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The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

Have your own question? Then pitch it to us!

Caitlin Kennell Kim
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Mike Hayes
Our readers asked:

I’ve been going to mass and thinking about becoming a Catholic. As a non-Catholic and a newcomer, do I have the right to say the words and prayers at mass?

Neela Kale Answers:

The liturgical celebrations of the Catholic Church – mass, morning and evening prayer, and other celebrations such as baptisms and weddings – are by definition communal celebrations. Thus they are always open to the community. Anyone who wishes may join us in prayer, whether or not he or she is Catholic or Christian.

As a newcomer, you are welcome to join your voice to ours in prayer and to respond out loud during the mass if you are inspired to do so and believe in the words that you say. If you decide that you wish to become Catholic, immediately before you celebrate the sacraments of initiation (baptism, confirmation and Eucharist) you will have a chance to make a public, official profession of Catholic Christian faith. However, you will already have begun to express that faith by joining in mass and by learning to pray the Christian prayers during your period of preparation.

The Author : Neela Kale
Neela Kale is a writer and catechetical minister based in the Archdiocese of Portland. She served with the Incarnate Word Missionaries in Mexico and earned a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology. Some of her best theological reflection happens on two wheels as she rides her bike around the hills of western Oregon.
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