network

I am also pinging the Catholic List for their feedback. God bless you both!

20 posted on 05/01/2007 9:39:51 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
Congratulations to you both! And 'Welcome Home' to your wife!

I believe you will find answers to some (if not all) of your questions at Marcus Grodi's excellent web site:

Coming Home Network

I am also pinging the Catholic List for their feedback. God bless you both!

21 posted on 05/01/2007 9:40:59 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: Publius6961

First, no Catholic bashing at all!!! I am just asking questions. Sorry if it seems like I was do any “bashing.”

Second, thank you all for your comments. Keep them coming.

Lastly, PLEASE do not start ‘virtual’ fights on this thread. If someone wants to give ME initial advice not to join the Catholic/Lutheran church at all, that’s fine.

However, please keep the focus on the questions I asked to help my wife and I. By all means, send a ‘Private Reply’ to anyone else if you feel you need to.

Dona nobis pacem ... yes?


22 posted on 05/01/2007 9:42:47 AM PDT by Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey
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To: Salvation

I’m not bashing the people but I do have an opinion on the system of extensive regulations that seems to easily distract poeple from the path to salvation.


23 posted on 05/01/2007 9:44:18 AM PDT by bigcat32
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey

A lot of the things you mentioned depend on the parish and the priest who you are talking to. RCIA varies in length; some well-instructed people are not required to do the whole thing, but if it is done in a class, everybody moves at the same pace and it may be slow, depending on the other members. However, you will get to make friends there, and that can help.

As for your marriage, a marriage outside the Church is valid, but perhaps they just want you to have it blessed. I can’t imagine there’d be any reason you’d need a dispensation (unless you’re going for the priesthood!), although if there are serious irregularities (earlier marriages not annulled, etc) you might need an annulment. Ask the pastor to explain this to you better.

I hope you are in a good parish where they use good teaching materials for their RCIA program. You have a lot of questions, and all of these will be answered during the program, if it’s a good one.

Best wishes!


24 posted on 05/01/2007 9:45:02 AM PDT by livius
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To: bigcat32
“Nothing. He’s my saviour.”

Then find out more about the Church he founded and the instructions he gave on how we are to live. For if you attack his Church you attack Him.

25 posted on 05/01/2007 9:48:01 AM PDT by IrishCatholic (No local communist or socialist party chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing.)
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To: Claud

Actually I just read that verse this morning! I kid you not. Sometimes tough love is the best love. I have many close friends who are Catholic, some believe in the resurrection and others are on shaky ground with their beliefs.


26 posted on 05/01/2007 9:49:35 AM PDT by bigcat32
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey

>>Lastly, PLEASE do not start ‘virtual’ fights on this thread. If someone wants to give ME initial advice not to join the Catholic/Lutheran church at all, that’s fine.<<

Here, Here!


27 posted on 05/01/2007 9:50:03 AM PDT by netmilsmom (To attack one section of Christianity in this day and age, is to waste time.)
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To: Claud

>>If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a tinkling symbol. And if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. —1 Corinthians 13<<

Seems to me that the only people who do not have Love on this thread are the ones who seem to be saying that Catholics don’t.


28 posted on 05/01/2007 9:52:24 AM PDT by netmilsmom (To attack one section of Christianity in this day and age, is to waste time.)
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To: IrishCatholic

“Then find out more about the Church he founded”

I have and it’s probably a different interpretation as your interpretation. There are many people who attend Catholic Church who are part of the Church he founded. I don’t deny that.


29 posted on 05/01/2007 9:53:35 AM PDT by bigcat32
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey
As for the length of RCIA, my recommendation is to be humble, and admit the possibility that there is still much that you/she need to know. If you haven't read the whole Catholic Catechism, then you shouldn't be complaining about the length of RCIA; you should be reading. It is a blessing to be allowed to enter the Church, not a right, and we don't get to make the rules. If the priest says to be prepared to go a whole year, then I would take that as God's directive. (I say that as someone who went to RCIA for 17 months, even after four years of education at a Protestant seminary.)

