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Liz wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a Catholic who recently started going back to Mass after seven years. I had my first child when I was 22, out of wedlock and I was told by my mother I could no longer be a Catholic.

I went to a few other denominations, but none of them felt the same as receiving the Eucharist during Sunday Mass. I married my husband three years ago at a court house. We now have three children; I had them within a 4-year period.

Last year, we decided I should have a tubal ligation. I was having issues with my menstrual cycles, and my doctor suggested having an abrasion to help. This procedure made it unsafe to have children which led to deciding on the tubal ligation.

My husband, who has never been a practicing Christian, finally agreed to go to Mass with me. He has now decided he wants to join the Catholic Church. We want to renew our vows in the Church as well.

Again, my mother has told me we will not be allowed to be married by the priest because of the above things. So my question is:

  • Will we be able to be practicing Catholics who can participate during Mass and can we be married by the priest?

Liz

  { If I had a child out of wedlock can I still return to the Church and be a practicing Catholic? }

Mike replied:

Hi Liz,

Thanks for the question.

Your mother was wrong!

You and your husband can make an appointment with the local pastor and tell him that you both wish to have your marriage co-validated. At the same time, you can talk to the pastor about enrolling your husband in RCIA classes.

Although I'm unaware of any possible nuances, if your tubal ligation was for medical reasons, as you said, this shouldn't be an issue.

Though the primary purpose of the conjugal embrace is procreative, the secondary purpose, for bonding, is just as important. As long as both of you are open to life. Look into Natural Family Planning (NFP), an approved method of birth control by the Church that uses your infertile periods for bonding.

Unless, I missed something, I see no reason why you and your husband can't become practicing Catholics who receive:

  • Holy Communion on a weekly or daily basis and
  • Confession on a regular basis.

Encourage your husband!

For me, it's awesome to think that the Lord has permitted me and my broken body to partake in His Divine Nature.

Mike

Liz replied:

Thank you for the quick response.

We actually have an appointment with our priest this week.

It's good to know I shouldn't have anything to worry about.

Liz

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