Becoming a Catholic
Have you ever wondered about ...
- what Catholics believe?
- the meaning of your life?
- why and how to pray and what to say?
Do you ever long for ...
- some answers to your own personal questions about the purpose of life?
- a people, a community, who can support you on life's journey?
Would you like to answer your children's questions about God, Reconciliation, Baptism, good and evil, the saints etc?
If so, then we have a group for you where you can seek answers to your questions in a friendly and safe environment.
Interested in becoming a Catholic?
People from a variety of backgrounds and for many different reasons may express an interest in knowing more about the Catholic faith. You may be engaged to, or already married to a Catholic; you may be a member of another Christian denomination or a religion that is not Christian or have no religious affiliation. You may be looking for a spiritual home. The Catholic community welcomes you, whatever your background.
What can the Catholic Church offer me?
The Church Jesus Christ founded continues to exist, with all its essential elements, in the Catholic Church. Many of those elements are also present in other Christian churches with whom Catholics are in ecumenical dialogue but not yet in full communion. Christ's Church is built on the foundation of the twelve Apostles. Christ commissioned it "to make disciples of all nations." Mt 28:20. From the Church community the Apostles founded, the Catholic Church now exists in every country on earth, offering forgiveness and the promise and pledge of eternal life in the name of Jesus, through preaching the Word and celebrating the Sacraments of salvation.
How do I become a Catholic?
First of all, talk to our Priests or to our RCIA coordinator about your desire, your background, and what has brought you to this point.
Then you may join our group of people who are enquiring into the Catholic faith. In this case, you would journey with them over several months as you learn about the teachings, practices and values of Catholics. You will also begin to attend Mass on Sundays.
Mostly, adults who wish to become Catholics would do so at Easter, during the night Mass on the Saturday evening before Easter, the Easter Vigil - the greatest Feast in the Catholic calendar! There you would be Baptised (unless you have already been validly Baptised), receive the sacrament of Confirmation and be admitted to Holy Communion for the first time. This whole process is called the RCIA - the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
What does this journey involve?
There are four stages to the RCIA, three of which conclude with a ritual community ceremony - a Rite. At each Rite, the candidates affirm their intention to proceed to the next stage, while the community commits to supporting them on their journey. The four stages are:
- Candidates, having made initial enquiries, take part in the Rite of Welcome.
- A period of learning and formation in the teachings of the Catholic Church and how Catholics live everyday life, concludes with the Rite of Election.
- The Lenten season, a more focused preparation time for the Sacraments, culminates in the Rite of Initiation.
- Having received the Sacraments at the Easter Vigil the new Catholics reflect on the direction of their lives.
Who will accompany you on the Journey?
The Whole Parish has a responsibility for the gathering and nurturing of new members. The parish community welcomes you and delegates some of its members to accompany you on your journey to full communion with Christ's Church.
The Bishop, as part of his overall pastoral care of the Diocese, personally and actively promotes the catechumenate and officially welcomes the new members himself by presiding at the Rite of Election on the first Sunday of Lent.
Our Parish Priest plays a special role in ministering to the pastoral and spiritual care of those on the journey and those accompanying them. He presides at the Easter Vigil and celebrates the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
Sponsors who take an active and supportive role as companions, witnesses and guides for those seeking to join the Catholic Church.
A team of Catechists and Support People (an RCIA team) is responsible for guiding the formation process of the members of the group. This formation is based on reflection on the Word of God and a growing understanding of the Catholic faith and way of life.
Interested? Questions? There's no time like the present!
Contact us by telephone, email or come to our parish centre or church in person and let us know you would like to make some enquiries now.
We already have people travelling on this journey from September until Easter each year who meet each week as a small group.
Contact our RCIA coordinator, Sue Newnham via the Pastoral Centre on (02) 9456 2450 or email@example.com