The term 'convert' as used in this context does not mean "from paganism to Christianity", but from non-Catholic to Catholic. If you know how the term is being used, then you won't find the term insulting or off-putting when used in this way.

In Catholicism, marriage is a sacrament. One of the conditions for the sacramental validity of marriage is that it not be "impeded by any natural or ecclesiastical law" (CCC #1625). In the case of mixed marriages (where one party is Catholic, and the other is a baptized non-Catholic), "a mixed marriage needs for liceity the express permission of ecclesiastical authority" (CCC #1635) Therefore, for the *sacramental* validity of your marriage (from the time of your wedding to the time of your wife's conversion to Catholicism), you will need the "dispension" that you mention.

Why do Lutherans only have three sacraments? Because Luther got rid of the ones he couldn't find sufficiently spelled out as sacraments in Scripture. He was trying to use 'sola scriptura' as a guide, but 'sola scriptura' itself is nowhere in Scripture.

-A8

30 posted on 05/01/2007 9:53:59 AM PDT by adiaireton8 ("There is no greater evil one can suffer than to hate reasonable discourse." - Plato, Phaedo 89d)
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey

I was ELCA lutheran but joined hte Catholic church in 2006, It is worth it.


31 posted on 05/01/2007 9:54:39 AM PDT by Hydroshock (Duncan Hunter For President, checkout gohunter08.com.)
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey
I think the RCIA program is so long because they want you to know exactly what you are getting into and that you truly believe in Catholicism. Anyone can benefit from a GOOD RCIA program, you will learn so much! I had been catechizing myself through the internet and books and in a prayer group with Catholic friends for 3 yrs but I still learned a lot in RCIA.

Your marriage was/is and always has been a true marriage but when your marriage is blessed it becomes sacramental, something very Holy. Now, I know, you'll both say that in was already a Holy union but now the Church recognizes it as Holy and so will you. We didn't have to do that because neither of us were Catholic and we joined together.

Understanding the Eucharist as much as humanly possible, is one goal of Catechizing. It is a very profound thing and when you have come from another Christian faith which has taught it as a remembrance, you have to adjust your thinking.

Learning about and understanding confession/reconciliation is also a very important thing along with all that Catholicism encompasses.

A Church with 2000 yrs of history has much wisdom to impart, from Scripture study to the early church fathers. You won't be unhappy that you attended, believe me.

32 posted on 05/01/2007 9:56:29 AM PDT by tiki
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To: bigcat32

I think some people are going to be really surprised on Judgement Day who made it and who didn’t. It might well be something like this...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RMzA82H-Qo


33 posted on 05/01/2007 9:57:05 AM PDT by netmilsmom (To attack one section of Christianity in this day and age, is to waste time.)
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey

The Catholic initiation typically involves several people and consists of stages, first inquiry and then catechumenate. We also like to welcome the newly coming to communion at Easter. It is possible that your wife will not need as much attention as someone less familiar with the Church, but the schedule is one for all. Now, if there is an emergency in this, then by all means ask that the process be accelerated for you.

Nearly always, the conversion of the heart precedes the formal initiation, and the catechumen has a great hunger for the Eucharist. My advice is, value that hunger and do not seek to cut it short. This is her personal Advent and a necessary part of her journey. Incidentally, the observance of seasons is an important part of the authentic Catholicity. Consider that the Jewish nation hungered for thousands of years for her Savior. The schedule belongs to God.

“Convert” is the simplest term, and you will hear it often. Naturally, it covers a broad spectrum of personal circumstance; in the case of your wife, she is definitely considered a Christian by virtue of her baptism.

