protestant at notre dame?

<p>What is it like there for a Presbyterian? I am open minded but I don't want to feel really different. Thanks.</p>

<p>S is Methodist and had a wonderful freshman year. Even did well in theology class. Despite the fact that the vast majority of undergrad students are Catholic, you will find Notre Dame is very welcoming to students of all religions. Out of the 8 RA's in his dorm, one was Jewish and another Mormon. The University is first and foremost a religious campus, where traditional values are extolled. This is not an area to worry about at ND.</p>

<p>^^Can second that!</p>

<p>Our S is Presby as well and it was a non-issue. Only debate we had was whether he should be taking communion at mass-in my day that was a big no-no for Protestants.</p>

<p>^That's not allowed by the Catholic Church. Though the priest doesn't know who is Catholic, so it's up to the person.</p>

<p>I do think ND can do a better job of preparing Protestants for the traditions and rituals of the Catholic Church. Most Protestants will come from the tradition of Communion being served to all those who profess the Lord as their Saviour. Having said that I can't think of an academically rigorous college that does a better job of integrating faith into the college life than Nd-at a time in a kid's life when it is probably most needed and tested. I doubt my kid would be even attending Church at any other institution.</p>

<p>ND's Campus Ministry also has personnel in the department who deal specifically with Protestant student resources. They are very helpful and can help Protestant students find worship services, bible study, etc.. </p>

<p>As far as Protestants receiving Communion are concerned, it is a somewhat complicated issue. Theologically speaking it is a not a major problem provided that the recipient strongly desires to receive the Eucharist (in the Catholic sense) and has been Baptized with water and the use of a Trinitarian formula. However it is a clerical issue in that the Church prefers to offer First Communion to adults at the Easter Vigil accompanied with Confirmation. So in this sense the Catholic Church discourages it.</p>

<p>Actually, the Church does more than "discourage" the reception of communion by non-Catholics. Here is the text of the guidelines approved by the bishops:</p>

<p>"For our fellow Christians
We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ's prayer for us "that they may all be one" (Jn 17:21).</p>

<p>Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law (canon 844 § 4). Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 § 3)."</p>

<p>A dorm Mass is not an "exceptional circumstance," and a non-Catholic with a strong desire to receive the Eucharist should contact a priest for information about becoming a Catholic. Every year, there are a number of students who are welcomed into the Catholic faith at the Easter Vigil Mass at the Basilica, and it's a very joyful occasion.<br>
At most Masses at Notre Dame, those who are not receiving communion are invited to come forward to receive a blessing at the time of communion.</p>

<p>^^Thank you for the clarification. "At most masses at Notre Dame, those who are not receiving communion are invited to come forward to receive a blessing at the time of communion."-Let's hope at Dorm Masses that Priests are indeed making this clear if this is the rule of the Catholic Church. When we attended Masses for Easter in the Basilica at Notre Dame, this was made very clear and a nice gesture for Protestants; we did not feel uncomfortable, services were meaningful and beautiful. I wonder, however, at dorm Masses if this is occurring-esp given what sm74 states in above post. Then again, there may not be very many non-Catholics attending mass in the dorms?</p>

<p>Unfortunately, there are many poorly formed Catholics who don't really understand the basic teachings of the Church, so it's possible that well-meaning but ill-informed Catholic students are encouraging their non-Catholic classmates to receive communion. And, sadly, there are even a few priests at Notre Dame who apparently regard these teachings as optional, and encourage everyone to come forward for communion regardless of whether they are Catholic or, if Catholic, are properly disposed to receive. </p>

<p>But your point is well taken. Many Catholics just assume that everyone else knows the drill, and that non-Catholic Christians won't come forward for communion. Perhaps the dorm rectors in particular and Campus Ministry in general could do a better job explaining the basics for everyone.</p>

<p>Claremarie, I just want to clarify what I wrote above. There is a distinct difference between a faithful Protestant receiving the Eucharist (this is obviously not supported by the Catholic Church) and a Protestant who has had a conversion of heart to the Catholic faith and who desires to be in full communion with the faith. Where the former could only receive the Sacramental Character, the latter could receive the Sacramental Character and the Sacramental Grace. Seeing as the recipient would be Baptized and seeing as Confirmation has not been deemed a prerequisite for reception of the Eucharist, then aside from logistical paperwork there is not much preventing this person from receiving the Eucharist. Ideally speaking, I agree, this person should wait for the Easter Vigil to receive Confirmation first and then the Eucharist. It is a ceremony rooted in tradition that echoes the initiation rites practiced in Jerusalem specifically. Yet the Church cannot willingly deny anyone the fruits of the Sacraments especially if this person has had a conversion of heart and is thereby capable of receiving Sacramental Grace.</p>

<p>Unless he is danger of death, when all such rules are suspended, a person who TRULY had a conversion of heart and now embraces all teachings of the Catholic Church should be willing also to abide by that teaching requiring him to wait until he is fully a part of the Church before receiving communion. It's not always necessary to go through a formal RCIA class and wait until the Easter Vigil, and other arrangements can be made for individual circumstances.</p>

