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Gavin Parker wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a non-Catholic and am attending a local Catholic church nearby. I am not married but am living with my girlfriend and our three-year-old son. Along with our son, my girlfriend and I want to be baptized and become Catholic as the three of us have not been baptized yet.

  • Will the priest baptize us if we are not married? and, if he did,
  • Would we automatically be committing a mortal sin after the Baptism because we have a child but are not married?

I am looking forward to your replies.



  { If we are not baptized, nor Catholic, nor married, but have a child together can we be Catholic? }

Bob replied:


You have said it: There is an inherent contradiction in the order of things if you seek Baptism first, unless, of course, you intend to live as brother and sister (which I highly doubt).

The solution is fairly simple:

  • Get married
  • Join a RCIA program as a family and
  • then become Catholics together at the Easter Vigil next year as the culmination of your journey.

You can have your marriage blessed by the Church at the same time. The alternative is to get married, then have a private ceremony to become baptized and have the marriage blessed.

In either case, there should be some formal formation process so you have the fullness of Catholic initiation.

God bless you as you continue on your quest!

Bob Kirby

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Dear Gavin —

The Catholic answer is to ask, if you would like to get married.

There is nothing automatic in this equation.

Talk to the local priest and just be honest. Then as you learn about our faith and the incredible importance of the Sacrament of Marriage, take that teaching into your prayers and see what God is calling you to do.

Fr. Jonathan

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