May be meeting with an archbishop

I’m going to send in a letter to him. I have it written out but may redo it.

It’s my guess that if I’m sincere, he’ll reach out to me because of their outreach to the ill.

I want to talk to him about the Church’s mentally ill outreach. Also about the stigma in the Church.

The robes and everything might be intimidating at first, but I’ve heard him speak and he seems lighthearted. Wish me luck. I do know I’m going on the possibly far-fetched assumption that he’ll be able to meet with me, but I’m optimistic about the chances of that happening.

(by the way, I don’t have schizophrenia, and nor am I officially Catholic. Just interested in becoming one)

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I didn’t know you don’t have schizophrenia. What’s your diagnosis, just out of curiosity?

The Catholics have this “school” you have to go through if you’re seeking to convert. It’s called “Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults” (RCIA). It’s fairly complex, and converting to Catholicism is not as simple as it sounds. Not to say you should or shouldn’t do it, it’s just very regimented.

Well, my doctor hasn’t officially typed in a diagnosis on her computer. She said if she had to do so, it would be major depressive disorder with psychotic features.

I can understand why some people here might think of my idea as far-fetched, but I’m pretty persistent about things I care about. If I can’t meet with the archbishop I’ll meet with a nun or a priest.

@alien99 I’ve heard the same thing about joining the Church. It isn’t a one step process… Thanks for the input.

By the way, are you a Catholic? Have you gone through RCIA?

No, not Catholic, but my father was, and I got exposed to the Church early. Despite not being a Christian, I have a soft spot for priests. In Arizona, my wife and I were having chicken wings at this restaurant, and we sat across from 4 priests. I picked up their dinner for them. Nice people.

I looked at RCIA in the past. It’s 9 months or so, and requires attendance 2-3 times a week for a couple hours. You then have to go through the Sacraments, and if you’re married, you have to have your marriage recognized by the church (although things are changing on this). As I understand it, you’re not in good standing until either your marriage is recognized (generally means the spouse who is not Catholic convert), or you get married in a Catholic church. One thing the church is very good at is record-keeping. You can be baptized, leave the church for 30 years, come back, and they will still have your records. My uncle is at this very moment using church records to document our family all the way back to the 1600s!


RCIA will make me more nervous than meeting with an archbishop. One on one is my exptertise. I cannot sit in a classroom and maintain consciousness. Lol…

Yes, priests seems sincerely interested in good values. Too bad about the bad ones. The trust level is way down in the Church. I just saw Spotlight the other day and it reminded me of this. Sad stuff…

And wow, they are serious about the record-keeping.

Don’t sweat the classes too much. It’s more like indoctrination and teaching. I don’t think they hit you with multiple-choice questions or anything. From what I understand, it’s pretty friendly and welcoming. I’m not going to tell you what to do (not my place), but if you want to do it, I suggest calling your local parish, find out if they offer RCIA (most decent-sized parishes do), and you will interview with the priest if you’re still interested in it. He’ll probably ask you to buy a book of all the catechisms and read some select ones so you understand Catholicism a bit more. It’s not high pressure like a job interview. It’s more like a friendly chat about Christianity and what you consider to be your reasons for wanting to become Catholic. They’ll also ask you about what you think Christianity is all about, and how you view the workings of God and Jesus.

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Yeah, I’ve heard being nervous is normal for RCIA. I made the mistake of contacting a local parish and telling them right off the bat about my illness. I’m much smarter these days about stuff like that. I am going to try to sit down with the archbishop or a priest and talk about the Church’s mentally ill outreach. (Like I said, I won’t bring this up right off the bat like I did last time. Didn’t get a response that time).

I have the CCC and an American catechism. I’m going to study them in depth.

Thanks @alien99 for the info. I have to get going.

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I have sz and I am Catholic (though not a very good one :blush:) I went through RCIA because I had gone away from the church and needed first communion and confirmation. When I had a private discussion about my mental issues, but wasn’t yet diagnosed, that priest suggested seeing a psychiatrist and getting on medication. I was disappointed because I thought he would recognize my spiritual condition. Anyway, my impression is that the church’s stance is the same as society in general. Good luck and God bless with all your pursuits!

It’s a no pressure situation, although I did have too much anxiety the first time around and dropped out. The second time, the following year, I made myself go and stick with it. I didn’t go to everything, but enough to make it! It starts in September and culminates the night before Easter in an hours long mass. It’s beautiful and I’m glad I did it. I don’t agree with the church on everything, but for me after attending years and years of mostly evangelical churches, it was coming home.

What was your faith to begin with, @Bluey?

My mom joined the Catholic church as an adult (maybe 10 years ago). It has helped her a lot.

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I was raised Christian Scientist. I’m not continuing with that religion.

@Rhubot That’s great that it’s helped her. I’m pretty excited about it.

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Were you nervous getting baptized in front of everybody?

They put out a great newspaper, though!

Haha yes, my uncle writes for them. Glad to hear that it’s a newspaper worth reading.

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It is. All original reporting, very thoughtful, very thorough. I took their quiz on how much I understood about Syria. Not much! I was embarrassed. But I passed the written police examination with flying colors.

What about Catholicism draws you?

(Just realized this is a religious topic)

Lots of stuff. Lots of writers from their tradition have inspired me in many ways. Bishop Robert Barron has me convinced to join. … His YouTube videos are top notch.

And I guess I’m drawn to Christ. I was very close to a loving presence when I was younger, call it what you want.

I’m more interested in the good the Church has to offer than focusing on the bad. I don’t agree with all the minds that go around preaching anti-religion. They’re more annoying to me than the religious people! Ok, there I said it lol, close the topic if you want pixel.

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When I was 18, I took those same classes but for the ELCA Lutherans. My reasons were pretty pragmatic - I was a very unhappy, lost at sea girl, and when I looked at all my friends, the happiest, most effortlessly kind and thoughtful ones, all went to the same church in my town. So I started attending with them. Then I continued classes on my own. I was baptized when I was 19.

It didn’t end up sticking for me, but I have no regrets about the experience. I examined a lot of faiths for several years and learned to take wisdom and guidance where I found it.

Best wishes to you, @Bluey. I bet the Archbishop will find you fascinating.

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Just my 2 cents’ worth, I don’t think it would be a 100% of a good idea to mention mental illness activism when talking to a church official. At least not for the first time. Maybe develop a relationship with them, and make an informed decision before you disclose mental illness. My advice only comes out of a sense of caution, because a lot of people still have pretty stout stigma towards mental illness. Personally, I wouldn’t think it feasible to expect a church to be on the bleeding edge of progressing a pro-health initiative. Just a thought. :wink:

Sorry, @Bluey! Just saw this. Anyway, I had already been baptized so I wasn’t part of that, but it was beautiful too. It’s a special service, so nobody’s there just by chance or cause they didn’t have anything else to do, you know?, so everyone is supportive and it’s a great feeling. The only part I didn’t like was a dinner beforehand, because it’s socializing, and then a group photo after…but I will always remember the RCIA, and the service as a really special time.