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The Process of Becoming Catholic for Brides-to-Be

Before I got married, I made the decision to convert to Catholicism. My husband and I now share the same faith.

A church at the top of Montserrat outside of Barcelona, Spain.

A church at the top of Montserrat outside of Barcelona, Spain.

The Conversion Process for Catholic Brides-to-Be

Before our marriage, my husband and I discussed my conversion to Catholicism. I think all couples should do the same. I was Presbyterian growing up, and my family and I never went to church. However, I was very open and supportive of my significant other's commitment to his faith. When we got engaged, I made the official decision to convert so we could have a complete Catholic mass wedding.

Here is what you can expect on your journey to becoming Catholic. This isn't something that can be done in just a day.

What to Expect During the Conversion Process

  1. Classes
  2. Letter to Your Priest
  3. Sponsorship and Permission
  4. Baptism and Confirmation

1. Classes

The converting process can take 1 year to 1.5 years due to the number of classes you have to attend. Each class I attended was one hour long and was once a week for 8 months. For the three months leading up to my baptism and confirmation date, it increased to twice a week. Keep in mind that the following mentioned are based on my personal experience and may not be exactly what your Catholic church will do for you.

What My Catholic Classes Consisted of

  • Attendance was mandatory unless you were very sick or had something that day that was unavoidable.
  • The instructor gave every student a syllabus of the class, a binder, a Bible, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church book.
  • There were students of all ages in the class.
  • Worksheets were handed out to the students each week to fill out as the instructor talks about the topic of the week.
  • I was taught how to read the Bible and how to be a good Catholic.
  • I was taught how to pray and how to pray with a rosary.
  • I was taught about Catholic masses and why certain things are done in a certain way.
  • Questions. My instructor always encouraged me to ask any questions. If you didn't feel comfortable asking your question in front of the class, you were encouraged to ask the instructor after class.

2. Letter to Your Priest

You'll be required to write a letter to your priest asking for permission to convert to Catholicism. I was given a sheet of paper by my class instructor that included a template of what to say to him. The template was very helpful. If a template isn't given to you, ask your instructor for guidance on how to start your letter or what to include in your letter.

3. Sponsorship and Permission

Before you officially convert, some things are required of you outside of your church class. Your instructor will have you pick out someone Catholic in your life to be your sponsor during the process. When I went through the process, I chose my husband's parents. If you don't know anyone who is Catholic, the people of your new Catholic church are more than willing to be yours.

You'll also be required to attend a ceremony/mass with your sponsor(s) where you get blessed by the Bishop and ask him for his permission for you to convert. This is done with the other students in your class who are also converting.

4. Baptism and Confirmation

If you have already been baptized, you don't need to go through this process again; you'll just need to go through confirmation. Both of these were done together for me in one ceremony with the rest of the students in my class.

You'll also be required to choose a confirmation name before this ceremony. The confirmation name I chose for myself was María. If you are having a hard time choosing or finding your confirmation name, there are lists on Google that you can refer to.

This Is Your Decision!

Converting was completely my decision. I never once felt pressured by my husband and his family to do so. Of course, they were hoping I would convert, but they were very supportive of the possibility that I wouldn't convert. Make sure that this is something that you want and feel comfortable with. No one should be pressuring you in this decision.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2019 Jackie Zelko


Jackie Zelko (author) on July 09, 2019:

It is such a beautiful place!

Liz Westwood from UK on July 09, 2019:

This is a worthy companion of your article about Catholic marfiage. I was fascinated by your Montserrat photo as we went there 2 years ago.