“Jewish believers who had accompanied Peter were all astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit should be poured out on gentiles too”. “He then gave orders for them to be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ”. “Could anyone refuse the water of baptism to these people, now they have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?” (Acts 10: 44-48)
Becoming Catholic as an adult requires individuals to participate in a time of formation known as the R.C.I.A.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The R.C.I.A. is the process by which adults who wish to become Catholic are introduced to the life of the Catholic Church through catechesis and liturgy.
The word “initiate” means to induct into membership. In the context of Christian Initiation, it means the process that prepares you to become a member of the Catholic Church.
People who have been thinking of becoming Catholic, who are attracted to its beliefs and who seek deeper meaning in their lives may wish to follow these promptings and discover what lies behind them.
R.C.I.A. encompasses adults who have not yet been baptised and wish to be, and who are converting from other Christian religions to the Catholic faith who have already been validly baptised, and also adults who have been baptised Catholic but have not received any other sacraments.
The initiation of new members is a gradual process. This adult journey of faith unfolds in four stages, and movement through each stage is marked by public liturgical rites/ small church celebrations which are milestones on the way.
Is a time of inquiry, an opportunity to become acquainted with life in a Catholic community and experience Sunday Mass.
Is usually the longest part of the journey, it is a time for Gospel sharing, catechesis, community prayer and mission.
Is normally associated with Lent, it is a time of more intense spiritual preparation for Christian initiation at the Easter Vigil.
Is a time for reflection, after your Initiation into the Church at the Easter Vigil Mass when you experience and fully to participate in the life and mission of the community.
Our sessions reflect on Scripture, Church teachings, and a variety of related topics – all in preparation for the reception of the Sacraments of Baptism and/or Confirmation and Eucharist normally at Easter of that year.
Who will accompany you on the journey?
The people of God, as represented by the local Church, should understand and show by their concern that the initiation of adults is the responsibility of all the baptised.
THE WHOLE PARISH has a responsibility for the gathering and nurturing of new members. The entire community welcomes them and delegates some from among its members to accompany them on their faith journey.
THE BISHOP as part of this overall care of the Archdiocese, personally and actively promotes the Catechumenate and normally welcomes the new members himself by presiding at the Rite of Election and at the Paschal Eucharist Mass after Easter.
THE PRIEST plays a special role in ministering to the pastoral and spiritual care of those on the journey and those accompanying them.
THE SPONSORS are delegated by the individual or parish family to take an active and supportive role as companions, witnesses and guides for those seeking to join the Catholic Church.
THE TEAM OF CATECHISTS are responsible for guiding the formation process of the members of the group. As those in formation share their experience of God in their own lives, catechists guide them to a deeper reflection on the Word of God and greater understanding of the faith of the Church.
When an adult becomes Catholic they receive all 3 sacraments of initiation at the same time- Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
The process normally begins in August each year where participants journey through for 10 months to become a fully Initiated Catholic and Reception into the Church at the Easter Vigil.
Adequate catechesis and preparation must precede these sacraments, and therefor all attendees must begin the process before December each year.
Please click here for an RCIA 2017 brochure.