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Carol Heather wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'm a 14 year old teenage woman who lives in the United States; I live with both my parents.

Since I was little, I have gone to a Methodist church in the town I was born, but when I turned eight, my dad got a better job in another part of Texas. When we moved, we just couldn't find a good church to join. I don't agree with either the Baptists or the Methodist down here.

Recently, I've been looking into the Catholic faith because I know some people who are Catholic and they say the Church is amazing and makes them feel welcome.

I've been looking into what Catholics believe and I agree with it. My mom said she would be more than happy to take me to the Church near by if I was really committed.

I think I'm committed but I am also wondering if I'm just rushing into the church because I want to find a church.

  • Is just agreeing with the beliefs good enough to join a Church?

Carol

  { For a teenager like me, is just agreeing with the beliefs of the Church good enough to join? }

Mary Ann replied:

Carol,

It is true that agreeing with the beliefs is enough to belong to the Church, but that includes being willing to live by them, also. If you want to join the Church, you will be invited to participate in a group with other young people, learning and preparing to receive Sacraments of Initiation:

  • Baptism
  • Confirmation, and
  • the Eucharist.

This will start around September and will last until Easter.

Mary Ann

Eric replied:

One thing you should be aware of, Carol, is that the Catholic Church is different from other churches in that it's not a club for people who agree with each other.

You should not join the Catholic Church because it agrees with what you believe; you should join it because you trust it as a truth-telling Church.

  • What's the difference?

In the first case, your measure of truth is what you believe. You are measuring the church against what you believe, and if it matches, you join the church, but this is not the biblical view of the Church. 1 Timothy 3:15, calls the Church the pillar and foundation of the truth. The truth flows from the Church, and the people conform what they believe, to what the Church teaches, not the other way around.

Also, the Catholic, when he embraces the Church, embraces, not only what he knows about what the Church believes, but everything he doesn't know, and even things that haven't been defined yet. In other words, you must be willing to accept not just what the Church teaches now, but what She teaches in the future. This was a key revelation for me in my journey back to the Church.

Also, Jesus told his apostles, of whom the bishops are successors:

"He who listens to you, listens to me; he who rejects you, rejects me, and he who rejects me, rejects Him who sent me".

(Luke 10:16)

I'd recommend you do some study. I know you have done some study, but we need to make sure that information is accurate and complete. I recommend you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. That will give you a both complete and accurate understanding of what we believe.

Mike Humphrey, our Web Administrator and fearless leader, use to run a free program that sent Catechisms to seeking Protestants and non-Christians but no longer has the financial or operational means to do this anymore. Nevertheless, if you wish to go deeper, consider buying a cheap copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to learn everything we believe as faithful Catholics.

I will say that you will probably not be able to join until you are 18 because your parents are not Catholic. This will definitely prevent you from rushing in, :-) but talk to the local priest to confirm this.

Eric

Mike replied:

Dear Carol,

Thanks for the questions and sharing your story. Your desire to join is a call of the Holy Spirit.

If you are still interested in learning more about our faith which, as you said, IS amazing, you can purchase a copy of YouCat on-line; they are pretty cheap, and whether you are a teenager or adult, you can learn a lot.

It stands for Youth Catechism; it's the Vatican's way of trying to be cool with the youth, after all, we now know that Homer Simpson is Catholic : -)

Here are some other ways the Vatican is trying to keep in touch with the Youth:

If your a seeking Protestant, no matter what age and don't know where to start. This may help.

Mike

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