Monday, January 23

My Convalidation Saga - Part I

I am married. This is the first and only marriage for both my husband and myself. I am in RCIA and my husband has always been told by his family that he is a baptized Catholic, although he has never been practicing and has never officially joined another religion or been confirmed in the Catholic faith.

I've been told two different things as to what has to be done for me. First, my RCIA teachers hav told me that I have to take a class from the diocese (costing $100!) to get convalidated, and I need to get convalidated before I can take the eucharist. I've also been told by Father C. at St. Jude's that while it is "irregular", I am not and will not be "living in sin" by being baptized but not being convalidated seeing as how it is a first and only marriage for both my husband and myself.

The main reason this concerns me is because I am attending two different churches, one because I want to (St. Jude's), and one because I "have" to as it is my local parish and has a formal RCIA program (the Cathedral). But I want to get convalidated by my priest at St. Jude's, where I will be a member after I get baptized. I've talked to Father C. and he's going to look into it to see the rules at my diocese for this kind of thing.

I have a slight issue with having to take a $100 class to be eligible for a sacrament. It's not the money, although it was a slight struggle to come up with it. The issue I have is that if I have to take a class for a sacrament, it should be paid for with the money that I paid in the CCA fund that went to the diocese. I thought that's what that money was for. I don't want to be cheap, but the paying for a sacrament requirement is just odd. While I'm sure that we will learn something, I don't think we'll learn $100 worth (or $60 worth if you take out our "continental breakfast and lunch" expense).

After much though, I decided to go ahead and work on making sure my ducks are in a row to get convalidated before baptism on April 16th. First, I went ahead and paid my $100 for the convalidation class on February 4th. My RCIA teacher says it's a blast, and I hope it is. But I figure we should probably go ahead and go.

The second big obstacle to getting convalidated is that we need to have Dan's baptism certificate before we can get convalidated. We started making some calls to Dan's relatives to find out where he was baptized, so we could call them and get a copy of his birth certificate. His mother said he was baptized one place, his father another, his aunt yet another.

We called virtually every parish in the Madison area, as well as the parishes where the grandmothers lived. Nothing. We started to make preparations so that we could get an Affidavit signed from one of his relatives to prove he really was baptized.

Today, Dan called back one of the parishes that he knew had not responded back to him, Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison, WI. They had found his baptism record! They had tried to call him, but had written his number down wrong or something because it kept giving him a Wrong Number error message. They said they could only mail the baptism record to a church, so we gave them the address of the Cathedral and the name of the Deacon leading our class. They should get the certificate mailed to the church sometime this week.

Yay! I'll keep everyone posted on how things go.

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