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Becoming a Catholic is a response to God’s call. Some receive this great gift while they are still infants, hence Infant Baptism. And some while they are older children or adults, hence Adult Baptism. A person is brought into full communion with the Catholic Church through reception of the three sacraments of Christian initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and the Holy Eucharist – but the process by which one becomes a Catholic can take different forms.
1. A person who is baptized in the Catholic Church becomes a Catholic at that moment, which means that one becomes a Catholic at baptism. Confirmation and the Eucharist then deepens one’s Christian Initiation. This is true both for children who are baptized Catholic (and receive the other two sacraments later) and for adults who are baptized, confirmed, and receive the Eucharist at the same time.
2. Those who have been validly baptized outside the Catholic Church become Catholics by making a profession of the Catholic faith and being formally received into the Church. This is normally followed immediately by confirmation and the Eucharist.
Procedure to be followed
Before a person is ready to be received into the Catholic Church, whether by baptism or by profession of faith, preparation is necessary. This entails going for some Catechesis, that is, Catechism Lessons. This applies to both infants and adults, therefore the amount and the form of this preparation depends on the individual’s circumstance.
Preparation for the Unbaptized
Preparation for reception into the Church is done in stages.
Preparation for Christians
The means by which those who have already been validly baptized become part of the Church differs from that of the unbaptized.
Reception of lapsed Catholics
Some Catholics who received confirmation and the Eucharist but who left the Church by a formal act, such as joining another church or denomination can come back to the Church and become Catholics again by going to confession and being reconciled.
Since antiquity God has been calling people to Himself and it is up to humanity to respond to this call. Becoming a Catholic is a noble way of responding to God’s call.
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