“I came that all may have life, and have it abundantly” JOHN 10:9
Jesus came ‘that all may have life, and have it abundantly’ (John 10:9) and he offers everyone the opportunity to come into close relationship with God. The community of the Catholic church offers you a place for finding, experiencing and deepening the reality of ‘life to the full’ as you grow in your relationship with God.
This is the journey of the RCIA – the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
What’s it all about?
Developing a relationship takes time. Through the RCIA process people are invited to enter into a journey of faith in Jesus Christ, a journey of discovery as they practice living life as a Catholic Christian.
The journey of becoming a Catholic Christian is one made in the company of the whole parish community along with other enquirers, catechists and sponsors.
Key Moments on the Journey
All journeys include a variety of steps and stages and the community commits itself to supporting a person along the journey. Each stage of the journey is affirmed by a community celebration and always includes the option to pause or affirm your intention to proceed to the next stage. At each celebration the community commits itself to supporting you.
The steps and stages of the journey to becoming a Catholic Christian vary depending on whether or not a person is already a baptised Christian.
For those who are not Baptised the stages are:
Initial enquiry about the Catholic faith.
A period of learning about the Catholic faith and practicing living the life of a Catholic Christian.
Lent – a time of preparation for receiving the Sacraments of Initiation.
Easter – Reception of the Sacraments of Initiation
Post-Easter – a period of reflection with the community on your initiation experience.
For those who are Baptised in another Christian Denomination:
The process for this group, whilst similar, is usually undertaken over a shorter timeframe and reception into the Church can occur at any time during the year. It includes:
Initial enquiry about the Catholic faith.
A period of learning about the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church and practicing living out one’s Baptismal calling within the life of a Catholic Christian community.
Reception into the Catholic Church
Of course the final stage for both groups is the lifelong practice of living the life of a Catholic Christian.
How do I Start?
Make contact with your local Catholic parish and their RCIA coordinator. They will be happy to talk with you about your journey so far, your hopes and desires and how you might continue the journey of becoming Catholic. You might like to search our website for your nearest Catholic parish.
Parish and RCIA
“The initiation of catechumens is a gradual process that takes place within the community of the faithful. By joining the catechumens in reflecting on the value of the paschal mystery and by renewing their own conversion, the faithful provide an example that will help the catechumens to obey the Holy Spirit more generously.” RCIA #4
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a process that is located in the heart of the parish community. The parish community is where everyone learns how
To pray and worship
To listen to God’s Word in the Scriptures
To build and take part in community life
To go out in service of others.
Thus, every member of the parish is ‘part of the overall RCIA team’, apprenticing, mentoring, guiding and giving example and witness to those who seek to live the Catholic Christian way of life in relationship with Jesus. Everyone in the parish has qualities, gifts and skills which they bring to the life and growth of the community and are thus of service to those seeking initiation.
Some people may minister as part of an RCIA Coordination Team. This team:
Supports parishioners in their role of initiating the catechumens
Supports enquirers in developing and achieving their initiation plan,
Liaises with and supports specific ministry coordinators and groups in achieving the formational requirements and Liturgical Rites of the RCIA.
In the following sections you will find resources to help you, other parishioners and the RCIA Coordination team effectively support the initiation process of those seeking to enter into a relationship with Jesus in our Catholic faith community.
Introductory Materials: Establishing the RCIA in your Parish
Account means the account held at your financial institution from which we are authorised to arrange for funds to be debited.
Agreement means this Direct Debit Request Service Agreement between you and us, including the direct debit request.
Business day means a day other than a Saturday or a Sunday or a listed public holiday.
Debit day means the day that payment is due.
Debit payment means a particular transaction where a debit is made, according to your direct debit request.
Direct debit request means the Direct Debit Request between us and you.
Us and we and our means the Catholic Development Fund.
You means the customer(s) who signed the direct debit request. Your financial institution is the financial institution where you hold the account that you have authorised us to arrange to debit.
Debiting your account
By submitting a direct debit request, you have authorised us to arrange for funds to be debited from your account according to the agreement we have with you.
We will only arrange for funds to be debited from your account:
As authorised in the direct debit request; if the debit day falls on a day that is not a business day, we may direct your financial institution to debit your account on the following or previous business day. If you are unsure about which day your account has or will be debited, please check with your financial
Changes by you
If you wish to stop or defer a debit payment you must write to us at least 5 business days before the next debit day.
This notice should be given to us in the first instance.
It is your responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient clear funds available in your account to allow a debit payment to be made.
If there are insufficient clear funds available in your account to meet a debit payment:
you or your account may be charged a fee and/or interest by your financial institution;
you or your account may be charged a fee to reimburse us for charges we have incurred for the failed transaction;
you must arrange for the payment to be made by another method
Please check your account statement to verify that the amounts debited from your account are correct.
If you believe that there has been an error in debiting your account you should call us on 1800 047 703 and confirm the details in writing with us as soon as possible so that we can resolve your query quickly.
You should check:
with your financial institution whether direct debiting is available from your accounts offered by financial
your account details which you have provided to us are correct by checking them against a recent account statement; and
with your financial institution before completing the direct debit request if you have any queries about how to complete the direct debit
Warning: if the account number you have quoted is incorrect, you may be charged a fee to reimburse our costs in correcting any deductions from:
an account you do not have authority to operate; or
an account you do not
We will keep any information (including your account details) in your direct debit request confidential.
We will make reasonable efforts to keep any such information that we have about you secure and to ensure that any of our employees or agents who have access to information about you, do not make any unauthorised use, modification, reproduction or disclosure of that information.
However, we may use your contact details to provide information about the fund. Should you wish this not to be the case, please advise the fund in writing.
Our diocesan logo is theologically rich and very succinct. As a hand, it depicts our mission as a diocese and as individuals within the diocese, of bearing (bringing, carrying) Christ’s love to one another and to the world around us. In this, we are the hand of Jesus Christ, and we are offering ourselves to him so that he might work through us.
We can be the bearers of his love only as a response to his call and in the strength of his grace. We are reminded of this in two ways—through the symbol of the dove (the Holy Spirit) also present in the logo, and by the incorporation of the cross that segments the logo. The presence of the cross is a reminder that bearing the love of Christ will inevitably cost us if we live it authentically. However, in the way that the Cross is the portent of redemption and life—an echo of the tree of life in the book of Genesis—so becoming bearers of the love of Christ will also bring us to life.
The four fingers of the hand also represent the four regions of our diocese. The first is bluerepresenting the beautiful water of the Shoalhaven. The second is a blue and green combination representing the waters and escarpment of the Illawarra. The third is greendepicting the hills and plains of the Macarthur. The fourth is dark green illustrating the forests of the Southern Highlands.