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Longing Lucy wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am almost 17 years old and want to join the Church.

I know my Unitarian Universalist baptism is invalid but it does not seem to be clear whether or not I will now need to be baptized in the Catholic Church and select new godparents.


  { Can you tell a young Unitarian Universalist who wants to be Catholic what's need for Baptism? }

Mike replied:

Dear Lucy,

First, Welcome to the family!

Yes, in all likelihood, you will need to be baptized and you will need to select new Godparents.

The next step, call your local Catholic parish and make an appointment with the pastor or a priest to see what is needed. In all likelihood, they will also want you to join an RCIA program so you know what we believe as Catholics.

If your whole family belongs to the Unitarian Universalist congregation, ask the pastor or priest who brings you into the Church to recommend some good, faithful Catholic sponsors from within his parish.

At the same time, ask the pastor what ministries the parish has that you can get involved in; it's a great way to meet new Catholic friends.

If you have any questions about the faith just ask us.

My colleagues may have more to add.


John replied:

Dear Lucy,

Let me join Mike in welcoming you to the family, even though you aren't officially in the Church yet.

Mike is correct in that you will need to be baptized.

I didn't realize Unitarians even baptized anymore but, in any event, it was more than likely invalid. Unitarians, because they joined with Universalists, denied the Trinity. So it's unlikely that your baptism would have had the proper Trinitarian formula with the intent to perform Christian Baptism. Unitarian Universalists self-identify as non-creedal. Meaning that you don't have to believe anything in particular to join their society. In fact, officially they aren't a church or Christian. Hence the name Unitarian Universalist Society.

You will need some instruction prior to Baptism. Mike referred to that. It's called Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults or  RCIA . You will need Godparents, but they may call them sponsors.

They must be Catholics; one male and one female.

Because you are only 17-years-old, I'm not sure whether you will need parental consent but, in any event, you will be 18 in a year. RCIA begins in the fall and culminates with entrance into the Church at Easter so it's probably too late for this year. It's likely the priest will want you to go through the whole program, especially since you're coming from sect that, unlike many Protestant denominations, is not considered Christian.

The good news is that you can still attend Mass and pray with us. You can participate in everything aside from receiving Holy Communion. When others go up for Communion, you can ask the Lord to commune with you spiritually, and you can go up and receive a blessing from the priest.

Spiritual Communion

O Lord Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
I love you (above all things with all my mind and my heart) and I long for You in my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now sacramentally, at least come spiritually into my heart.
I embrace myself entirely to You and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.

Optional add-on: Come Lord Jesus and glorify Yourself through my weak body.


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