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After mulling it over, and organizing my thoughts I have finally composed a letter to my Bishop addressing my concerns regarding how I was treated, and the things said to me by the Priest of my parish.

Please tell me what y'all think before I mail it off.

Most Reverend Bishop Fellhaur,

            I am writing to you over a concern I have with the priest of our parish, Father Greg Korenek.  I met with Father Korenek recently and spoke to him about being baptized as well as having my step-daughter Sophie baptized.
            Sophie’s father, my fiancé, Rex, was baptized Catholic as a baby, but was not raised particularly Catholic, nor was he taught much about the Church.  As a result, he lived a very worldly life.  He and I seek to remedy that, and I met with Fr. Korenek to get things moving.
            I am not baptized Catholic.  I was raised LDS, and therefore my baptism is not valid.  I dearly wish to be baptized in the Catholic Church so that I may marry Rex.
            Fr. Kroenek was very dismissive of me and my desire to be baptized and marry Rex, and disturbingly, of my desire to have Sophie baptized.
            I’m disappointed over his opinion regarding Rex and me, but his dismissal of my desire to have Sophie baptized was very disturbing.
            He asked me why I desired to have her baptized, and when I told him that I wanted her to be washed clean of original sin and that if she should, God forbid, die before she was baptized due to some accident, she would be barred from Heaven.  When I brought up the change in the nature of the soul brought on by baptism, and the indelible mark that it leaves on the soul, he laughed.
            Fr. Kroenek stated that “The Church does not teach that unbaptized babies don’t go to Heaven”.  This is incorrect, and very bad theology.  While the Church does not teach that unbaptized babies necessarily go to Hell, a child that dies in original sin cannot attain Heaven as far as we know. The idea of limbo would not have been theorized if that were the case. The idea of baptism of desire is moot regarding babies anyway, because they are too young to desire anything.
            This point is also moot when it comes to Sophie, as she is nearly eight years old, and perfectly capable of personal sin.  Fr. Kroenek knows this, because I not only told him her age, but she goes to the Catholic school attached to his parish.
            His basis for refusal of baptism for Sophie is that first of all, Rex and I are not married, but we are co-habitating, I will address this later, and secondly that he will not baptize a child he believes will not be raised Catholic.  While the second concern is a valid reason to not baptize a child, it is not a valid reason to not baptize Sophie.  Rex and I spend over 300 dollars a month sending her to Fr. Kroenek’s own school.  We would not be doing so if we had no intention of raising her up in the faith.  I do not understand his refusal on this point.  The only reason I can come up with is that parents of non-baptized non-parishioners pay more in school fees than do parents of baptized children and even more than those of baptized members of the parish.  I do not accuse Fr. Kroenek of greed, but I cannot think of another reason for his denial of the sacrament of baptism to a child whose parents are honestly seeking to raise their child Catholic, and be Catholic themselves.  I could not have made myself clearer on the point that Rex and I greatly desire to be married in the Church and raise Sophie to be a true Christian!

