Becoming a Catholic

We are all on a journey of faith, which is unique and personal, and yet a journey that we know is greatly enriched when we can come together and share with others.

Maybe you are a non-Catholic Christian accompanying your family to Church and now feel drawn to become part of this community of faith. Maybe your “roots” are in another religion, or in none.  Maybe you are a Baptised Catholic but never received, as a young person, the Sacrament of Confirmation.

This programme is widely used in many parishes throughout the Diocese.  RCIA is both a learning and teaching programme that aims to help those who would like to know more about the Christian faith from a catholic perspective and might be thinking about becoming a Catholic. 

To be a full member of the Catholic Church you need to complete the process of Christian Initiation, which is when you have been Baptised, Confirmed and made your First Holy Communion.

The RCIA Programme will begin with the completion of the ten-step programme of the Alpha course run at Windsor.  (Sept-Nov 2024).  RCIA  (Jan – April 2025). Talk to one of our priests.

 

RCIA stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and is often also called Journey in Faith. It is indeed a journey – it is a gradual process that takes place within the
community.

 

What is the RCIA? 

RCIA or Journey in Faith is the programme local Catholic Churches use to help people find out more about the Church and discover what it means to be a Catholic. It can lead to becoming a full member of the Church. RCIA courses often start in the Autumn and run through till Easter.

 

It is marked by different stages, with special Rites which mark entry to the next stage.

 

The first stage is one of initial thought and enquiry and is one where the person
interested in becoming a Catholic think about making initial enquiries and wants to find out more. It is a time of initial discovery and encounter with Christ, with the Church, and with other Catholics. It can be formalised by attending RCIA meetings or course sessions which, when the time is right, can lead to the next stage.

 

During the next stage the enquirer becomes a Catechumen or Candidate, and enters a period of more intense learning, study, formation and prayer.

 

The Rite of Election is a special service which marks the entry into this phase.

This is on the first Sunday in Lent and is attended by people from all over the diocese.

 

During Lent the catechumen or candidate goes through a final period of purification and enlightenment, ready for entry at the Easter Vigil.

 

In the final
weeks candidates are presented with the Creed and Our Father.

 

At the Easter Vigil, the Elect will receive the Sacraments of Initiation and become full members of the Catholic Church.

After the Vigil there is a further period – the Mystagogia, during which the new Catholics are invited to reflect on their experience, and during this period there is a special Mass of Welcome for them in the diocese. 

 

All queries to the parish office, or email [email protected]

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