By Father KENNETH DOYLE
Q. I am considering coming back to the church after 50-plus years. In the meantime, though, I was married, divorced and remarried years later in a non-Catholic ceremony to a divorced man. Am I even eligible to receive the sacraments? (upstate New York)
A. Before answering, I would need to know more about your situation. Was your first marriage performed with the Catholic Church's approval, and is your first husband still alive? Next, are you at the present time living with your second husband?
Depending on your answers, the solution could be fairly easy, requiring that you simply go to confession -- or it could be a bit more complicated, involving some annulment papers and the church's "convalidation" of your present marriage.
Why not meet with a priest whom you know or has been recommended to you and talk over your situation?
I am pleased that you are thinking about coming back to the sacraments, and please know that I will pray for you as you do so.
This is not an unfamiliar story; I've known others who had drifted away from church attendance but who, in their later years, missed deeply the strength and peace that had come from the sacraments.
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Questions may be sent to Father Kenneth Doyle at email@example.com and 30 Columbia Circle Dr., Albany, New York 12203.