Becoming a Catholic as an Adult.
If you are an adult and are you thinking of becoming Catholic you most likely will have a number of questions? Outlined below is an overview and some videos of the process we follow today to assist people in growing in their belief of God. Should you have an immediate need to talk or relate with someone, please feel free to use the contacts at the bottom of this page.
In the years gone by, people wanting to become Catholic were required to participate in a program of private instruction with the parish priest, consisting of a set number of weekly ‘lessons’ on Catholic principles. After the instructions were completed, the ‘convert’ was baptised (if necessary) and confirmed in a private ceremony with only the priest and a sponsor present.
In the 1960’s our Church reviewed many of its practices and we changed many things (the Second Vatican Council). One of these changes included how people are introduced to our beliefs. The current process by which new members are brought into the Catholic Church is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or the RCIA.
Becoming a Catholic
The RCIA is best described as a journey of belief which passes through a number of different phases and focuses on conversion of heart and mind to Christ. It is a gradual journey tailored to the needs of the individual – no ‘one-size-fits-all’. An overriding principle is that this is a journey of personal discovery and we are sensitive that people will develop in a unique way and time to understand God’s calling to them.
The process is more open than the older ‘Instruction’ program. Candidates meet regularly with a group of people from the parish to learn about Catholic belief and practice. Various celebrations are held in the church at important points along the journey.
Local Catholic Parishes hold regular enquiry sessions for those who want to know more about the Catholic Church or who may be interested in becoming a Catholic, however you do not need to wait for a special enquiry evening. You can contact us below at any time for a discussion. After this period of enquiry, some people choose to embark on the RCIA journey. From the moment someone is received into the ‘catechumenate’ as it is called, he or she becomes part of the Catholic Christian community.
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Catholic Christian, the first step is to make contact with your local Catholic Parish, or another Catholic Parish which you are likely to attend. You can do this by going along to Mass and asking to speak to the Parish Priest, or by phoning the parish office to make an appointment.
Telephone: (02) 9484 1427 or complete the form below.
More information regarding parishes in the Diocese of Broken Bay is available through their website. Click here .
Adult’s Sacramental Program – the Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) further detail.
On the previous page we discussed the introductory thoughts on joining our Catholic Church. Here we outline the main stages in this journey.
The RCIA process has several distinct stages. These Catholic RCIA stages are a good model of faith development itself, so this article will fit you whether or not you’re actually in the RCIA process.
- Inquiry: the initial period before you decide to enter the Catholic Church. You’re asking questions and checking it out, but aren’t yet ready to commit.
- A period of learning that we call the Catechumenate. Those who decide to enter the Church and are being trained for a life in Christ are called catechumens, an ancient name from the early Church. In this stage, you’re developing your belief or “faith” and are being “catechized” – learning the basic points about Catholic faith and life. It is very much a period of discovery and reflection.
- Purification and preparation: The Church will help you focus and intensify your faith as you prepare you to commit your life to Christ and be received into the Church at Easter. If you’re following the RCIA process, you’ll go through a beautiful series of Gospel-based meditations during Lent, which is the time frame of this period.
- Initiation itself, the culmination of the whole process! You’re received into the Church during the Easter Vigil Mass, where you’ll receive the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. (If you’ve already been baptized, you won’t be baptized again.)
- Initial stage as a full member of the Church called, Mystagogy. After reception into the Church at Easter, this period lets you reflect and learn more about the mysteries of the Mass and the Sacraments that you now participate in fully.
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Catholic Christian, the first step is to make contact with your local Catholic Parish, or another Catholic Parish which you are likely to attend. You can do this by going along to Mass and asking to speak to the Parish Priest, or by phoning the parish office to make an appointment with them or a dedicated RCIA person. Our telephone number is (02) 9484 1427. Alternatively you may like to complete the form below. Mass times for our parish are on our Mass Times page.
If you are looking to join another parish, then more information regarding parishes in the Archdiocese of Broken Bay is available through their website at www.dbb.org.au or their search page here.
There are several ways we as a parish journey along with those who wish to join our faith. Firstly and foremost, we journey with them spiritually by praying with, and for them during our various celebrations at Mass. Secondly, we are a welcoming community and demonstrate this by our deeds of love, mercy and charity for everyone in our society. We show with our actions the love of God. Finally, there are several active roles for parishioners to assist those wishing to join our Church. These can be as evangelists, program leaders, sponsors, catechists, and support and hospitality people during our meetings.
Please contact the RCIA Team or the Parish Secretary should you wish to know more.
These videos are from Lady of Grace Parish and Diocese of Trent in the United States. They reflect the similar journey we encounter here at St Agatha’s Parish.