<p>What do you mean by fully apart of the Church? Remember, Confirmation is not a prerequisite and in some parts of the Catholic community RCIA is not as well. In the United States most dioceses Confirm at the high school age yet the candidates for Confirmation have already received Communion often by the age of eight. If they are allowed to benefit from the fruits of the Sacraments prior to Confirmation, why deny it to one who has had a genuine conversion of heart and as far as Sacramental Grace and Character are concerned are in an identical state? </p>

<p>The Church made this mistake in the 1930s when it refused to grant Confirmation to children immediately after Baptism which had been traditional custom for nearly 2000 years. The rationale for the change was that it would allow the candidates additional instruction and would allow the candidates to meet face to face with a Bishop. Although this seemed like a good idea, many children were deprived of the fruits of Confirmation for much of their adolescent life. Not only that, but the Sacrament itself does not assume any prior knowledge. So any information they received whether in an RCIA type class or at CCD, though very educational and useful, was not necessary for reception of the Sacrament. The Vatican has recently begun to return to the traditional order of the Sacraments as it now realizes that it is wrong to deprive the faithful of Sacramental Grace and Character in favor of time and education. Children can now ask to be Confirmed at any time during their adolescence and some Bishops are simply Confirming infants immediately after Baptism. In my own opinion asking a Protestant with a conversion of heart to take classes before receiving the Eucharist echoes the 1930s sentiment which favors withholding the Sacraments in order that the candidates might be further educated. This sentiment is growing out of style and is certainly not in accord with the more modern teachings of the Church which continues to advocate for the availability of the Sacraments.</p>

<p>"Conversion of heart" is a mushy concept, and more than a few people confuse it with a "feeling." There is a reason for convert classes and RCIA, even though in many parishes they have become unnecessarily bureaucratic. The Church teaches that parents are the primary educators in the faith; therefore, children baptized in infancy and raised by Catholic parents are presumably being formed in the faith by their parents and prepared for the Eucharist (with the assistance of the parish). A non-Catholic Christian who claims to have had a "conversion of heart" is not in that position. Such a person might have read his way into the Church, and know far more about the faith than most cradle Catholics. But it's more likely that his "conversion of heart" is only a partial one, and that he still doesn't really know enough about the faith to make an informed decision to become a Catholic. What is his justification for insisting that he doesn't need any preparation or study before calling himself a Catholic? If RCIA isn't a good option for him, he can find other ways. I know a priest who has brought many adults into the faith, without benefit of RCIA.</p>

<p>You make a god point about RCIA. Many of those classes have become overly bureaucratic. What our debate seems to boil down to is the issue of education. Must one be educated (take classes, meet with a priest, etc.) in order to be welcomed into the Church? As you are well aware some parts of the world require RCIA and some do not. What RCIA ultimately does is prepare the mind for entrance into the Church. It teaches candidates about sin, how to avoid sin, the meanings of the Sacraments, etc.. This is very educational and quite useful. Yet it does not prepare or in any way change the heart (soul, being, what have you). Only the Sacraments, dispensed by the grace of God, can change the heart. Extra education, insofar as the theology of the Sacraments are concerned, is unnecessary as maturity of the mind is irrelevant for reception of the Sacrament. Aquinas writes,</p>

<p>"Age of body does not determine age of soul. Even in childhood man can attain spiritual maturity: as the book of Wisdom says: "For old age is not honored for length of time, or measured by number of years. "Many children, through the strength of the Holy Spirit they have received, have bravely fought for Christ even to the shedding of their blood."</p>

<p>The Catechism echoes this sentiment in regards to Confirmation,</p>

<p>"Although Confirmation is sometimes called the "sacrament of Christian maturity," we must not confuse adult faith with the adult age of natural growth, nor forget that the baptismal grace is a grace of free, unmerited election and does not need "ratification" to become effective."</p>

<p>The Church cannot willingly deny the fruits of the Sacraments to anyone whose heart is able to receive the grace of God. This is why mentally impaired individuals can receive the full benefits of the Sacraments and enter into full communion with the Church without the need for extra education. Education, though ultimately important in the instruction of the Catholic mind, is ultimately unnecessary for the reception of a Sacrament. If through the Sacraments we enter into full communion with the Church, then these extra procedures we force upon children and potential converts seems a bit unnecessary and laborious.</p>

<p>You do realize that RCIA is an adaption on early church practices for bringing people into the church, right? I did it at ND and I loved the experience.</p>

<p>Welcome home BioDomer!</p>

<p>BioDomer, yes I understand the history of RCIA as well as the initiation rites that were practiced in the early Church. But the discussion is not really about RCIA. It is about the merits of extra education for Protestant converts in general when reception of the Sacraments is dependent strictly upon education of the heart.</p>

<p>In my experience most protestants don't understand exactly what the sacraments really mean. If they do they either reject the belief and should not recieve or they accept them and go through the RCIA process which allows them initiation at the Easter Vigil, which is when they'd be confirmed anyways.</p>

<p>Yeah, I agree. If I were a convert I would wait until the Easter Vigil to receive the Sacraments. It is a beautiful and very memorable service.</p>