Catholic Convert – Congratulations!

Catholic Convert - Congratulations!

A Happy Easter to all our readers, with special congratulations to our blogger, Catholic Convert, who was received into the Church during the Easter Vigil.

Welcome, Catholic Convert!  God bless you!

This thread is chiefly for Easter greetings and congratulations.  However, the following story got me wondering about something…

After Easter Sunday Mass the priest hurried after a parishioner and pulled him aside.  “You need to join the Army of the Lord” he said.  The parishioner replied, “I’m already in the Army of the Lord, Father.”  The priest questioned, “Then, how come I don’t see you except at Christmas and Easter?”  He whispered back, “I’m in the secret service.”

If anyone has any ideas about why some folk attend Mass only at Christmas and Easter, feel free to share them here, especially if you can suggest a way of solving the problem of bi-annual Catholicism. 

Easter greetings, then, congratulations & welcome  to Catholic Convert, and opinions – all welcome on this thread.  Happy Easter, one and all…

50 responses

  1. I offer my congratulations also to Catholic Convert 1. Confirmation makes you a soldier of Christ and by the grace of God you will always defend the Faith, including seeking to win new souls for Christ, and to win back those of His flock who have wandered off. The harvest is great and the labourers are few, and you may well find yourself deserted by former Catholic friends who are not Tradition-minded – but the rewards of loving Our Lord and His holy mother are great.

    God bless.

    • Thank you so much for your good wishes. Your good wishes and support truly mean a lot. I pray that I will never fall into sin, error and falsehood again, and I am eternally grateful to the grace of God for this blessing, and to the people who brought me into Catholicism in the first place. Last night was a lovely experience, and I felt a new person when the Priest anointed me with chrism, and I feel happy. God intended me to be a Catholic from the day I was born.

    • Thank you very much Gabriel for your kindness. A very happy Easter to you and your family too.

      God bless

      CC

  2. Catholic Convert,

    A wonderful time for your reception into the Church this Easter, I wish you my congratulations and offer my prayers for you.

    Happy Easter to everyone.

    • It was a lovely occasion Theresa. God has been very good to me. Thank you for praying for me.

      CC

  3. Congratulations and very best wishes, Catholic Convert. I’m thrilled that you have taken the step of becoming a Catholic. I have admired your honest searching on this blog, asking questions and wanting to know the truth about things. That is very praiseworthy.

    A very happy Easter to you and to all the bloggers here.

    • Thank you for your support and good wishes. I also humbly appreciate your compliments regarding my good self. I would like to thank you, Margaret Mary, for answering several of my questions during my presence on this blog. I have a feeling inside which I just can’t explain, I feel empty and clean. It’s as if was carrying a millstone around my neck and it’s been lifted.

  4. I’ve been thinking about why some people go to Mass at Christmas and Easter and I honestly can’t come up with any reason for it. Maybe they genuinely mean to make a fresh start but just fall into bad habits again, I don’t know.

    We should pray for them as maybe they would be more ripe for returning to the faith than many others who don’t go at all, even at Christmas and Easter.

  5. I congratulate Catholic Convert on his continuing search for Truth and authenticity.

    Were you conditionally baptised last night? If not, I feel I have to repeat what I said to Catholic Convert a while back. You really should have been conditionally baptised before receiving any other Sacrament.

    I would seek out a priest of the SSPX and discuss the matter with him. Likewise your Confirmation. There are serious problems with the New Rite of Confirmation. It’s one Sacrament that the SSPX recommend be administered conditionally.

    I hope this doesn’t put a dampener on this thread. These are important issues. My own wife “converted” in a modern parish, but when we started attending the SSPX she was advised not to go to Holy Communion until she had been conditionally baptised.

    • Whilst I am truly grateful for your good wishes, given that you are a convert yourself, I must say that I have been in touch with Fr. Nicholas Mary. I told him about my infant Baptism in the CofE, and he said as long as the vicar used the correct formula then it was valid. When the Priest anointed me with chrism, he said “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit”.

