Why become Catholic?
Every year hundreds of people decide to become Catholic, and each one has their own special story. Each is drawn to the Church by different experiences and circumstances.
St Augustine, a great Saint of the Church, said, "Our hearts are restless, O Lord, until they rest in you." The desire for God is written in the human heart, because humankind is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw all humanity to himself. Only in God will we find the truth and happiness we long for.
The journey towards God is found through Jesus Christ. He is "God-with-us," God in the flesh. He reveals God to us: "To see me is to see the Father" (Jn 14:9). The Church is Jesus' own Body. It is the place where God and humanity meet.
How do I become Catholic?
The Catholic Church has a special way of initiating adults into the Catholic faith. It is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). It is a period of Christian formation offered to those seeking to become Catholic. The RCIA may also be referred to as the Catechumenate, highlighting its roots in the Christian formation of the early Church. The Rite encompasses all aspects of the Christian life.
The RCIA takes place within the parish community so you are able to share in the life of the Church expressed in a local faith community. it offers a way to grow in knowledge of Jesus Christ and the Catholic faith in company with others on a similar journey.
What is RCIA?
The RCIA is for all those seeking to become members of the Catholic Church. Children over the age of seven years and teenagers are supported through an adapted form of the Rite.
The RCIA is offered to those who have never been baptised in any Christian church but may also benefit those already baptised who desire to become Catholic. The non-baptised who are suitably prepared are joyfully received into the Catholic Church by the reception of the three Sacraments of Initiation, namely, Baptism, Confirmation and the Most Holy Eucharist. This takes place at the Easter Vigil in their local Catholic parish.
Those already baptised in another Christian church, following a period of preparation, are welcomed into full communion with the Catholic Church by the reception of the Sacraments of Confirmation and the Most Holy Eucharist.
Check out this helpful video from Brother Casey, an American Franciscan Friar:
Our RCIA Program
The RCIA at St Francis Xavier and St Clare's usually begins in the first week of September. Priests, catechists, sponsors and inquirers meet once a week for eight months, with a four week break over Christmas. Naturally, this is a significant and long-term time commitment. This length of time serves two purposes: first, it provides sufficient opportunity for the candidates to learn the Catholic faith; second, it helps refine the candidate's commitment to the faith.
The general outline of our program is as follows:
First Meeting | Introductions, inquiry and personal testimony
Study of Catholic Belief | 11 sessions
Study of Catholic Worship and Sacraments | 7 sessions
Study of Catholic Living and the Moral Order | 5 sessions
Study of Catholic History | 5 sessions
Study of Catholic Spiritual Life and Prayer | 7 sessions
Major RCIA Liturgical Occaisions
|Rite of Acceptance into the Catechumenate |
|Ash Wednesday |
|1st Sunday of Lent | Rite of Election @ St Patrick's Cathedral |
|2nd Sunday of Lent | RCIA Retreat |
|3rd Sunday of Lent | First Scrutiny |
|4th Sunday of Lent | Second Scrutiny |
|5th Sunday of Lent | Third Scrutiny|
|Easter Vigil with Sacraments of Initiation |
|Pentecost | Conclusion of RCIA |
Taking the Next Step
There is no pressure or obligation for those inquiring about becoming Catholic. We welcome all inquiries.
If you are interested in becoming Catholic or simply finding out more about the RCIA, you should contact our parish office and make an appointment to speak to one of our priests or our RCIA coordinator, Evelyn Ogilby. We look forward to hearing from you!
St Francis Xavier & St Clare Parish Office
(t) 03 9890 2231
Evelyn Ogilby (RCIA Coordinator)