The sacraments of the Church are dealt with great precision by the Canon Law. It would be a good idea to inquire about the distinctions between baptism and marriage, and between marriage outside of the Church and Catholic marriage. It is a broad subject, at times technical. Likewise, it is necessary for your wife to learn about the other sacraments of the Church, their meaning, history, and their canonical form. One can write a dissertation about any one of them. I, and others, will be happy to deal with specific questions to the extent that we can (I have no special qualifications though), but it is precisely because it is not a simple one-lesson doctrine that the inquiry process is there for your wife.

Unless your last question is about the Lutherans rather than about the Catholics. The short answer is, — Because Luther decided to drop 4 sacraments when he split off his community of faith, — but I am sure a Lutheran might have a more complete answer.

Please extend to your wife my warmest wishes. She will not be traveling alone.


34 posted on 05/01/2007 10:00:05 AM PDT by annalex
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey

It could be more disconcerting, in my diocese the bishop has RCIA going for a full calendar year.

As far as ‘convert’, that’s not really the language anyone in the process should be using. If they are, keep your guard up! There’s more to RCIA than instruction, intruction might be the least important aspect of the process for a Christian. Here’s something from yet another diocese’s website:

Those adults who were baptized as infants either as Roman Catholics or as members of another Christian community but did not receive further catechetical formation, nor, consequently, the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist are also included in the RCIA process. They are referred to as Candidates - a candidate for the Roman Catholic Sacrament of Confirmation and a candidate preparing to receive Holy Communion in the Catholic Church and thus become a full member of the Catholic Church.

As in the case of catechumens, the preparation of candidates requires an extended time. Most often, a program of training, catechesis suited to the Candidate’s needs, contact with the community of the faithful, and participation in certain liturgical rites are needed in order to strengthen them in the Christian life.(RCIA 401) For the most part the plan of catechesis corresponds to the one laid down for catechumens. The differences in the process are tailored by the candidate in conjunction with the RCIA Director and the Church-provided Sponsor.

Since candidates are already baptized, the liturgical rites that mark the steps of the formation process are different from those of catechumens. There is the Rites of Welcoming The Candidates, the Rite of Calling The Candidate To Continuing Conversion and a Penitential Rite. Reception Of Baptized Christians Into The Full Communion Of The Catholic Church is the liturgical rite by which a person born and baptized in another Christian Community is received into the full communion of the Catholic Church.


35 posted on 05/01/2007 10:02:20 AM PDT by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey
The first part of RCIA is the inquiry period and you will be taught the beliefs of the Church, that way if you find that you can't believe or accept the beliefs of the Church, you can change your mind. I convinced my husband to join me in RCIA with the promise that whatever decision he made after the inquiry period, I would never mention it again.

Oh yeah, as far as having to wait, it is a wonderful wait and when you are officially Catholic at the Easter Vigil you will know that you have finally found home.

36 posted on 05/01/2007 10:02:33 AM PDT by tiki
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey
Dear friend,

No other Church but the Catholic and Orthodox can give you His Body and Blood in His True Presence!

Listen to the hearts of the Saints in their writings on the Eucharist.

“Recognize in this bread what hung on the cross, and in this chalice what flowed from His side... whatever was in many and varied ways announced beforehand in the sacrifices of the Old Testament pertains to this one sacrifice which is revealed in the New Testament.”

- from the writings of St. Augustine, Sermon 3, 2; circa A.D. 410 {original translation}

“O Lord, we cannot go to the pool of Siloe to which you sent the blind man. But we have the chalice of Your Precious Blood, filled with life and light. The purer we are, the more we receive.”

- St. Ephraem

“When you have received Him, stir up your heart to do Him homage; speak to Him about your spiritual life, gazing upon Him in your soul where He is present for your happiness; welcome Him as warmly as possible, and behave outwardly in such a way that your actions may give proof to all of His Presence.”

- St. Francis de Sales

“What wonderful majesty! What stupendous condescension! O sublime humility! That the Lord of the whole universe, God and the Son of God, should humble Himself like this under the form of a little bread, for our salvation”

“...In this world I cannot see the Most High Son of God with my own eyes, except for His Most Holy Body and Blood.”

