The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) has been thoughtfully developed by the Church to help new and existing Catholics on their spiritual journey of discovery and enrichment. Everyone is most welcome.

Over the next few weeks we will hold a series of regular meetings exploring the Catholic Faith. Each week we will run 2 sessions with the same content. We will meet each Thursday at 8:30 pm and on Wednesday, 18thOctober from 10:30am in the Parish Centre. From 27th October we will still meet each Thursday at 8:30 pm, but the second time moves to Friday at 10.30am.   Any interested parishioners are invited to see the details below or call the parish office (9484 1427) for more details and/or come along and join us.

This year we plan to use quality video and material developed by Symbolon; The Augustine Institute. A sample session video is below. Acclaimed author, speaker, and theologian Dr. Edward Sri leads over 25 of the world’s top experts to clearly and comprehensively explain the Catholic Faith in a way that helps us know it, live it, and articulate it to others. Symbolon presenters include Johnnette Benkovic, Patrick Coffin, Jason and Crystalina Evert, Dr. Tim Gray, Curtis Martin, Leah Darrow, Chris Stefanick, Teresa Tomeo, Fr. Leo Patalinghug, and many more!

This compelling series contains two parts including ten episodes each. In Part 1, we journey through the core teachings of the Catholic Church traced out in the Creed and Catechism with the goal of knowing the Faith. In Part 2, we focus on our encounter with God in the sacraments and the moral life so that we can be fully living the Faith. The video will be supplemented with notes and discussions.

This RCIA program is open to existing Catholics to re-discover aspects of our faith and deepen our spiritual development. Together we will journey to Easter.


Sample video – Week 9.

First 10 weeks topics.

Over the first few weeks we will be covering and explaining the following topics. (Times are video duration. We will have discussion time around the videos).

1. The Journey of Faith (20 minutes) The Bible reveals the mystery of who God is: God is love. God created us out of love, died for us out of love, and invites us on a journey of faith in which we live in his love. October 11th & 12th.
2. Divine Revelation (32 minutes) God loves us some much He wants to make himself and his will known to us. He also sent his Son to redeem us and promised that the Jesus’ message will be preserved forever through sacred Scripture, Tradition and our Church. How, and what does this mean? October 18th & 19th.
3. The Bible (33 minutes) The 73 books of the Bible come together to tell one story: the story of God’s saving plan. Through the inspired Scriptures we encounter the God who speaks to us as a Father lovely speaks to his children. October 26th & 27th.
4. The Story of Salvation (34 minutes) Our modern world has lost its story. We don’t know from where we came. We don’t know why we are here. And we don’t know where we are going. But God has a plan for each of our lives – a plan that reveals the true meaning of our existence and leads to eternal happiness. November 2nd & 3rd.
5. Who Is Jesus? (33 minutes) Jesus is more than a good teacher or good example. He claimed to be God. And that claim challenges all of us to make an important choice – will we accept Jesus as Lord of our lives? November 9th & 10th.
6. The Paschal Mystery (33 minutes) Through Jesus’s Death on the Cross, God reveals himself most profoundly as the God who is love. Christ’s sacrificial love saves us from sin and shows us the pathway to true human happiness. We are made to live like Christ – in total self-giving love. November 16th & 17th.
7. The Holy Spirit & the Life of Grace (37 minutes) One of the most profound aspects of the Catholic faith is that Christ sent his Spirit to dwell in the hearts of the baptised. Christ’s Spirit within us conforms us even more to Christ, so we can say with St Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” November 23rd & 24th.
8.Mary and the Saints (36 minutes) Jesus gave his mother Mary to us as our spiritual mother, and she intercedes for us in heaven before her son. By growing in relationship with Mary, and the rest of the saints, we grow in fellowship with Christ.  November 30th & December 1st.
9. No topic – Debrief & review. An opportunity for participants to debrief and share their experiences from the last few weeks. Overview of the next stage, Part 2: Living the Faith (outlined below).

 

 

Living the Faith - the next 7 sessions and celebration of Easter with full Communion.

Over the last few weeks we will be covering and explaining the topics below. Times are video duration. We will have discussion time around the videos. Each session will run for approximately 1 hour. Participants and visitors are welcome to attend either session as they are identical. The earlier session is during the day, usually at 10:30 am. The later sessions at night at 8:00 pm. Call the office for confirmation as times may change to suit participants – 02 9484 1427. You are most welcome.

