The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a course of instruction in the most important truths of the Catholic Faith and also – for those who wish to be fully in communion – a means of joining the Catholic Church.
Newcomers learn what Catholics believe about the purpose of life on Earth, how they can belong to Christ through faith and Baptism and how we can be made holy through the sacraments of the Church and through prayer and holy living. They learn that we want to live a life of loving service towards God and our neighbour and hope to be ready, when God calls us, to be happy with Him and the Saints forever in Heaven.
Men and women, who have asked if they can learn more about the Faith, are welcomed into a mixed-age, mixed-background group. Some are already Catholics, some have been baptised into other Christian communities and some have no previous religious affiliation. All meet weekly or fortnightly to spend an hour and a half together, with two members of the experienced team of facilitators. The team consists of the Parish Priest and lay-persons, all of whom are committed to Christ and His Church, and are glad to have a part in sharing their faith and prayer with enquirers. The programme usually lasts for nine or ten months, with gaps for school holidays.
The time together is spent in discussion, enquiry, instruction, and prayer. No special knowledge or qualifications are required of enquirers, only an openness to God and a willingness to listen and share and pray with the group, as it considers God’s love for us all and His wonderful plan for our salvation. One or two books are provided, including the Holy Scriptures.
Those members of the group whose growth in faith and prayer leads them to ask to become full members of the Catholic Church are baptised and confirmed in our church – or, if already baptised, are received in full Communion – in a beautiful ceremony, usually at Easter-time, although the time of Reception can vary.