      • Catholic Convert,

        I’m very surprised at Fr Nicholas Mary’s response. This was never the practice of the Church prior to the Council. All converts were conditionally baptised. In Scotland, a dispensation was given by the Holy See for the Rite of Baptism for Children to be used for adults due to the large numbers of adults converting to the Faith.

        How can you be certain your Anglican Vicar used the correct form? How can you be certain that he allowed the water to flow over your head? Sure you could ask your parents, but since you are 18 or 19 years old, your original “baptism” was a number of years ago.

        It’s certainly a risk not to conditionally baptise, hence the reason this was common practice in the Church. I’d get a second opinion. There is a chance that the young SSPX priest who dealt with my wife was wrong, but I doubt it. Perhaps you could call your nearest SSPX priory and ask? Father King in Preston might be a good bet.

        By the way, I’m not a convert. My wife is, but I’m a cradle Catholic. I hope you will understand that there is no malice in what I am saying, only genuine concern.

        • I should have said that the substance of the oil is important. Modern parishes have used vegetable oil for Confirmations which is not valid matter. The normal minister for Confirmation is a bishop – a priest can only confirm in extremis.

          • It was in extremis- my Diocese does not have a Bishop!!! I can also assure you that it was olive oil as I asked my PP prior to the ceremony.

            • Catholic Convert,

              Very good news that the oil was olive oil. Well done for checking this out. You are clearly very well informed.

              In extremis is the term used when someone is in danger of death. I don’t know if Sede Vacante would count.

        • All I can suggest then is that I ring Fr King at Preston, and read to him verbatim everything that the Priest said. The water at my Baptism was poured over my wee head, and the vicar said ‘I baptise you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit’. He definitely used the Trinitarian formula.

          • Catholic Convert,

            How do you know this? A 20 year old memory isn’t exactly reliable.

            Plus, witnesses at the time, being non Catholics, probably didn’t pay all that much attention to the formula used.

            As I said, the Church conditionally baptised for a very good reason. So, unless you believe the Church was wrong to conditionally baptise before the Council, it might be prudent to explore this further. It’s not something I would want to risk.

            I’ve seen thousands of Protestant baptisms and a good number have been invalid.

              • Catholic Convert,

                As I said, it is a bit risky to rely on the 19 or 20 year old memory of non Catholics, hence the reason for conditional baptism. But hey, it’s your soul.

                Having said that, what worrys me in all of this, is that a potentially non-baptised person (not uou specifically, CC) could be “ordained” priest. That means that the “priest”, who is of course not truly ordained, would go on to confer invalid Sacraments. It’s frightening. This is why I’m labouring the point. It’s not enough to rely on a “maybe”, “probably” or “I think so.

                • With due respect, I doubt that if my confirmation were invalid, Ed would have put up this post. Everyone else on this blog seems to be happy about my confirmation, and they all know I was confirmed in the new rite. Will Ed put up another post if I get re-confirmed in the SSPX chapel at Preston? Why are you doubting my salvation?

                  • Catholic Convert ,

                    If you are not validly Baptised then you cannot receive any Sacrament. That’s the issue. The Church has always erred on the side of caution and administered the Sacrament conditionally. No amount of complaining about what I’m saying will change that. The Sacraments of the Church are a reality. Their validity is a reality.

                    I’m not doubting your salvation. I’m simply stating that one cannot be flippant about the validity of Baptism. Everyone may well be delighted for you – I’m delighted that you are becoming Catholic – but this cannot change the validity of the Sacraments. I do not want to be lying in a hospital bed and ministered to be a “priest” that hasn’t been baptised. That is the danger of assuming that baptism administered by Protestants is valid.

                    Incidentally, there is no such thing as “Protestant Baptism”. All Protestant Baptisms are invalid. If a Protestant minister confers the Sacrament validly, it is because he has used the correct matter and form and has the intent of doing what the Church does. Therefore the Sacrament of Baptism is always a Catholic sacrament, despite the religion of the minister.