- St. Francis of Assisi

I hunger for the bread of God, the flesh of Jesus Christ ...; I long to drink of his blood, the gift of unending love.

- St. Ignatius of Antioch

“How many of you say: I should like to see His face, His garments, His shoes. You do see Him, you touch Him, you eat Him. He gives Himself to you, not only that you may see Him, but also to be your food and nourishment.”

- St. John Chrysostom

“THOUGHT FROM FATHER FABER - St. Joseph worshiped Jesus as no saint before had done. From his deep, calm soul he poured out a very ocean of love - tenderest love, humblest love, love shrinking from being like the Father’s love, yet also daring to be like it as Mary’s had been like the conjoined loves of Father and of Spirit, as she was Mother and Spouse conjoined. No angel might love Jesus as Joseph loved Him, as Joseph was bound to love Him. No temporal love but Mary’s could be more like an eternal love than the love of Joseph for the Child, because of its likeness to the love of the everlasting Father. Aside from the Blessed Virgin, Saint Joseph was the first and most perfect adorer of Our Lord.”

- St. Peter Julian Eymard

“The celebration of the Holy Mass
is as valuable as the death of Jesus on the Cross.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas

“Man should tremble, the world should vibrate,
all Heaven should be deeply moved
when the Son of God appears on the alter in the hands of the priest.”
~ St. Francis of Assisi

“It would be easier for the earth
to carry on without the sun
than without the Holy Mass.”
~ Blessed Padre Pio

This is what You,re gaining by becoming a Catholic.

Just Keep focused on the Eucharist and go to Him in Adoration as often as you can.

I wish you a Blessed Day!

37 posted on 05/01/2007 10:04:06 AM PDT by stfassisi ("Above all gifts that Christ gives his beloved is that of overcoming self"St Francis Assisi)
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey
-- Why is the RCIA program so long (September to Easter Vigil) for someone who is not a 'non-Christian' and with so much Christian schooling already (Lutheran MS School - K-8)?

Because there is a lot to learn and understand so that your wife (and you) can fully understand what it is you are entering. Catholic and Lutheran beliefs on a wide variety of topics vary greatly, that's kind of why they had a bit of a parting of the ways 500 years ago. Frankly, Lutheran school doesn't prepare you to be a Catholic any more than studying automotive mechanics prepares you to be an aircraft mechanic.

-- Why is she considered a 'convert'? She is still Christian, willing to accept a fuller understanding way of the church and way of practicing the Christian faith.

She is still "converting" from a Protestant faith to the Catholic faith. If it makes her feel better, consider that non-Christians (the unbaptised) are called "catechumens" during RCIA, while those who have been validly baptised are called "candidates." So a distinction is recognized.

-- The Catholic Church does say we are married, but we have to apply for a "dispensation" and have another marriage ceremony. If the RCC accepts her baptism, why not our marriage (two baptized Christians who exchanged rings "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit")? This makes her feel like our wedding in 1998 "didn't happen."

As a Catholic you had the responsibility to either get married in the Church or to obtain permission from the bishop to get married outside of the Church.

It seems you did neither.

Let me put it this way: If you wanted your marriage anulled, it would be quite easy because you failed to get married with the proper "form." A Catholic, as I said already, is obliged to follow Church rules about such things.

That said, even if you were both Protestant, you would still need to have your marriage regularized by the Church.

-- She didn't really know this one: Why do Lutherans only have 3 sacraments (baptism, holy communion and reconciliation), as opposed to 7 in the RCC?

You'll have to ask Luther. :-)

38 posted on 05/01/2007 10:09:14 AM PDT by SoothingDave (Eugene Gurkin was a janitor, cleaning toilets for The Man)
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey
-- She didn't really know this one: Why do Lutherans only have 3 sacraments (baptism, holy communion and reconciliation), as opposed to 7 in the RCC?