Week 1 – The Sacraments: Baptism and Confirmation (39 minutes). 8 & 9 February, 2018.
The sacraments aren’t simply the rituals we go through because we happen to be Catholic. They are profound moments of encounter with Jesus Christ, who imparts his life and grace to us and draws us deeper into his love through the seven sacraments.

Week 2 – The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Christian Life (36 minutes). 15 & 16 February.
Love desires to be near its beloved. On the night before he died, Jesus gave us the gift of his very self in the Eucharist to be the source and summit of the Christian life. He waits for us in the Blessed Sacrament, and longs to be united to us in Holy Communion.

Week 3 – Walk through the Mass: Exploring the Sacred Liturgy (33 Minutes). 22 & 23 February.
“The Lord be with you…And with your spirit…Thanks be to God.” We might be familiar with the various prayers of the Mass, but do we understand the meaning, beauty and power of all we say and do in the liturgy?

Week 4 – Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Matriomony & Holy Orders: The Sacraments of Service and Communion (39 minutes). 1 & 2 March. These are big topics and some material may be supplied to participants beforehand.
Many people wonder, “Why should I confess my sins to a priest?” But behind the human priest we must see the True High Priest at work-Jesus Christ, forgiving our sins in the Sacrament of Penance, the great sacrament of God’s mercy. Further on marriage: it has been said that “It takes three to get married” – husband, wife and God. Indeed, matrimony is the sacrament in which Christ gives couples the grace to love each other with his total, sacrificial love and to signify this love in the world.

Week 5 – A Catholic Moral Vision: Virtue, Grace, & the Path to Happiness (44 minutes). 8 & 9 March.
How do we talk about morality in a relativistic world that says, “You can have your truth. I can have my truth. But there is no the truth to which we are all accountable?” A Catholic moral vision helps us rise out of this self-centered worldview and leads us on the true path to human happiness.

Week 6 – A Love That Lasts: Discovering Authentic Love and God’s Plan for Sexuality (36 minutes). 15 & 16 March.
Afraid. Insecure. Guarded. Fear of being alone. That’s how many people feel in their romantic relationships today. But Christ offers a pathway to authentic love and the kind of relationships and marriages we most deeply long for. God gave us the gift of human sexuality to express the profound communion of love between husband and wife-one that reflects Christ’s love, which is free, total, faithful and fruitful. Discover the beauty of the Church’s teachings on love and sexuality and how they can bring fullness of life and love.

Week 7 – Catholic Social Teaching: Building a Civilization of Love and Protecting the Dignity of the Human Person (18 minutes). 22 & 23 March.
From the beginning of Christianity, the Gospel message has shaped the way people live-socially, economically, politically and culturally. The same Catholic tradition that gave us hospitals, universities and unprecedented care for the poor can help us build a society today in which every person has the opportunity to flourish.  “You did it to me.” These five words of Jesus remind us of our responsibility to live in solidarity with the most vulnerable in society-whether it be the poor, the suffering or the unborn. For whatever we do to the least of these, we do unto Christ.

 

 

Evening Format:

Opening Prayer.
Introduction of the topic.
Video – Part 1.
A summary proclamation of the doctrine that is the focus of the session.
Video – Part 2.
Discussion.
Close meeting with a prayer / blessing and a cuppa.

Becoming a Catholic as an Adult.

 

Becoming a Catholic as an Adult.
If you are an adult and you are thinking of becoming a Catholic you most likely will have a number of questions? Outlined below is an overview and some videos of the process we follow today to assist people in growing in their belief of God. Should you have an immediate need to talk or relate with someone, please feel free to use the contacts at the bottom of this page.

jump to videos

Yesteryear
In the years gone by, people wanting to become Catholic were required to participate in a program of private instruction with the parish priest, consisting of a set number of weekly ‘lessons’ on Catholic principles. After the instructions were completed, the ‘convert’ was baptised (if necessary) and confirmed in a private ceremony with only the priest and a sponsor present.

Today
In the 1960’s our Church reviewed many of its practices and we changed many things (the Second Vatican Council). One of these changes included how people are introduced to our beliefs. The current process by which new members are brought into the Catholic Church is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or the RCIA.

