Becoming a Catholic is a spiritual journey that is firstly about developing a closer relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process where adults and older children who are interested in the Catholic faith may develop their relationship with God as they spend time with a Catholic community in prayer and dialogue; where they learn about the teachings of the Catholic faith and may decide to become members of the Catholic Community.

Parish RCIA Teams are the companions who share this faith journey.

The Process

To Begin

There are evenings of enquiry, where you can discover what RCIA is all about, have some of your questions answered and hear a little about what Catholics believe as we share our faith stories.

The Next Step

For those who decide to continue the faith journey, there will be weekly evenings of prayer, scripture discussion and teaching about the Catholic faith. You will experience the life of the Catholic community and come to know the presence of God in our lives.

Easter

Is usually the time when those who are ready to become Catholics are baptised and fully initiated into our Catholic faith community. We continue to meet until Pentecost Sunday, exploring the mystery of their initiation.

Official Stages of the Rites of Christian Initiation

Is usually the time when those who are ready to become Catholics are baptised and fully initiated into our Catholic faith community. We continue to meet until Pentecost Sunday, exploring the mystery of their initiation. Adults making this journey will either be a:

Candidate

A baptised Christian from another faith tradition.

The aspirant is given a companion – a committed Catholic – referred to as a Sponsor

Catechumen

Catechumen is an unbaptised person, or

Stage 1 Pre-Catechumenate

Is a time to:

  • Enquire about the Catholic faith
  • Spend some time sharing with other Catholics
  • Meet Jesus in the Scriptures
  • Listen, reflect and decide.

Stage 1 is concluded by a Rite of Acceptance and Welcome.

Stage 2 Catechumenate

Is a time to:

  • Grow in faith and conversion to God
  • Change in thinking, feelings and values
  • Gain knowledge about the teachings of the Catholic church
  • Weekly Mass
  • Meet weekly with other Catechumens, Candidates, Sponsors and parish team.

Stage 2 is completed with a Rite of Election, where the Church formally acknowledges the readiness of Catechumens and Candidates. This ceremony is presided over by the Bishop, and takes place on the 1st Sunday in Lent, at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Hamilton.

Catechumens then select a Godparent, and become known as the Elect.

Stage 3 pre-purifcation & enlightenment

Lent – a time for reflection and prayer

  • A time of change – conversion for all of us
  • At the Easter Vigil, Catechumens and Candidates undergo the Rite of Initiation, where they may receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist.

Stage 4 Mystagogia

Our newly baptised are now called Neophytes (newly planted).

  • We share the experience of initiation at the Easter Vigil
  • Reflect more deeply on the mysteries of our faith and the Sacraments
  • Experience parish life as a Catholic
  • Continue to participate in the work of the parish.

Get started on your catholic journey and see where it can take you

If you have more questions about becoming a Catholic, or wish to begin the journey of Christian Initiation, please contact the Parish Office or speak with one of our priests about our Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults program (RCIA).

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