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YoungAndWantToBeCatholicBut wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'm 15 and want to become Catholic. I have a few of Catholic friends, some who live in my country while others live in other countries and their lives seem amazing and something I want to be part of.

I went to a Lutheran school from grade 3 through grade 8 and I can say I am a Christian but not Lutheran. My parents have always told me that they aren't going to force a religion on me and that I have to decide for myself what I want believe.

I believe I have made that decision but am unsure what the process would be going forward. I live in Australia and there is only one Catholic parish near my house (within walking distance).

If you could give me ways to tell my parents that I want to become a Catholic and how I would get involved in the Catholic faith that would be amazing.

Thanks in advance!

YoungAndWantToBeCatholicBut

  { Seeing my parents want me to decide, how do I proceed and become a Catholic and what do I say? }

Mike replied:

Dear YoungAndWantToBeCatholicBut,

Thanks for the good question.

If you wish to become a Catholic you just have to call the rectory (a house where the priests live and usually reside) and tell the secretary that you would like to make an appointment with the pastor to talk about becoming a Catholic. Part of becoming a Catholic involves taking a set of classes called RCIA, which means the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

The purpose of RCIA is multi-fold:

  • To learn all of what we believe as Catholics
  • To discover the various ministries your local parish has that you can participate in
    (This can be a great way to discover your vocation within the Church.)
  • It’s also a great way to build community from within and meet new friends

As Mary Ann said in another answer:

The Church considers that at 14 you are of an age to convert if you want to, though they may want your parent's permission prior to age 18. . . . While you have the right in conscience to convert, you should speak with your parents about this, and study the faith seriously. With their permission, you may start the process now. If your parents forbid your conversion, you can continue in prayer and preparation until you are of age [18].

God will bless you and take care of you.

You said:

If you could give me ways to tell my parents that I want to become a Catholic and how I would get involved in the Catholic faith that would be amazing

What I would do is remind them of what they told you. From the e-mail you sent us you said:

My parents have always told me that they aren't going to force a religion on me and that I have to decide for myself what I want believe.

Well, tell them you have decided that you wish to join the Catholic faith. If they ask why, just tell them, what you have told us:

[ . . . the lives of Catholics you have met] seem amazing and something you wish to be part of.

but don’t stop there.

Tell them, in lieu of Matthew 16:13-20 and 1 Timothy 3:15, you cannot find any other Christian Church that can traces it’s roots back to Jesus and the authority He gave to St. Peter and his successors to protect and safeguard His teachings, after his glorious Ascension into Heaven, until His Second Coming.

If you need some bonus reasons, check out my favorites page:

In another set of questions from another faith seeker interested in joining the faith I was asked:

  • What do you think is the coolest thing about being Catholic?
  • What is one of the coolest things that you have found about the Catholic Church?
  • What do you think is the coolest thing about being Catholic?

The answer to this question will vary from person to person based on their background and how they were raised.

I received much of my love for and knowledge of the Church from Benedictine monks; so personally, I like the quiet, meditative environment, similar to that which you find in an Adoration Chapel. I mention some other cool things under this page.

I also think it is ultra cool that I can partake in Divine nature through the Eucharist and help to fulfill the mission Jesus gave us before His glorious Ascension into Heaven. Yeah, we still have broken bodies that tempt us in wrong ways, but the sacraments, especially that of Confession are there to assist us in this area.

  • What is one of the coolest things that you have found about the Catholic Church?

Because I was pretty well grounded in the faith by the Benedictines the only thing that I discovered that blew me away was a quote from St. Pacian of Barcelona. He answers the question:

If your parents say that’s just a Church of scandalous sinners who are a bunch of hypocrites, tell them the Church welcomes sinners and hypocrites like Jesus did. Neither He nor the Church would condone their behavior but still welcomes all sinners.

On a semi-humorous note: Whenever I hear about a big-time sinner on the news, my knee-jerk reaction is: this guy must be a Catholic : )

I hope this helps,

Mike

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