If you’re reading this page you’ve already made the first step towards becoming a Catholic. If you’re here it’s because God has given you the grace needed to respond to his call to life in Christ. Becoming a Catholic is a beautiful, life-giving, and profoundly moving thing to do. It will shape the whole of your life, both here on earth and in to eternity.
The process by which someone becomes Catholic, other than being baptised as a child, is called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). Below are outlined the steps of the RCIA process. Most importantly though, if you want to become a Catholic, please introduce yourself to us! Either talk to the priest or deacon at the end of Mass or contact the parish office.
At the beginning of the process of Christian Initiation there is a period during which inquirers are given the Good News of Jesus Christ and the basic tenants of the Catholic faith, they are asked to reflect on what they hear in light of their own life experiences. This is very much a ‘come and see’ period, and there is no commitment to carry on. This inquiry part of initiation is often done through conversation with one of our priests or catechists.
If you decide to proceed after inquiry you enter the catechumenate and from this point on you are no longer an inquirer but a catechumen. As a catechumen you commit to attending Mass at least every Sunday and beginning to foster a life of prayer. You will begin a period of more formal learning focused on scripture, tradition and the teachings of the Church. This is generally done in a group setting, meeting regularly.
At the end of the catechumenate, around the beginning of Lent, Catechumens are enrolled among the Elect by the Bishop at the Cathedral in Nottingham. During lent we reflect particularly upon our own living out of the faith and those parts of our lives that are in need of conversion in order to prepare for initiation at Easter. At various points during Lent the newly elect will be welcomed and prayed for at Sunday Mass.
4. Sacramental Initiation
We’re there! On Easter night at the Easter Vigil you will be Baptised, Confirmed and receive Holy Communion for the first time. You’re now a Catholic, and as we celebrate Christ’s resurrection from the dead, you are also brought into the light of that same resurrection.
5. Catholic living
Sacramental initiation isn’t the end of the journey but the beginning. Now you’re a Catholic you need to begin to build up a good practice of the sacramental life and get fully involved in the life of the Catholic community. The practice of daily prayer and regular attendance at Mass, with frequent Holy Communion, should continue to grow and deepen. At some point after your initiation, usually after approximately one month, you will need to make your first Confession. You will also be invited to join various activities within the parish and take on an increased role in the life of the Church.