Becoming Catholic/Re-visiting Our Faith

Is God Calling You Back to the Catholic Church ?
Do you know someone who wants to come back but doesn’t know how?

Have you been away from the Catholic Church? Are the words of Pope Francis touching something in your heart and bringing up feelings that just maybe there is something in the Catholic Church for you?  To learn more, please contact Rita Pender at 603-332-1863 or rpender@hrsl.org. Come ready to ask all those hard questions.

Has Christ been calling you to the Catholic Church?

Come and See!

Open Enrollment Inquiry Sessions Year Round at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church

If you are interested in learning more about the Catholic Church and Holy Mass, we offer one-on-one inquiry sessions.we welcome your questions.

For more information contact Rita Pender at 603-332-1863 or rpender@hrsl.org.  For directions, click here.

Young woman kneeling at baptismal font

 

 

 What is the RCIA?

The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults), also called the Catechumenate, is a process of initiation into the Catholic Community of Faith for persons who are experiencing a conversion in their lives and seeking either Christian baptism in the Catholic Church or full Communion with the Catholic tradition of Holy Eucharist and Confirmation.

It is a process which enables the study of the Gospels, Catholic Christian teaching, the acceptance of Christian values and morality, the development and deepening of a life of prayer and action with the support and involvement of the local Christian community.  The RCIA is more than a course of instruction.  It is a process of conversion, designed to meet the unique and individual needs of the participants.

 

Who should attend RCIA?

  • Non-Catholics who want to find out more about the Catholic Faith
  • Those who want to join the Catholic Church through Baptism, or Profession of Faith
  • Those who were baptized Catholic as infants but never received religious education, Confirmation, or First Eucharist.

 

Why an RCIA process?

Christians are made, not born.  There is nothing automatic or instant in the Rite of Christian Initiation.  The development of faith takes time; it cannot be rushed.  The candidates must be allowed sufficient time for their faith to ripen.  Ordinarily, this means anywhere from one to two years of formation depending, of course, on the background and spiritual maturity of the candidates.

In the past (in fact, hundreds of years ago), a person desiring reception into the Christian Community studied, prayed, fasted and did good works Young woman receiving the Body of Christ in Holy Communionfor three years.  Initiation takes time.  Initiation is more than doctrinal instruction.  It is a way of coming to know the traditions, the people, the prayer and the actions of the community.

 

Five Stages of the RCIA Process

  • Inquiry or Pre-Catechumenate — At this time participants are encouraged to ask questions and to explore the basic tenets of the Catholic faith and to reflect upon these in light of their own life experiences.
  • The Catechumenate — It is during this time that most of study of Scripture, doctrine, traditions and meeting with the community takes place.

Catechumens and Candidates gathered in the sanctuary of St. Joseph Cathedral in Manchester, NH with Bishop McCormack   Purification and Enlightenment — For those preparing for baptism, this stage takes place during the season of Lent season where they reflect upon their own faith experiences in a more intense, prayerful way.  At other times during the year, baptized candidates reflect more deeply upon the meaning of their baptism and celebrate the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation.

 

 

  • Sacraments of Initiation — Candidates for baptism celebrate their initiation into the Church on the holiest of nights–the Easter Vigil — Woman receiving the anointing of Chrism by the priest for Confirmationwhere they are baptized, confirmed and receive Holy Eucharist.  Candidates for full communion may celebrate their Rite of Reception at other times throughout the year as well.
  • Mystagogia — This is a time for candidates to reflect upon their experiences of being new Catholic Christians and to find their place in the ordinary life of the Church.

Some Common Questions

  • Must I make a commitment to Catholicism to participate in  this program? — No!  We realize that many people are searching and need to know more about the Church before they make such a commitment.  We also realize that Catholicism is not for everyone.  We ask no firm commitment until the beginning of Lent.
  • I was baptized a Methodist, Baptist, etc.  Must I be re-baptized in order to join the Catholic Church? — No!  There is only one Baptism.  Candidates who were baptized with a Trinitarian formula (In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) and water who are seeking full Communion within the Catholic Church will not be baptized again.  They will simply make a Profession of Faith and receive the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.  Click here to read more about the Rites of Initiation for baptized and unbaptized persons.
  • What steps do I need to take to begin the process of Inquiry?  Call the RCIA Coordinator, Rita Pender at 332-1863 or email her at rpender@hrsl.org.

 

Looking for more to Life?  Searching for something but you’re not sure what?

Come to Alpha!

Alpha is a free discussion course that gives everyone the opportunity to explore the meaning of life in a relaxed friendly way.  Some of the topics covered will be “Who is Jesus?”, “Why did Jesus Die?”, “How can we have Faith?”, “Why and how do I Pray?”, “Why and how should I read the Bible?”, “How does God guide us?”.  Later in the course, there would be a chance for a weekend retreat on the Holy Spirit.  Interested?  For more information contact Karla LaRochelle at 603-332-4635 or klarochelle@smhc-nh.org

 

 Where May I find answers to some questions about Catholicism?

There are a variety of places where one may find good teaching on Catholicism.  One is The Presence Catholic Network. 

Another is Catholic.com

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