                    When parents baptise a sick baby in extremis, the Sacrament is usually conferred conditionally at a later date, such is the care of the Church regarding the validity of Baptism. It is a grave mistake to receive Protestants into the Church without conditionally baptising them first.

                  • Catholic Convert,

                    This paragraph from a SSPX priest might help:

                    “The usual situation is that it is practically impossible to prove the validity of the Protestant baptism. Since the investigation is very difficult to do and the validity of the Protestant baptism practically impossible to establish, the custom before Vatican II was to baptize conditionally practically every convert being received into the Church. This is still the practice of traditional priests, who are aware of their obligation to guarantee with certainty the validity of the sacrament. This does not mean that the validity of Protestant baptisms is denied, but simply that they do not have the certitude.”

                • I understand where you are coming from Petrus. I knew a Catholic. He was a convert from Anglicanism. He was baptised in the Church of England as an infant. He was received into the Catholic Church but he was not conditionally baptised. A few years later he started attending Mass at an SSPX chapel. One day, during a conversation with a society priest, they decided to perform a conditional baptism there and then. It was not planned, it took a matter of a few minutes to perform the whole rite, and it was private. It is my understanding that the SSPX will not insist on persons who are canonically Catholic on paper (as is the case with CC) to be conditionally baptised/confirmed, they don’t consider it their business. But if anyone requests this they will gladly do it. So CC, if you want to be conditionally baptised and confirmed one day, just ask an SSPX priest. They will be very accommodating about the whole thing. My mother will probably ask for conditional baptism if she is received, even though she has proof of an ‘Anglican baptism’ (not that there is any such thong, since all valid baptism are Catholic). I myself was not refused conditional Confirmation.

                  • Miles,

                    Good post. The SSPx wouldn’t insist on it for existing Catholics. But would for converts. My wife was certainly advised not to receive Holy Communion until she had been conditionally baptised. I think if a person asked to be received into the Church by a priest of the SSPX they would insist on Conditional Baptism.

                    It is a grave mistake for modern parishes not to Conditionally baptised. This is not me wanting to spoil Catholic Convert’s day. He is a blogger I like and admire greatly. It’s much more important than that. We can’t just offer our unconditional congratulations when converts, who are taking a bold step, are being short changed.

                    • Petrus,

                      With all due respect to you, the time for the comments you’ve been making was before Catholic Convert was received, not now, after the event. Whether you mean to spoil his day or not, I think that is what you are doing. I know it would spoil my day if I had just been received and someone who could have said something earlier began insinuating that my reception was invalid.

                      Editor told us that the first post after Easter would be to celebrate Catholic Convert’s reception, so you should have given him all your advice then and not now. I’ve been waiting to see if she would come on to say this but I guess she’s busy somewhere else, so I am going to stick my oar in and say that I respectfully suggest you drop the subject now, as I think CC will have got the message by now.

                    • I know that Petrus means well, and is thinking of me, but that is how it’s starting to feel, Michaela. I felt the spirit last night, and I feel a new person. It was the happiest night of my life, and now I am filled with doubt.

                  • Dear Miles,

                    I think it would be more appropriate for you or Petrus to discuss the niceties of baptismal validity over email, or even the phone. If you want I’m pretty sure Ed could facilitate that. Needless to say, can what the SSPX do when requested as above be classed as a ‘just in case’ style of thing? Would the SSPX Priest conditionally Baptise and Confirm on the spot? Or would I have to be instructed? That’s the problem, the SSPX does not have any chapel near me.

                    • “Niceties of the validity of Baptism”? I can’t believe you can be so flippant about this.

                      I think you should call your nearest priory and explain the situation to the priest.

