If I was baptized as a baby in the Catholic Church, had a conversion experience and got re-baptized in a “born again” church, do I now have to get re-baptized Catholic if I wish to return?

Welcome home. That sounds like quite a spiritual adventure. The quick answer to your questions is that no, you do not need to get “re-baptized” to come home to your Catholic faith. Usually all that is required is a good general confession. Depending on how long you have been away, I would highly encourage you to engage in a slow deliberative process of re-acquainting yourself with the Church. Many parishes have programs for those who are returning to the active practice of their Catholic faith (often called Reconciliation Ministry), such as “Landings” (run by the Paulists), “Catholics Coming Home” or “Re-Membering Church.” Such programs provide the opportunity to ease back into the parish community and to become reacquainted with the teachings of the faith as they are lived out in daily life. Ask your pastor if such a ministry is active in your area. It’s a great way to come home.

Rev. Leo A. Walsh, S.T.D.

Rev. Leo A. Walsh, S.T.D.

The Rev. Leo A. Walsh, S.T.D., formerly the Interreligious Affairs specialist at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is now pastor of St. Benedict's Parish in Anchorage, Alaska. Photo Credit: Bob Roller, Catholic News Service (CNS).