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Jennifer Traverso wrote:

Hi, guys —

My fiancé and I live together and we're currently expecting a baby in the fall. I also have a daughter from a previous marriage.

I am not a confirmed Catholic but have been baptized and received my First Communion after attending Catechism classes for four years. My fiancé is a confirmed Catholic. I was unable to participate in religious activities or attend church due to my ex-husband not being religious at all.

  • What problems can I expect to run into trying to get back into the Catholic Church and eventually getting married (hopefully in a year or two) in the Church?

I visited the local parish today but the pastor had not been aware that I was pregnant.

I mentioned that all the other members are already confirmed but I wasn't so he recommended
I contact the religious educator to start the Confirmation process.

  • Is this normal?

Thank you!!

Jennifer

  { What problems will I run into trying to get back into the Church and getting married there? }

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Jennifer,

God is calling you to a deeper relationship and that is only good. I encourage you to begin the journey and take each step as a opportunity to get to know this Church.

You did the best thing possible and went to talk to your parish priest. I hope he welcomed you and said he would work with you.

The first thing that needs to be factored in is your marital relationship. Let's start with your first Marriage:

When you married your first husband —

  • Did you contact the Catholic Church at all prior to getting married?

Based on your answer, this could mean that it was a Catholic ceremony or it was a non-Catholic ceremony that the Catholic Church gave a dispensation for. That may sound complicated but judging by what you stated about your former husband I'm assuming that you did contact the Church prior to getting married.

If you did have a Catholic ceremony or you received a dispensation from the Church to get married by someone else then you need to go through a process commonly known as an annulment before you can be confirmed or have your new marriage recognized by the Catholic Church.

If you did not contact the Church then there is a much simpler process your priest would need to handle called a Lack of Form Case.

  • Was your current husband ever married prior to meeting you?

If so, he may need one of the above two things as well. Once your Marriage situation is worked out, you should have your marriage validated in the Church.

Until it is, neither you or your husband should be receiving Holy Communion when you go to Mass. Your children can receive if they are old enough but you and your husband need to have your Marriage validated first.

Don't wait two years to get married — get married in the Church as soon as possible.

Your priest suggested you contact the Religious Education instructor to see about getting ready for Confirmation. That is a logical thing for him to say. Don't worry, you won't be with a bunch of High School students. You most likely will be with other adults who haven't received Confirmation.

It is a great way to learn about the Church and you will be ready in mind and heart to truly understand and believe when you receive the Sacrament.

I hope that this is helpful.

Fr. Jonathan

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