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WhereDoIStart? wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a 14-year-old girl and want to become Catholic but I am not sure where or how to start!
I haven't been baptized, so I'm not sure how that works either.

I truly believe in the Catholic religion and really want some guidance on how to begin this journey.

WhereDoIStart?

  { Where does a 14-year-old girl start, who really believes the faith and wants to become a Catholic? }

Mike replied:

Dear WhereDoIStart,

You didn't say in your question whether you had parents or a guardian and whether they approve of your interest or not but, no matter what your situation is, let me encourage you and answer your question.

First, let me applaud you on learning or finding out about our faith and following where the Holy Spirit is leading you.

No matter how your parents or guardians feel about your interest, at the age of 18 you will be able to make your own decision on faith matters.

In a related question, Mary Ann said:

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. Your baptism in the Church of England (if that's what it was) is valid, so all you would have to do is contact your local Catholic parish and ask about the process for instruction in becoming a full member of the Church.

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.

In the mean time, I would strongly encourage you to meet with a Catholic priest who is known for his faithfulness to the Church. Just ask a Catholic friend of yours, who they would recommend and share with this priest/pastor your interest in becoming a Catholic and the passion you have shared with us for the faith.

Various teens at various ages have different reading abilities.

If you are a good reader you can buy a book intended just for your age bracket called YouCat.

In my view, the name was chosen as a way for the Vatican to try to be cool with the younger generation. YouCat is an abbreviation for Youth Catechism and you can buy one on-line.

I have a niece that is a super reader. If you are also an advanced super reader, you may be able to handle the bigger Catechism of the Catholic Church, though it’s about two inches thick. It's the type of book that you should probably take a section at a time in between regular prayer times, or you can try the smaller-sized question and answer form of learning in the Compendium to the Catechism.

If you have not seen it, you also may be interested in some of my articles on My Favorites page including:

I hope this helps.

If you have further questions, just reply or use the AskUs quick link:

http://www.AskACatholic.com/AskUs

Mike
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