                    • For some odd reason, Petrus’s comment below did not have a reply button. Anyway, I was not being flippant-far from it- this issue is very important to me. I will phone the Preston Priests, either Fr King or Fr Vandendaele tomorrow. I was going to do it tonight but it’s too late. Naomi, a former blogger has offered to take me to Preston. I could arrange with Fr King to privately conditionally baptise and confirm me and she would then kindly take me one Sunday or whenever.

                    • Do not be filled with doubt, Catholic Convert. You have a strong faith and a desire to do things properly.

                    • Yes, it’s a ‘just in case’ kind of thing. If you are Catholic on paper, which you most certainly are, and I congratulate you on that, the SSPX has no right to query that, and they will not. They will only mention conditional baptism if you approach them and mention it. Anybody is free to receive Holy Communion in an SSPX chapel. If you kneel at the altar rail, the priest does not ask for an SSPX membership card, simply because, no such thing exists. A Catholic is a Catholic, and if you are legitimately ‘certified’ Catholic, as you were on Saturday night, the SSPX will obey that.

                      I wasn’t criticising you. If anything I was supporting you in the context of what Petrus was saying. I said the validity of your baptism is first and foremost none of anybody else’s business, and that the SSPX would not enquire about it, because according to Catholic law, you are now fully Catholic. I simply wanted to say, that if you desired conditional sacraments, an SSPX priest would offer them, but they would not mention anything unless you asked. I didn’t mention anything about the validity of your baptism.

                      The ‘what if’ aspect of your baptism concerns what is known to God, it does not concern your canonical status. That was granted to you by the Church on Saturday through a priest.

                      You are already officially, canonically Catholic. You have exactly the same status as me and Petrus. An SSPX priest must respect that. The SSPX does not consider itself a parallel Church, or above canon law. So no, the SSPX does not insist on any Catholic receiving instruction, simply because the SSPX is not another Church. You would have no need to receive instruction from the SSPX no more than Petrus, myself or Editor would.

                      I myself have received conditional confirmation. They would do conditional baptism by arrangement. No exams, vetting process or esoteric initiation. For conditional confirmation, you would have to wait for one of the society’s bishops to visit the British district, which is about once every three years. When I was conditionally confirmed, there were other adult candidates who had received previous dubious confirmations.

                    • This is a reply to Miles Immaculatae’s post at 9.57.pm as there is no REPLY button there.

                      I just wanted to say “well said” Miles, you are so right that it is nobody’s business, Catholic Convert is a properly received Catholic and nobody has any right to cast doubts on his reception into the Church.

                      Catholic Convert, please don’t let these comments about baptism/confirmation spoil your day. Congratulations again!

  6. A very happy Easter everyone.

    My sincere good wishes and congratulations, Catholic Convert. I wish you many blessings in your Catholic life.

    • Thank you Nicky for your support and good wishes. I will remember you and all of the other bloggers in my Rosary.

  7. This is great news, Catholic Convert 1. I am delighted it all went smoothly for you. My congratulations in abundance, and my prayers for your future happiness in the Church.

    Happy Easter to you and to all CT bloggers.

  8. Thank you for your prayers- I will pray for you. I am also delighted it went smoothly, I was extremely nervous, as I hate being the centre of attention as I am very easily embarrassed, but when I went up to the altar everything went perfectly. Happy Easter to you too.

  9. CC: May the Church change your life as it has changed mine, and “Welcome to the Tribe”! Someone (probably not Editor) once said that the Church has both a shallow end and a deep end of the pool for the faithful. May you find your way quickly to the deep end, which, in short, is Tradition.

    To respond to your introductory question, Editor, about why some people attend Mass only at Christmas and Easter, I would venture that it might have something to do with the Novus Ordo, which fails to teach, inspire, or attract, which eviscerates the Holy Sacrifice, which proclaims nothing but a surrender to the world and to heretics, and whose banality is little different from attending a third-rate theater production or a boring lecture at University. The Novus Ordo is, in fact, a ritual of the culture of death which has been established within the bosom of the Church.

