To become a Roman Catholic, it is usual for an interested adult to attend a course entitled the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), sometimes called “A Journey in Faith”.
Interested adults should approach Fr Patrick in the first instance, who will give guidance on the way forward. The RCIA course is held in relaxed surroundings in a very informal atmosphere. Everyone is invited to share his or her faith story, and the aim is to expand our knowledge of the Catholic Faith while getting to know one another better.
Attending an RCIA course involves no obligation to carry through to being received into the Catholic Church. Everyone is free to finish at any time and, at the end of the course for that year, everyone is free to feel that they are not ready at that point, but might like another year (or more) for discernment.
“Catechumens” are those people who are to be received into the Catholic Church but who have never been baptised. Reception into the Catholic Church will normally take place at Easter, during the Easter Vigil Mass on the evening of Holy Saturday. At the Vigil, Catechumens will receive the Sacrament of Baptism and the Sacrament of Confirmation, and then will receive their First Holy Communion (the Sacrament of the Eucharist).
“Candidates” are those people who have been baptised already, but into another Christian denomination. In most cases, that baptism will be accepted by the Catholic Church. As with Catechumens, reception will normally take place during the Easter Vigil Mass but, in this case, Candidates will require only to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, and then will receive their First Holy Communion (the Sacrament of the Eucharist).