It is the duty by our baptism of every Christian to evangelise! To help others realise that God is already in their lives even if they just don’t recognise Him.
To enable us to carry out this vital mission there are The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) groups in most parishes in this diocese and throughout the country. These groups inform and help those who want to learn more about our faith. So, twice a year the RCIA is very prominent in our parish. In early September, just before our sessions start, we try to spread the word through newsletters like this to those who would like to dip their toes in the water. All are welcome, whatever their background and circumstances, to join us in the journey to find God and learn more about the Catholic Church.
Each year, we are joined by enquirers from many different religious backgrounds – or no religious back-ground at all. What they do have in common though, is a desire to put God at the centre of their lives and to discover the next step on their personal journey in faith.
Later in the year, we turn our thoughts to those enquirers who have decided that becoming a Catholic is the most important decision in their lives. They are invited to attend several services and Masses designed just for them, both here at St Edmund’s and at St George’s Cathedral, (where they are delighted to meet the many hundreds of people who are on the same spiritual journey as they are). It is important that this decision to become a Catholic is totally left up to the individual to decide and therefore, no pressure is ever put on anyone to commit to our faith. It is especially at this time that they need the support of the whole parish, with not only your support, but also your encouragement, friendship and most of all your prayers. The rest is left to God.
Who organises the group?
With Father Steve Wymer at the helm, the RCIA is led by Mary Deering and Cathy Denne, supported by trained lay catechists and others parishioners who give their support by the example of their lives and Catholic faith. We meet on Thursday evenings from September through until the middle of June, and the emphasis is on helping people to decide if the path they are considering is the right one for them.
A next step
As you read this maybe you know of someone who may be considering becoming a Catholic and just needs encouragement to make contact and enquire. Why send them a link to this post, or give them a leaflet, which can be found at the back of the church. If you are someone who has been coming to church for a number of years but has not made a commitment, please consider that now may be the time that the Holy Spirit is calling you to visit us and see what we are about. We know how daunting it can be to take the first step, but there is a group of friendly faces who will make you very welcome and at ease.
What one new Catholic feels now
“Mass is at the centre of my life. In this community I meet many wonderful men and women who have travelled the same road towards God. I am one amongst many on the journey of life – inspired by the Catholic Church.”
Our first meeting will be on Thursday 21st September at 7:45pm in 11 Village Way (opposite the church). You are more than welcome just to turn up, but you may find it helpful to speak to someone and find out more about the process first. Any of the priests will help you or you can ring Mary Deering on 020 8650 9650 or Cathy Denne on 020 8650 0051 or perhaps you would prefer to email for more details.
We look forward to seeing you there.