Each year, many adults who have never been baptized become Catholic. In the United States, these adults are outnumbered by baptized Christians of other denominations who seek to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church. In the minds of many Catholics—indeed, in many parish preparation programs—there is little difference between the two groups. Baptized and catechized Christians are often placed in programs with those who have not been baptized. Just as often, the two groups are welcomed into full membership alongside one another during the Easter Vigil, thereby obscuring further the distinction between them. Imagine that a high school senior transfers schools and is subsequently placed in middle school classes. Imagine no one thinking this change in status odd.
Turner explores the rites of reception in the early church and the Second Vatican Council’s call for ecumenical dialogue and looks to the reception rites of other Christian communities to gain added perspective. Drawing on that foundation of unity, they will find cause for rejoicing and restlessness and will learn steps to avoid and steps to take so that communion becomes both easier to achieve and a reality in their midst.