Becoming Catholic / RCIA
God invites us to seek the fullness of truth and life
Jesus Christ, Saviour of the World
‘Father, … this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.’ (Jn 17:3)
‘There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’ – than the name of Jesus. (Acts 4:12)
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God the Father, become man. Out of love, he freely gave up his life on the Cross to save all human beings from sin and death and reconcile us with God, rising by divine power to new life on the third day from his death. Now he pours the Holy Spirit into the hearts of those who believe in him, making them heirs to eternal life.
The Catholic Church seeks in all things to live the mission given by Christ to his Apostles, witnesses of his Resurrection: ‘Go, make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the close of the age.’ (Mt 28:19-20).
Striving to fulfil Christ’s purpose that all people ‘may have life and have it to the full’ (Jn 10:10), and responding to God’s desire that everyone ‘be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth’ (1 Tim 2:4), Catholics wish to bring Christ to all people and all people to Christ.
The Catholic Church
The belief of Catholics is that the Catholic Church is the community of disciples established by Jesus himself, in which he willed all humanity to be reunited as one Body with one Spirit, with one Lord, one Faith and one Baptism (Eph 4:4-5).
He made St Peter the rock foundation of his Church (Mt 16:18-19), and promised that the Holy Spirit of Truth would be with this community of disciples forever, guiding them into all truth (Jn 14:16-17, 26; 16:13), even amidst all the failures and sins of Catholics down the ages. The Spirit-guided teaching of the Catholic Church is in fact the channel through which all Christ’s followers receive the gift of the Bible, since it was the Catholic Church that from ancient times discerned and judged exactly which books were truly God’s inspired Word.
For the 2000 years since Christ’s Resurrection, the Popes have been the Successors of St Peter as Bishops of Rome and as leaders of the Church on earth. Thus Catholic belief is that by the will of God, Christ’s People are led in truth and service by the Pope and the Bishops in union with him.
The Catholic Church therefore aims to serve each and every human being especially by inviting them into this universal family of faith and love, in which God offers us the fullness of the means of salvation to lead us to everlasting life with him in heaven.
The Eucharist, the Bread of Life
God’s most precious gift to his People in this world is the Eucharist, the Lord Jesus himself, crucified and risen, still mysteriously present amongst us to be our food and drink for eternal life (Jn 6:51-58; cf. Mt 26:26-28; Mk 14:22-24; Lk 22:19-20; 1 Cor 11:23-26). Receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion is the culmination of entering the family of the Church, and throughout our lives remains our ongoing joy, the closest union we have with God until heaven itself.
‘You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free’ (Jn 8:32)
Every person is most welcome to journey with us as a seeker after truth, to learn more about what Catholics believe, why they believe it, and how they live those beliefs.
If in your own search for truth, you reach the personal conviction of the truth of the Catholic Faith as God’s message to humanity, you are invited to enter the family of the Catholic Church through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist.
RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)
Baptism of adults
Adult Baptism is normally celebrated each year at the Easter Vigil, the Saturday evening before Easter Sunday. Those being baptised also receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion at the same celebration; these three Sacraments fully initiate them into the Catholic Church.
Adult Baptism is preceded by an extended period of instruction in the Catholic Faith, with weekly sessions starting in our parish from the previous August. This is the RCIA Program. Those proceeding towards Baptism are led through several ritual steps as Easter approaches.
Those interested are invited to contact the Parish for further information.
Reception into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church
Those already baptised in other Christian communities who wish to become Catholic are also very welcome.
This does not involve ‘re-baptism’ (as the Catholic Church recognises the Baptisms of most major Christian denominations, and the Sacrament of Baptism is never repeated). Instead, candidates are ‘received into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church’, usually also at the Easter Vigil.
After the ceremony of Reception into Full Communion, they receive the Sacrament of Confirmation if they have not already received it, and receive their First Holy Communion.
Candidates for Reception into Full Communion normally join candidates for Baptism in the weekly instruction sessions commencing the previous August. Those interested are invited to contact the Parish for further information.
Those simply enquiring about the Catholic Faith are also very welcome at the instruction sessions, with no commitment required. Please contact the Parish for further information.