RCIA – Initiation into Our Catholic Faith

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.

I’m enquiring

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:

    1. Initial enquiry about the Catholic faith.
    2. A period of learning about the Catholic faith and practicing living the life of a Catholic Christian.
    3. Lent – a time of preparation for receiving the Sacraments of Initiation.
    4. Easter – Reception of the Sacraments of Initiation
    5. 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:

    1. Initial enquiry about the Catholic faith.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
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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.

Parish resources

Useful links

General Formation and Training

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Scripture and Liturgy

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RCIA contact

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Mr Darren McDowell

Coordinator of Evangelisation and Discipleship
local_phone (02) 4222 2463