Some Lutherans only recognize 2 sacraments, baptism & holy communion. The difference has to do with a very different understanding about church/Church authority. Lutherans believe that all of God's instructions to us are to be found in Scripture, while Catholics believe the only way to reach a full understanding goes through the church.

As to your marriage... I have to wonder at your failure to follow your Church's teachings when it was made. Sacraments are through the Church or they are not. If your wife is going to convert, I think it would be helpful for you to get a refresher on your church's teachings. If you went through catechism with her, you could help each other & grow together.

I was raised Lutheran (I didn't convert) & my ex-husband was raised Roman Catholic. Before we were married in a Roman Catholic church my ex-husband had to vow he would raise our (future) children in his faith & I had to vow not to interfere with him doing so. I'm sure both of you will be expected to do something similar before your marriage is blessed.

In hindsight, one of us should have converted. A shared faith could have been something we shared, as opposed to something that occasionally raised moments of contention.

39 posted on 05/01/2007 10:11:30 AM PDT by GoLightly
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To: Salvation; bigcat32

This is not a closed caucus thread, therefore challenges are allowed.


40 posted on 05/01/2007 10:12:53 AM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: Religion Moderator

Even if the OP asked that challenges not be allowed?
Not everyone knows about the “Catholic Caucus” label.


41 posted on 05/01/2007 10:16:53 AM PDT by netmilsmom (To attack one section of Christianity in this day and age, is to waste time.)
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey

Later, this evening.


42 posted on 05/01/2007 10:22:57 AM PDT by labette
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey
Why is she considered a 'convert'? She is still Christian, willing to accept a fuller understanding way of the church and way of practicing the Christian faith.

A "convert" is an informal term for someone entering the church as an adulte. She's technically a "candidate for full communion," not a "catechumen". Catechumens are unbaptized persons; "candidates" are baptized Christians.

Why is the RCIA program so long (September to Easter Vigil) for someone who is not a 'non-Christian' and with so much Christian schooling already (Lutheran MS School - K-8)?

Really, truly, candidates aren't supposed to be required to take RCIA. RCIA is for catechumens. See if your parish, or another parish nearby, can give you an abbreviated version. The argument can be made that, as soon as your wife can profess the Catholic faith, she has a right to the sacraments.

The Catholic Church does say we are married, but we have to apply for a "dispensation" and have another marriage ceremony. If the RCC accepts her baptism, why not our marriage (two baptized Christians who exchanged rings "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit")? This makes her feel like our wedding in 1998 "didn't happen."

If I understand your post correctly, the problem is that you were a Catholic and married outside the church. Catholics are required to obey the Catholic "form" of marriage and have their marriages witnessed by a priest or deacon. Those requirements can be dispensed from, but if you didn't have the dispensations, they're still in force.

At least, that's my best guess as to what is happening.

She didn't really know this one: Why do Lutherans only have 3 sacraments (baptism, holy communion and reconciliation), as opposed to 7 in the RCC?

Short answer: because Dr. Luther didn't like the other 4.

43 posted on 05/01/2007 10:24:38 AM PDT by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey

“This is harder for me than I imagined.”

I am not trying to incur the wrath of honest Christ believing Catholics but your statement that I highlighted is the same statement I had on many occasions. It really isn’t hard, belief in Jesus Christ trumps all. Don’t be afraid to pick up the Bible and read it.

Good luck!


44 posted on 05/01/2007 10:25:27 AM PDT by bigcat32
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey

Hi RMWT, welcome back to church. I haven’t read the replies and I’m sure you’ve got great explanations to your questions already. I mean no offense when I say that if neither you nor your wife knows why Luther did away with 4 of the sacraments, you both could use some more catechetical training. It’s not a reflection on your wife’s Lutheran grade school that she doesn’t know the answer. It really is a concept that Catholic kids would be introduced to in high school, perhaps in a Western Civ class, if not a religion class.


45 posted on 05/01/2007 10:29:35 AM PDT by old and tired
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To: bigcat32
It really isn’t hard, belief in Jesus Christ trumps all. Don’t be afraid to pick up the Bible and read it.

