“Ask a Priest: Could a Convicted Felon Become a Catholic?”

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Q: Could you explain the steps I would need to take to become a Catholic? And would the Catholic Church allow me to become a member if I am a convicted felon? -G.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: It is good to hear that you are interested in entering the Church. Being a convicted felon is no bar to your becoming Catholic. We are all sinners, so we all need Christ’s mercy. He extends that mercy in a particular through the Church and through the sacraments.

To join the Church you would need to be introduced to its teachings and practices.

A good first step would be to contact a Catholic parish and ask about entering an RCIA program. The RCIA is a program that will teach you about the beliefs and practices of the Church.

It would be helpful to find a sponsor, a Catholic who could accompany you on your spiritual journey.

In the meantime you might try reading the Compendium of the Catechism or the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults.

Try to make time for prayer each day. Read the Gospels and get to know the person of Jesus Christ; he is the head of the Catholic Church and the reason why any of us is here. I wish you well on your journey.

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