It is advisable to check through the issues below in the early stages of the process.

1.    The marital status of the person needs to be ascertained early on, as there may be problems if the person is living in an irregular union.

2.    In the case of those who are members of other Christian denominations it is important to be assured that their Baptism has taken place – find out where and when, and get a Baptismal Certificate if possible.  If there is no record of baptism, and if there is uncertainty as to whether it really took place one could look for the testimony of a witness.  If the person was seven years or older when they were Baptised their own testimony is sufficient.  Sometime there will be doubts regarding the validity of the baptism.  For example, the initiation practices of some Christian denominations (e.g., Unitarians) are not regarded as valid baptism by the Catholic Church.  Those who have not been validly Baptised receive the Sacraments of Initiation.

3.    If the person is under eighteen years of age, the parents or guardians should be informed.  If the person is between fourteen and eighteen years of age they have the right to join the Catholic Church without requiring parental approval.  However, if the parents object, the matter will require delicate and careful handling.

  1. If there are problems or queries in relation to the above (1,2,3,) it may be prudent to seek advice from the chancellery or from members of the Diocesan Resource Team for Initiation of Adults.
  2. The readiness of catechumens for election is discerned by priests, (deacons), sponsors, catechists, godparents and representatives of the local community, each in accord with their respective responsibilities and in their own way.  A statement of readiness of the person is included in the application form.  A similar discernment is necessary for those preparing for Reception into full Communion with the Catholic Church.
  3. Those who are receiving the Sacraments of Initiation make their formal request for Initiation in the Rite of Election on the first Sunday of Lent in the Pro Cathedral.  The priest of the parish should return the three page form CHRISTIAN INITIATION to Fr. Damian McNeice before 30th October the previous year (i.e 5 months before the Rite of Election).  The same form is used for those intending to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church .
  4. While the ordinary minister for the Sacraments of Initiation for adults is the Bishop, it is the intention of the Archbishop that the priest who has accompanied the candidate during the period of preparation would be the minister of these sacraments.  The application form sent to Damian McNeice will be forwarded to the chancellery and includes a request for delegation (this delegation is necessary as it involves the granting of the faculty to Confirm).