HOW DO I BECOME A CATHOLIC
The simple answer is, speak to
– one of the priests,
– or the parish office,
You will be welcomed and you will find yourself among others at various stages and levels of commitment and enquiry. Every person’s faith journey is unique and as a parish we would hope to offer you whatever support you may need in exploring the Catholic Faith.
Becoming a Catholic is one of the most profound and joyous experiences of life. Some are blessed enough to receive this great gift while they are still infants, and over the course of time they grow into a recognition of the enormous grace that has been bestowed upon them, of the dignity and wonder of their identity as Catholics. Others come into the Catholic fold while they are older children or adults. In these cases it is necessary for people to have a grasp of the joyful process by which one becomes a Catholic.
A person is brought into full communion with the Catholic Church through reception of the three sacraments of Christian initiation – baptism, confirmation, and the holy Eucharist – but the process by which one becomes a Catholic can take different forms.
A person who is baptized in the Catholic Church becomes a Catholic at that moment. One’s initiation is deepened by confirmation and the Eucharist, but one becomes a Catholic at baptism. This is true both for children who are baptized Catholic (and receive the other two sacraments later) and for adults who are baptized, confirmed, and receive the Eucharist at the same time.
Those who have been validly baptized outside the Catholic Church become Catholics by making a profession of the Catholic faith and being formally received into the Church. This is normally followed immediately by confirmation and the Eucharist.
Before a person is ready to be received into the Catholic Church, whether by baptism or by profession of faith, preparation is necessary. The amount and the form of this preparation depends on the individual’s circumstance. The most basic division in the kind of preparation needed is between those who are unbaptized and those who have already become Christian through baptism in different denominations.
The process by which adults come into the Church has come to be known as “the RCIA”, which is short for “The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults”.
The RCIA process is for
- The unbaptized. The primary focus of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is on those who are not already Christian and have not been catechized or Baptized.
- Those who have been baptized either as Roman Catholics or as members of another Christian community but did not receive further catechetical formation or instruction. These typically have also not celebrated Confirmation or Eucharist.
- Those seeking full Catholic Communion. These are baptized, practicing Christians from other denominations who seek entry into the Catholic Church.
In the case of children who have reached the age of reason, there exists the possibility of creating a special RCIA group which they can join.