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Richard wrote:

Hi guys,

I'm a 61-year-old, baptized and confirmed Catholic but have not practiced or attended church in the past 43 years. I just began attending Mass one month ago and went to Confession twice. I read on this site that I cannot receive Holy Communion if my marriage was not celebrated in the Church.

I had already received the Eucharist twice before read about this on your site. I feel distressed in reading all the cannot do information I have read and need direction.

My wife of 22 years is a non-practicing Baptist. From what I read I'm living in sin and cannot receive Holy Communion. I am very ignorant of Catholic laws. When I was an altar boy, Mass was in Latin and I have no recollection of my Catechism teachings.

  • Do you have any thoughts?
  • Should I attend church services but not receive Holy Communion?
  • Should I renounce being a Catholic?

Thank you very much.


  { If I have not practiced my faith in a long while or been to Mass, should I receive Holy Communion? }

Bob replied:

Dear Rich,

You should continue to go to church and continue learning about your faith. While it is true that you should refrain from Communion for now, that does not mean you can't grow in grace and get through this issue. The faith isn't simply adherence to laws, but a relationship with a loving God and community of His family.

You should talk to a priest about having your marriage blessed because that may be the only hindrance to being a Catholic in good standing. It is clear that God is already working in your life and wants to keep you moving closer to Him.

Don't run away from Him but embrace even the challenges He places before you.


Bob Kirby

Richard replied:

Dear Bob,

Thank you so much for the reply and kind words.

I called to set up an appointment with the priest at a nearby church. I also appreciated the encouragement you offered to continue growing my relationship with God.

I guess it's better late than never.

Take care Bob!

Rich Laban
Carencro, Louisiana

Fr. Jonathan replied:


Richard should be set. I can see a small chance of complications but I think the priest can figure those out.

One thing:

If his wife won't convalidate the marriage, he should have the priest help him apply for a sanation.

Fr. Jonathan

Mike replied:

Hi, Richard —

You said:
I feel distressed in reading all the cannot do information I have read and need direction.

Your reply reminds me of a statement I made in my first YouTube video, which, yes, looks terrible. In it I say, you always won't like our answers but you will at least go away with a reasonable reason why Catholic Christians believe what we do.

The basis for any situation where the Church, in your words, says one cannot do something is for the welfare of its members.

Hope this helps,


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