About to start RCIA course, through prior reading only just understanding how important baptism is...already have 2 dc's 1yo & 4yo who are not yet baptised...wwyd?(9 Posts)
I am about to start the RCIA course as I think I want to convert to Catholicism. I understand it will be a journey of discovery and I may decide not to go through with it but at the moment I feel very much like it will be the path I want to follow. I am already attending Mass and feel very much at home there.
My question relates to my children. For a number of reasons (perhaps one of many contributory factors being that an Anglican baptism just never felt right, but probably more so a pure lack of understanding about its importance) I have never got them baptised. If I do follow the path that I currently feel strongly I will want to follow then becoming a part of the Catholic Church is something I want my whole family to be a part of (nb dh is also not catholic but it is something he also feels he might want to undertake in a few years time..due to practical reasons such as the long hours he works it's just not something he would be able to do at the moment and he probably isn't quite ready) therefore I would want them to be baptised into the Catholic Church.
I just don't know what to do. I feel like if I raise this issue with the priest at this early stage he will think it is all about getting my children into Catholic schools (there are many popular ones in the area... Incidentally my son has already started reception at a local catholic primary as I knew I wanted him to have a Christian education whatever my decision is). I could wait until I have finished my course but now I feel I understand a little about the reasons for baptism I feel there is some urgency about it...
Let you children decide when they are of an age if they want to dedicate their life to Gods' service. That is what baptism represents.
If your son is already at Catholic school then it sounds as if there isn't the clamour for places at oversubscribed schools that happens in some areas. I would speak to the priest and perhaps phrase it in such as way that you realise that now your son is at Catholic school he will need to be baptised in order to join in the sacramental preparation further up the school and ask the priest what he would recommend in terms of a time scale.
Would they perhaps be able to be baptised at Easter when you are received into the Church?
We had to attend a baptism course before they could be baptised. Unless they are ill the priest is unlikely to see it as imminently urgent. You could enquire now to see whether something could be arranged towards the end of your course. Some parishes don't baptise during lent but they might be willing to just before or just after. I wouldn't worry about the school issue. You can say that ds is already at St _ school so it is clear that he is having instruction and it isn't just for school place.
I am about to start the RCIA too. When I spoke to our Priest and mentioned that I might like to have my two children baptised he just said they could be done at the same time as me at Easter. No questions asked.
I know what you mean about it appearing to be about schools though. My oldest is close to secondary school age and our local (excellent) school is Catholic.
Our standard procedure would be to have them baptised with you at the Easter Vigil next year. Very few priests would baptise a child where neither parent was Catholic so I think your chances of getting it any earlier than that are very slim anyway.
In practical terms it will make no difference. If (God forbid) there was an emergency between now and Easter, obviously they would be baptised immediately. If not then there's no real difference between a 1 year old and an 18 month old in theological terms.
I would speak to the priest soon though, to indicate that you would like the children to be baptised with you. Depending on the parish there may be additional preparation to take between now and Easter and it would be as well to know about that as early as possible.
Thank you for your advice. I just thought I'd let you know I had my first RCIA meeting last night. It was great and there are about 8 of us starting the course which I feel is a good number.
In his introductory talk the priest happened to refer to two previous candidates who had undertaken the course together with their children. So afterwards I thought I'd take the opportunity to bring it up- 'you mentioned previous candidates going through the process with their children, I have two children who have not been baptised, a 1 yr old and a 4 yr old,' well in all honesty though of course he was being very nice I could see the alarm bells ringing at the mention of a 4 year old...I mentioned the name of the school and he started talking about the nursery and that he must be a September baby. Anyway, once I explained that he was already in reception and in the main school and that choosing and getting a place for him in that school has in some way felt part of my journey it was all fine. He said that when something similar had happened previously the adult had been baptised the one day and the children the next, that it was great that my son would be learning things in an age appropriate manner at his school and to keep on talking to him about where we're at with plans for the children too. :-)
How did you find your RCIA course? I'm interesting in converting, but I'm not sure where to find one locally.
I'm worried too that it will look like we just want our child to go to the local school... We actually have a great school near us so don't need to go to the catholic one, but I do want the church and community to be part of his life.
I wouldn't worry too much about it looking as though you want to convert for the school place. It might look that way, and we're used to that, but it would be very unusual to be actually confronted about it (in any case, what would that serve? People could just deny it whether or not its true). The only way to prove that you are serious about it is to keep on coming when your kids are older and definitely don't need the school place.
I'm of the opinion, and certainly all the priests I've worked with are too, that it's not our business to question people's motivations: if you're willing to come along to the classes and participate then it's not my place to judge why (and, even if people do come just for the school place, if they're willing to listen to the talks then it's possible that God will work in their lives and grant them a genuine conversion). Mostly we seem to have people with mixed motives anyway, I don't think many people would convert only for the kids without any real attraction to the faith at all.
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