RCIA Course – A Parish Update

At this time of year we usually give you a progress report on the work of the RCIA. As you will know from previous newsletters we started the course for 2016/ 17 last September, and the team and clergy have been busy introducing our enquirers to Christian Beliefs and the Catholic Church. In early December at the 5.30pm Mass, we held the Rite of Acceptance to enable our enquirers to make their first commitment to continue with their studies; and on behalf of the parish we presented each of them with a Bible.

Last Saturday we accompanied our catechumen (unbaptised) and our candidates (baptised) to St George’s Cathedral for the Rite of Election. During this impressive and moving service Archbishop Peter Smith called by name 400 catechumens and candidates from our Diocese. The RCIA team has attended this service on many previous occasions, (indeed two of the team were once enquirers themselves), and it never fails to leave us with a sense of wonder at the Spirit of God working in that congregation. We know now that our enquirers always emerge from the service smiling, with joy and peace clear in their faces, and the knowledge that they are one step nearer their goal – which is full communion with the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil.

It is deeply humbling for those of us who take so much for granted, to accompany people on their journey of faith to find God through Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church; to see their commitment, despite busy working and family lives, to regularly attending the course; and to witness the different backgrounds, experiences, professions, and paths that have led them to us.

And now it’s your turn to help us to continue to help them. Firstly by participating in the liturgy where you can. Next Saturday 18 March, during the 6.00pm Mass we will start the Scrutinies, which continue for three weeks, during which our catechumen and candidates will undertake an intense period of study and prayer prior to Easter. The second scrutiny will be on Sunday 26 March and the third on Sunday 2 April. If you are attending any of those Masses you will be part of the services and we ask you to pray for our catechumen, Laura, and our candidates, John, Richard and Natalia. Also please pray for the team who will be guiding and teaching them during this time.

And if you have any questions about future courses, either on your own behalf, or for family/friends please contact Mary Deering on 020 8650 9650, or Cathy Denne on 020 8650 0051; or email us on rcia.stedsbeck@hotmail.com.

Cathy and Mary

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