RCIA Formation for Adults in the Parish of Blessed John Henry Newman.
This Easter season we will celebrate the Passion and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. At the Easter Vigil Mass, we will all witness the Confirmation and the taking for the First time, of the Holy Eucharist, for four new disciples of Jesus Christ. David Cope, Lauren Cope, Sarah Kearns and Andrea Mann have made a great and significant step along their own journey in faith. As Disciples of Jesus Christ, they are the, "ones who carry the light of faith". And "the laying on of hands for their confirmation links them back to the original disciples, who first laid their hands, to confirm the gift of the Holy Spirit".
(Bishop Marcus Stock, speaking at the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion service, 10th March 2019)
The Journey of Faith course, in our parish, is a welcome refuge for those who are experiencing this anxiety or ambition of being called by Jesus Christ to follow him. It also has a more formal title, The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, the (RCIA).
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults or the Catechumenate, first appeared in the Church in the second century. Over the years it had been replaced by private instruction between the individual and the priest. Then following Vatican II, it was restored to its near original form in 1969 and appearing in the current English form in 1974. It is the means by which the Church welcomes new members. Based upon the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it is a full liturgical rite of the Church. It also provides the means for anyone who is already baptised or confirmed in the Church to return; should they, for any reason, have drifted away. It is also appropriate for those who wish to study the Old Testament, the Gospels, the life of Jesus Christ and the way of living a better life in accordance with the teachings of the Church.
Our course normally begins in the late Autumn and runs through to the Easter Vigil Mass, however this year we will extend the weekly meetings up until Pentecost. The initial purpose of the 50-day Easter season was to continue the faith formation of new Christians. Following their Rite of Initiation Mass on the Easter Vigil, our Candidates received, will be considered full participating members of the liturgy of the Church.
David, Lauren, Sarah and Andrea will enter their period of Mystagogia or Ministerial Formation. During this period, which will last for the full 50 days of Easter until Pentecost, they will take time to reflect on the experience of participating in the sacraments and the experience of what it means when we all say, "Christ is Risen". We will support them through this period by continuing the meetings which take place every Thursday Evening in the Newman Centre, 7:30pm till 9:00pm.
Anyone reading this article is welcome to come along, to assist in welcoming them into the Church, and to help them in their spiritual Journey in Faith. We will begin a new course later this year in the Autumn; should you know of anyone who wishes to join or return to our one Church of Christ, please make sure they know about it and direct them to us. As baptised Christians our first call of duty is to spread the Good News of the Salvation offered by Our Lord, Jesus Christ. The future of the Church and its ability to provide all the wonderful things that it does, depends upon all our efforts in the mission of the constant call to evangelisation.
"May we never remain on the side-lines of this march of living hope." (Pope Francis,
Michael Clayton. RCIA Catechist, Blessed John Henry Newman Parish