            On the subject of Rex’s and my living situation, he and I got together in a sinful manner.  I was not (and unfortunately am still not) Catholic, so I cannot be entirely faulted, but I do take responsibility, and Rex knew better, but still invited me to move in with him.  I have come to the faith, and Rex has repented of his sins and wants to regularize our situation.  In preparation for this eventuality, he and I have been living together chastely for many months now, and will continue to be chaste until we are married.  Fr. Kroenek did not even bother to discover this, and assumed that if Rex and I were living together, we must undoubtedly be sleeping together, and treated me as such.  He did not seem to take my desire to marry Rex seriously, and questioned if I even loved him, and was I not simply seeing getting married as just the next logical step after living together, rather than my understanding it to be the sacrament it is.
            The ideal situation would be for us to separate for the duration, but our finances are not able to support separate households, and his daughter has come to see me as her mother.  I love her as my daughter, and I believe that separation would be detrimental to her, especially as her biological mother already waltzes into and out of her life on whims, and I can’t say when I will be able to be baptized and married to Rex. If I waited to live with Rex until we were married at this point, it could be more than a year!  If I’d moved out as soon as he and I had decided that the life we’d been living was sinful and we needed to rectify the situation, I’d have been separated from Sophie for over a year already, with no relief on the horizon.
            I have been reading about and studying the faith for nearly three years.  I have a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Douay-Rhems Catholic bible, the Baltimore Catechisms, and many other reference pamphlets, and I refer to them constantly.  I have and have exhaustively read This is the Faith by Cannon Ripley, My Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempas, many of the writings of the Saints.  I have memorized the basic prayers of the church. I go to Mass regularly, although I do not take communion, much to my sorrow. I say my Rosary every night.  I am learning the Divine Office.  I observe the holy days of obligation, I tithe to the Church, I meditate on the stations of the cross.  I strive to be a model Catholic.  I teach and encourage Rex in his study of his faith.  I’m learning Latin! My greatest sorrow is that I am not baptized and cannot partake in the sacraments of communion and reconciliation.
            Fr. Kroenek wishes me to attend RCIA.  I will do so, however I attended several weeks of RCIA in the fall of 2010.  I found that the teachers often were in error.  I corrected them, and backed up my corrections with references to the cannon of the Church.  The instructors often grew exasperated with Rex and me, and I eventually stopped attending.  I did not feel welcome at all.  (Partially due to my constant corrections, and partially due to the scandal caused by Rex’s ex-wife before she left, who many people in the parish assumed was me due to the timing of her leaving and my arrival.  There are some other things as well, and I will detail them if you wish, but the matters are complex and I do not want to derail this letter.)  The Father did not speak up to back me up when I corrected the instructors.  I do not know if this was due to ignorance, or deafness, as this was before the arrival of Fr. Kroenek, and our old priest was very much in decline.
            I will attend RCIA this fall if it is required of me to be baptized.  The instructors are the same from 2010 though, and I will likely not be treated with welcome.  I will endure if it is required, but is it required?  During my talk with Fr. Kroenek I believe I demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Definitely more extensive than the basics taught during an RCIA class, and I can do so with you should you desire an interview with me.
            Fr. Kroenek seems to be trying to discourage me from my goal.  In fact, towards the end of our interview, after I had made it known that I consider myself a traditionalist, and would very much like to see a Traditional Latin Mass celebrated at least monthly, I felt he became demonstrably more uncooperative and perhaps even downright hostile, and even went so far as to suggest that I attend Our Lady of Guadeloupe on the other side of town.  How many people who aren’t serious about the Church even know what the Summorum Pontificum is, much less quote Universae Ecclesiae 8?
            I ask forgiveness if my manner of writing seems brusque, but I am angry and am disappointed in Fr. Kroenek’s disregard for my desire for baptism and marriage. I will jump through the hoops he’s provided to do so though.  I’d think he’d be in a hot hurry to regularize Rex and myself so that we could marry and cease causing scandal.  And frankly, I’m disturbed at his refusal to baptize Sophie.  The grounds of his refusal on that count are flimsy at best, and seem to be an obvious paper shield.
            I beg for your judgment on the matter and eagerly await your response.
I know it comes off as a bit arrogant, and I feel like I'm tattling "Bishop! Bishop! Father K was baaaaad!" But I'm angry, and I let it show.
Quote:The only reason I can come up with is that parents of non-baptized non-parishioners pay more in school fees than do parents of baptized children and even more than those of baptized members of the parish.  I do not accuse Fr. Kroenek of greed, but I cannot think of another reason for his denial of the sacrament of baptism to a child whose parents are honestly seeking to raise their child Catholic, and be Catholic themselves.

Drop that.  It doesn't matter what your intentions are, the minute your bishop reads this, you're setting him against you.  Only trouble will come from it.

I'll be praying for you and your family.
k. Will do.

