Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
Primarily intended for those wishing to prepare for reception into full communion with the Catholic church, and their sponsors, the programme is also open to enquirers without obligation, as well as to adult Catholics seeking to grow in their knowledge of our Faith.
Sessions take place on Monday evenings at 7.00p.m. in the Monckton Room, between September and the following Easter. Led by the parish priest, sessions primarily involve study of the key sections of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is recommended that participants acquire a copy of the 1999 (red) edition (available from good bookshops and online booksellers). Published by Geoffrey Chapman. ISBN 0-225-66868-8 (paperback)
Small Faith Sharing Groups
Meeting during Lent and in the late Autumn with specific themes for reflection and discussion. Anyone who would like to join a group for the first time is encouraged to do so. There are enrolment cards at the back of the church for you to fill in if you would like to participate (returnable to the rectory). A variety of groups meet, spread over mornings, afternoons and evenings.
A special version of the Liturgy of the Word for Children is offered in the Monckton Room during the 10.00 a.m. Family Mass (except August). There is no set age limit, but children from the age of around 3 until they make their First Holy Communion seem to gain most from the programme. Parents of younger children sometimes choose to stay with their children until they develop the confidence to attend alone.
There are two experienced leaders of the Liturgy. The basic structure is to welcome the children, followed by a prayer, the reading of a simplified version of the Gospel of the day and some discussion of the reading. The children then do drawings based on some aspect of the Gospel reading. At the Offertory of the Mass, the children present the gifts with the drawings they have done, before rejoining their parents and the congregation.
The parish endeavours to assist parents in their task of handing on to their children the knowledge and practice of the Faith. Classes take place in the Monckton Room at the Church on Tuesday evenings at 5 p.m. in term time. Registrations take place in September – see the Newsletter for the exact date.
In addition to the First Communion classes, there is a Pre-Communion (from age 5) and Post-Communion class.
There are five experienced lay catechists, who are all mothers with grown up children.
The parish priest speaks to parents of the First Holy Communion class on a number of occasions during the year. The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance or Confession) is celebrated twice for the First Communicants before their First Communion Day.
All adult Catholics should have received the Sacrament of Confirmation. Any adult parishioners who have not been confirmed are encouraged to get in touch with the parish priest for suitable preparation.
An announcement is made on Sundays and in the Newsletter for applicants in this age group to be prepared to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in May or June of each year. Classes are held on Thursday evenings in the Monckton Room at 7.00 p.m.
At least once a year a workshop is offered, to give parents the opportunity to develop necessary skills and to become familiar with the resources available. The parish priest earnestly commends this opportunity to parents.