Becoming a Catholic
The RCIA is best described as a journey of belief which passes through a number of different phases and focuses on conversion of heart and mind to Christ. It is a gradual journey tailored to the needs of the individual – no ‘one-size-fits-all’. An overriding principle is that this is a journey of personal discovery and we are sensitive that people will develop in a unique way and time to understand God’s calling to them.

The process is more open than the older ‘Instruction’ program. Candidates meet regularly with a group of people from the parish to learn about Catholic belief and practice. Various celebrations are held in the church at important points along the journey.

Local Catholic Parishes hold regular enquiry sessions for those who want to know more about the Catholic Church or who may be interested in becoming a Catholic, however you do not need to wait for a special enquiry evening. You can contact us below at any time for a discussion. After this period of enquiry, some people choose to embark on the RCIA journey. From the moment someone is received into the ‘catechumenate’ as it is called, he or she becomes part of the Catholic Christian community.

Next Steps
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Catholic Christian, the first step is to make contact with your local Catholic Parish, or another Catholic Parish which you are likely to attend. You can do this by going along to Mass and asking to speak to the Parish Priest, or by phoning the parish office to make an appointment.

Telephone: (02) 9484 1427 or complete the form below.

Mass times are on our Mass Times page. Click here.

More information regarding parishes in the Diocese of Broken Bay is available through their website. Click here .

More information.

Adult’s Sacramental Program – the Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) further detail.
In the section above we discussed the introductory thoughts on joining our Catholic Church. Here we outline the main stages in this journey.

 

The RCIA process has several distinct stages. These Catholic RCIA stages are a good model of faith development itself, so this article will fit you whether or not you’re actually in the RCIA process.

  • Inquiry: the initial period before you decide to enter the Catholic Church. You’re asking questions and checking it out, but aren’t yet ready to commit.
  • A period of learning that we call the Catechumenate. Those who decide to enter the Church and are being trained for a life in Christ are called catechumens, an ancient name from the early Church. In this stage, you’re developing your belief or “faith” and are being “catechized” – learning the basic points about Catholic faith and life. It is very much a period of discovery and reflection.
  • Purification and preparation: The Church will help you focus and intensify your faith as you prepare you to commit your life to Christ and be received into the Church at Easter. If you’re following the RCIA process, you’ll go through a beautiful series of Gospel-based meditations during Lent, which is the time frame of this period.
  • Initiation itself, the culmination of the whole process! You’re received into the Church during the Easter Vigil Mass, where you’ll receive the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. (If you’ve already been baptized, you won’t be baptized again.)
  • Initial stage as a full member of the Church called, Mystagogy. After reception into the Church at Easter, this period lets you reflect and learn more about the mysteries of the Mass and the Sacraments that you now participate in fully.

Next Steps
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Catholic Christian, the first step is to make contact with your local Catholic Parish, or another Catholic Parish which you are likely to attend. You can do this by going along to Mass and asking to speak to the Parish Priest, or by phoning the parish office to make an appointment with them or a dedicated RCIA person. Our telephone number is (02) 9484 1427. Alternatively you may like to complete the form below. Mass times for our parish are on our Mass Times page.

If you are looking to join another parish, then more information regarding parishes in the Archdiocese of Broken Bay is available through their website at www.dbb.org.au or their search page here.

Parish support
There are several ways we as a parish journey along with those who wish to join our faith. Firstly and foremost, we journey with them spiritually by praying with, and for them during our various celebrations at Mass. Secondly, we are a welcoming community and demonstrate this by our deeds of love, mercy and charity for everyone in our society. We show with our actions the love of God. Finally, there are several active roles for parishioners to assist those wishing to join our Church. These can be as evangelists, program leaders, sponsors, catechists, and support and hospitality people during our meetings.

Please contact the RCIA Team or the Parish Secretary should you wish to know more.

These videos are from Lady of Grace Parish and Diocese of Trent in the United States. They reflect the similar journey we encounter here at St Agatha’s Parish.

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St Agatha's Catholic Parish,
Pennant Hills, NSW 2120
PO Box 127, Pennant Hills, NSW, 1715
Phone: 02 9484 1427   Fax: 02 9484 0053

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