Thinking of Becoming Catholic?
Are you feeling called into a relationship with God?
Are you searching for a faith community to call your own?
Perhaps you are married to a Catholic, have Catholic children, and would like to
know more about their faith?
Welcome! Our Catholic community welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds to come and listen to the story of Jesus, and His followers and to join us in prayer, reflection, and conversations. We encourage you to bring your questions and concerns, as together we explore the beliefs and traditions of the Catholic Church and deepen our understanding and relationship with Jesus Christ.
There are no obligations on those enquiring, but only a respectful relationship that allows each person the freedom to just to ‘come and see’ and experience considering your own spiritual journey. There is never any pressure to continue at any point of the process.
Christ initiates the invitation to ‘come and see’. Your response involves you exploring this personal invite to deepen your spirituality in, with and through Jesus.
What is the process for becoming Catholic?
The process for preparing and welcoming new members into the Catholic Church is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of adults (RCIA) or for young people (RCIyp). It is a process whereby adults and young people, who feel drawn to the Catholic faith, can journey into a deeper knowledge and love of God through Jesus, and our
Catholic way of life: a way of prayer, worship, listening to the word of God and discerning the movement of the Holy Spirit.
This journey takes place within the Parish community. Conversion to Christ is at the heart of this journey, both for those seeking membership of the Church, and the whole Parish community. This process takes place in a Parish community within your local vicinity where you will join a group of other enquirers. The RCIA Team, together with the whole community, will accompany you through this process, guiding and supporting you and answering your questions as they arise. Journeying with others will help you witness and share in the life of the Church.
How long is the process?
This will depend on the readiness of each person. The uniqueness of each person’s journey involves a gradual unfolding and deepening of your relationship with Christ; the intention is not to rush this process, since it involves both the mind and the heart.
Ordinarily the process takes at least one liturgical cycle, that is, close to 12 months, culminating in reception of the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil – Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
Most Parish groups start the RCIA process mid-year (May-June) and journey to the following Easter when you will be received into the Church. The process then continues for a further fifty days concluding at Pentecost.
What am I expected to know?
There is no prior knowledge needed. Your faith journey is a time of formation that is much more than education. Faith formation is a time for you to grow in the awareness of your relationship with Christ, with God, and with the Catholic Church. There are no tests; there are no grades.
What do I do now?
Please contact our office either by phone on 6104 3699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will arrange for someone in your area to contact you to meet up and have a chat!
The Steps of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
Unbaptized adults who are interested in becoming Catholic will typically journey through these stages:
Stage 1 Enquiry
The RCIA process begins with a period of Enquiry. This is a regular informal gathering to ask questions and engage in conversations about God, Christ, and His Church.
This is a time for inquiry and introduction to Gospel values, an opportunity for the beginnings of faith.
Participants will have the chance to:
- ask questions about the Catholic faith
- engage in conversations about God, Christ, and his Church
- spend time sharing with other Catholics
- meet Jesus in the Scriptures
- listen, reflect and discern.
This stage is also known as the ‘Precatechumenate’.
When an individual is ready, they can meet one-on-one with the RCIA coordinator to discern moving onto the next stage. This first stage concludes with the celebration of the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens.
Stage 2 Catechumenate
This is a time for the nurturing and growth of the Catechumen’s faith and conversion to God. The ‘Catechumenate’ stage is the instructional phase of the journey. Participants will meet regularly with others who are also undertaking the journey of Christian Initiation to:
- grow in faith and conversion to God
- reflect on the Scriptures
- learn about Catholic beliefs, moral formation and prayer
- experience Catholic worship practices by joining the faith community during the weekly celebration of Mass
- experience how Catholic’s pray
- begin to participate in the mission and life of the Parish community
This stage concludes with the celebration of the Rite of Election, where the Church formally acknowledges the readiness of participants to move towards the celebration of Christian Initiation. This celebration takes place during the 1st Sunday in Lent, at the Cathedral where the Archbishop, on behalf of the Church, accepts the Catechumen and Candidate for reception at the Easter Vigil.
After the Rite of Election, Catechumens are known as “the Elect”.
Stage 3 Purification and Enlightenment
This is the time immediately preceding the Elect’s initiation. It is a spiritual time full of prayer, reflection and discernment and includes several important Rites such as the Scrutinies and the Presentation of the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer.
During this stage, the Elect join with the entire faith community to embrace the Season of Lent, a time of change and conversion for all.
This stage concludes with the reception into the Church which usually takes place at the Easter Vigil. This is the highest liturgy in the Church and one of the oldest. It culminates with the bestowal of the Sacraments of Initiation.
After Easter, the newly baptised person – or “Neophyte” – enters into a phase of catechetical formation called “mystagogy.”
Stage 4 Mystagogia
This is a time of deeper reflection on the reception of the Sacraments and how one now lives the Christian life. During the Easter season, Neophytes rejoice in the risen Lord and begin to practice their Catholic faith in its fullness. The Neophytes continue to grow in their new faith and membership of the faith community by:
- reflecting on the experience of initiation at the Easter Vigil
- reflecting more deeply on the mysteries of our faith and the Sacraments
- experiencing full membership of the faith community
- deepening their participation with the Parish community at Sunday Mass
- continuing to participate in the mission and life of the Parish.