Belief in Jesus Christ implies and requires obedience to his words, and to those whom he's placed in authority over his people. When you read your Bible, don't forget the verses that say "Who hears you, hears me" and "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' but don't follow my commandments?"

46 posted on 05/01/2007 10:32:40 AM PDT by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: Campion

I agree 100%.


47 posted on 05/01/2007 10:39:23 AM PDT by bigcat32
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey
Congratulations on taking this step!

-- Why is the RCIA program so long (September to Easter Vigil) for someone who is not a 'non-Christian' and with so much Christian schooling already (Lutheran MS School - K-8)?

Entering the Catholic Church is not a matter taken lightly. The Church does not want someone to enter into the faith unless they are ready and willing to accept all her teachings - some which are well-known, others which are less publicized, but equally important. The timespan is designed to give the candidate ample opportunity to reflect on your decision and determine if she is truly ready to enter into communion with the Church. I have been involved in RCIA at my parish for several years, and I can tell you it goes FAST!! Some are more ready than others, but for the sake of those who are doing it just because they want to married in a Catholic Church or one spouse is demanding it of the other, the Church wants there to be full disclosure of what they are entering into. At any rate, depending on the pastor of the parish you intend to join, you could theoretically receive a dispensation from the course, but entry would still be at the Easter vigil.

-- Why is she considered a 'convert'? She is still Christian, willing to accept a fuller understanding way of the church and way of practicing the Christian faith.

Although there is much we have in common with the Lutheran confession, there are some extremely large chasms with regard to transubstantiation, purgatory, and devotion to Mary and the saints. These are not small side-dishes to the main entree of our faith in Christ. They are extremely important matters of liturgy, devotion, and the sacramental life which, I believe, demonstrate a sizable difference between Protestantism and Catholicism. In that respect, the term "convert" is appropriate, even though it is the same Trinity whom we worship.

-- The Catholic Church does say we are married, but we have to apply for a "dispensation" and have another marriage ceremony. If the RCC accepts her baptism, why not our marriage (two baptized Christians who exchanged rings "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit")? This makes her feel like our wedding in 1998 "didn't happen."

Because you were raised Catholic, you are required to have your marriage blessed by the Church. You were still a member of the Catholic Church body even when you were no longer practicing. Since, technically, the man and woman are performing as ministers to each other during the wedding, as a Catholic, you cannot simply minister your own wedding outside the Church without a dispensation. If a dispensation was not given, you are still required to have the Church bless your union.

-- She didn't really know this one: Why do Lutherans only have 3 sacraments (baptism, holy communion and reconciliation), as opposed to 7 in the RCC?

Not sure the exact reasons why outside of the lack of Apostolic succession where a bishop is required.

NO WORRIES! There are obviously a few obstacles for you to navigate, but don't let these issues discourage you. Once you get past some of the red tape, you will be eternally grateful you saw it through.

48 posted on 05/01/2007 10:47:38 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever (Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia, et ubi ecclesia vita eterna)
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To: bigcat32

Thanks for playing. Why don’t you take it for a spin instead of judging it from afar?


49 posted on 05/01/2007 10:49:48 AM PDT by Rutles4Ever (Ubi Petrus, ibi ecclesia, et ubi ecclesia vita eterna)
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To: Rocky Mountain Wild Turkey
I can't recommend catholic.com highly enough.

Check out their archive of radio programs. Search for yourself, or try these programs (when you get to the calendar, click on the program you're interested in):

The Sacraments (January 30)
The Sacraments of Healing (January 20)
How to Become Catholic (March 14)
Adult Formation (March 20)
The Sacraments Revealed in the Old Testament (July 14)
The Sacramentality of Marriage (July 31)
A New Standard for RCIA (November 3)
The Meaning of Marriage (March 12)
Best wishes, and congratulations on your wife's entry into the Church!
50 posted on 05/01/2007 10:52:33 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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