If you find yourself on this website, thinking you might like to become a Catholic, and wondering what the first step might be – the first thing to say is you are very warmly WELCOME! And many blessings for your continuing journey. There will be many different reasons for making initial enquiries – and all of them are ‘right’! Any step or movement towards faith is gently guided by the Holy Spirit, and we want to help you make connections with that Spirit stirring in you, and own your deepest longing and search for meaning, whatever your life holds at the moment.
We often tend to separate out our struggle to be good and loving people in life , and anything to do with ‘God’ and ‘faith’ , perhaps seeing the latter in some far-removed, inaccessible realm, closed to us in our less-than-perfect lives. But as you make this journey – in fact, as we all make this journey with one another – we come to realise and know from our experience that God is very intimately involved with every moment of our lives, present in love in action. We as members of the Church are by no means perfect – but as members of the Church family, children of God,we know what it is to belong together and be loved, and we want to listen to you, and to walk with you on this journey and help you to come to know your own ‘belonging’ . The Church offers a welcome and a pathway – we often call it ‘the journey in faith’. It takes place within the parish community. But first things first – what can you do? Here are some ideas:
- Talk to a Catholic friend or work colleague – ask them why they are a Catholic. Perhaps, if you like, after these initial conversations, you may like to go to Church with them – and see what its like.
- Drop in to a church – either at a quiet moment, and just wander round, and sit peacefully. Or, come to Mass – make yourself known to someone – and ask them to introduce you to the Parish Priest.
- Ring the Parish Priest and ask to come and see him for a chat.
What can you expect?
A warm welcome, and freedom to enquire! A gradual process , in steps and stages- meeting you exactly where you are, listening to you and your questions, and sharing the Christian Gospel or ‘good news’ of Jesus Christ, and our particular way of following Him in the Catholic tradition – all taking place within the heart of the parish community. The parish priest is the pastor and leader of the parish community, and he will be there to watch over and guide your journey. A smaller group of parishioners, skilled in this role, will accompany you. This process is called ‘RCIA’ or the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, and has its roots in the ancient practice of the early Church. Dont be put off by the title. It is a wonderful journey, full of humanity and compassion, going deeper into relationship with God and one another.
If you are not sure where to go, feel free to get in touch with the Network and we will help you with a local contact.