Also, I corrected Fr Korenek's name throughout.
KnittyCat don't let these guys discourage you, just remember the MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST (THE CATHOLIC CHURCH) has a DIVINE side and a HUMAN side. The DIVINE side is spotless, perfect.......the HUMAN side, those who represent JESUS can be either good or bad, mean or kind. perhaps you should find another priest in the diocese to help you. Try to ask good orthodox Catholics you know who are the orthodox priests in your diocese and try to work with them.
I am discouraged, but not daunted. If I don't receive an adequate response from my Bishop, I will take it up the ladder. Someone will answer me. In the mean time, I will continue to go to Mass and pray and continue my study.

The Sunday of the 26th will be interesting.  That is when the good Bishop is coming to my Parish to speak to the RCIA candidates!
St. Francis of Assisi Mission
512-439-9702 or
Wyndham Garden Hotel
3401 S. I-35 Highway
2nd & 4th Sunday 4:00pm
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Mission
Ramada Inn Bayfront
601 N. Shoreline Road
3rd Sunday 4:30pm

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church
3900 Scruggs Drive
Sunday 12:00pm

Queen of Angels Church
4100 Highway 3
(corner Of FM517 & Hwy 3)
Sunday 7:30am & 10:00am
Saturday 7:30am & 9:00am
Daily 6:00am & 7:30am

St. Joseph's Church
7815 Orland Park
Sunday 7:30am & 10:00am
Saturday 6:00pm
1st Friday 6:00pm

Assumption of the BVM Chapel
426 County Road 152
1st Sunday 6:00pm

Jesus and Mary Church
1401 W. Yandell Drive
Sunday 8:00am & 10:00am (High Mass)
Saturday 8:00am
(when school is in: Tues-Fri 7:15am & 11:30am)
(when school is out: Daily 7:15am)

St. Michael the Archangel Church
24001 Aldine Westfield Road
Sunday 4:00pm

Our Lady of Fatima Church
609 N. 2nd Street
Sunday 8:00am
I might cut some of it, such as the part about correcting the RCIA teacher. I'm sure he/she was wrong, but it might go better if you kept it to "they made me feel unwelcome", focusing on the uncharitableness of their attitude. And maybe the part about infant baptism. As you say, your daughter is eight, so whatever happens to infants doesn't apply in any case.
Dear Sister:  Remember that the bishop will probably only spend 10 minutes on this issue, at most.  Therefore, you want to get strait to the point.  Your should pare your letter down to ten sentences:  just enough for the bishop to tell his chancellor "Father Brown, look into this and fix it." 

I suggest something like the following:
"Your Excellency (or Grace, if you are a subject of the realm):  I am writing for your help in getting myself and my future step daughter baptized.  When I asked Fr K to baptize us, he refused.  He said I need to go to RCIA first, and he said the child, who is eight, is in no danger if she dies without receiving this sacrament.  I work, but do not have enough money even to live on my own, so attending RCIA is hard for me.  I do, however, go to church every week and live according to the rules of the Church.  The child goes to Catholic school, which my fiancee and I pay for.  My conscience gives me no peace because we are not baptized.  Please help us.  Prayerfully, your daughter in Christ, Kitty."

As for your first letter, keep hold of it, so you have a handy script when the bishop's palace calls you and asks for more facts.  Do be careful about telling them you think the RCIA and parish school are teaching error.  They will probably tell you to go back to the LDS!  If you have an SSPX or FSSP nearby, ask those priests for help first.  They may not put you through so much (how to put it politely?), "process."  If it were me and my daughter, I would go from priest to priest until I found one to baptize us, and if I could not find a Catholic one, I'd ask a Russian or a Greek for a charity.  I'm with you, this is a question of immortality, but they Church today often does not see it that way. 

I will be praying for you both. 
Along with what others have said, I would advise revising and refining.  Take a bit of time to cool off and then reread with an eye towards anything 'personal' that does not directly relate to your letter's central point.

And I agree with Warrenton, if your letter is over a page long, it's too long.  If you can get it down to at the most two thirds of a page, that would be far better.
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