Newcomers - I want to become Catholic
The Catholic Church is unlike any other organisation on Earth. In fact, it is more accurate to call the Church an ‘organism’ – a living body: Christ’s body.
Why be Catholic?
To become Catholic is to become part of His body – a process that begins with Baptism and continues forever. Begin Catholic in today’s world provides great challenges and opportunities for personal growth and self-awareness, and also a solid foundation for a life of community and relationship with God.
Eight Good Reasons for Being Catholic
Here are eight great reasons to be Catholic
- An optimistic view of creation
- A universal vision
- A holistic outlook
- Personal growth
- Social transformation
- A communal spirit
- A profound sense of history
- A respect for human knowledge
Parishes welcome new members into the Catholic Church through a process of education, faith sharing, and rituals known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This is a Diocesan led education programme and is public or open. Alternatively there is closed, private, instruction conducted on a one-to-one basis and arranged by the local Parish Priest.
The RCIA is structured over a series of ceremonial steps and periods of learning, and the timing of these may vary for each indiviudal. One may take as much as time as he or she needs in the initiation process before becoming ready for full initiation through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist. Initiation within the Church is a journey of conversion that is gradual and ongoing and suited to individual needs. It is a process rather than an educational programme and this process takes place within the community of the faithful, the local Church.
Testimony of recent convert, Dr Lorraine Bouzan
At the age of 31, I was officially received into the Catholic Church on the 29th August here at St. Nicholas’. I had spent the previous ten months learning about the Catechism and undertaking the Rite of Christian Initiation for adults. Whilst this was an unconventional entry into the Catholic Community, it was a very meaningful and symbolic journey.
My partner Kylan is from a strong Catholic background and, whilst he has been supportive of me pursuing this faith, he has never tried to influence or push me towards it. During my pregnancy I would go to Mass most weeks and when I was organising my son’s Baptism, I made enquiries as to how I could similarly be received into the Church. This was how my journey commenced.
As an adult, being received into the Church was different. I faced obstacles in that I had a young son, I was working full time as a doctor in Emergency Medicine and I had other commitments to my personal and work life. At times, I questioned if it was necessary to complete this work, given that I was already committed to God on a personal and emotional level but ultimately, I felt it was important to me. I was extremely lucky that my mentor, Mary Muir, was extremely flexible and able to work around me. I could not have completed this journey without her and cannot thank her enough for her time and continued support.
Of course, there were some benefits of having undertaken this experience as an adult. I am likely one of the lucky few people to remember moments such as my Baptism which took place on February 9th this year and feel that I participated very actively in the Sacraments such as my Confirmation and Communion. These experiences were very emotional to me and not ones that I will ever forget.
This year has taught me that life is unpredictable and there are lots of things we cannot control. Although life has its ups and downs, it is a gift. When things are difficult, I can always turn to God and take great comfort in knowing that He is looking over me and my family. Having this perspective makes life less stressful. Nothing feels better than knowing God loves me, is always there for me and will always take care of me. When I have a worry, I share it with God and go to sleep