    So perhaps we should recall the words of the Angel to the women at the Sepulcher at Easter dawn, and ask these neo-Catholics, who mindlessly flock to that Trojan Horse, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?”

    • Great Pretender,

      I think you’re probably correct about the new Mass explaining the lapsation rate. I love your final paragraph. .

      As for why do some attend Mass at Easter and Christmas only – I think it’s a way of salving their consciences. It’s like people who get their babies baptised when they don’t practise themselves. It doesn’t make sense, promising to bring their children up in the faith when they don’t bother about the Church for most of the time, but they do it anyway, I presume because there’s something going on in their consciences.

    • I think this is an important point. Protestantism, of which spirit the New Mass is impregnated with, appeals to the natural senses – namely emotion and entertainment. Let’s face it, if I wanted purely to be entertained, I wouldn’t go to Mass! Whereas the Traditional Mass is completely supernatural.

  10. Catholic Convert,

    All my very best wishes to your today on your reception into the Church. I cannot tell you how pleased I am for you and for the Church who has gained another Soldier of Christ! Welcome, welcome, welcome!

    A very happy Easter to everyone at CT and most especially, a very happy Easter to Catholic Convert.

  11. Catholic Convert,

    I offer you my warmest congratulations on being received into the Church.

    Happy Easter everyone at CT.

  12. Michaela,

    There was no reply next to your original post.

    With respect, it’s very unchristian to assign motive to the actions of others. Now, I draw your attention to two things.

    1. My only concern is for Catholic Convert’s soul and the souls of others. We get into a right mess if someone who hasn’t been validly baptised attempts to be ordained. The integrity and validity of the Sacraments is at stake here.

    2. If you look back through my comments, and a good number of other bloggers’ comments from when CC joined this blog until now, you will see that he has always been urged to find a Traditional parish. I’m certain I have raised this issue with him on several occasions. I know he lives a distance away but nothing is impossible. I Lao know that he has a strong desire to do things properly.

    We cannot allow human emotions to cloud our judgement. We cannot neglect to warn CC of the dangers, under the auspices of being nice to him. I believe I have been very nice to him and its an act of charity to point out the potential dangers. It is not charitable to congratulate him unthinkingly for fear of upsetting him, when there ARE huge unresolved issues. This is false charity.

    Yes, the editor may well come on and tell me to drop this matter. However, she has the authority to do that – not you. I’m sure she will read my posts and recognise that I only have CC’s best interest at heart. He has shown his Catholic spirit through his willingness to investigate. God bless him for it.

  13. This is a great Eastertide for you, Catholic convert. may God continue to bless you. My husband, who was in the same position as yourself, was assured by 2 SSPX priests that conditional baptism was not required.

    • Crofterlady,

      I’m astounded by this, considering that it was standard practice before the Council.

      Anyway, I’m sure God will see the genuine desire in Catholic Convert’s heart and will guide him. CC has a solid faith and a desire to do things properly. He certainly wouldn’t be held culpable for the errors of others.

  14. Catholic Convert,

    This is a wonderful day. I wish you every peace, grace and blessing in your Catholic life.

    Congratulations and a very happy Easter to you and to the rest of the CT bloggers.

  15. Congratulations Catholic Convert and welcome to the Church.

    Regarding conditional baptism, in Scotland the Church has always insisted on conditional baptism for those converting from the Church of Scotland because mostly in the KIrk ministers simply make the sign of the cross with water on the baby’s forehead which doesn’t suffice. On the other hand, the Church of England (especially High churches) seem to copy everything Catholic and administer baptism by saying the words as the water is poured and is presumably regarded as valid.

  16. Thanks to everyone who tried to make this day very special for Catholic Convert. I know that he very much appreciates all your kind wishes.

    As usual with Feast Day threads, I’ll close this one down now, hoping you all enjoyed a pleasant, peaceful and holy Easter.

    God bless – and again, Catholic Convert, warmest congratulations on your reception in to the Church. Keep close to Our Lady – she’ll keep you right!

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