Becoming a Catholic – A Journey of Faith
RCIA aims to help those who would like to know more about the Christian Faith from a Catholic perspective. For those who want to know more about Catholicism, even possibly considering full communion with the Catholic Church.
This year’s RCIA commences in the Parish on Thursday 19th September (2019) at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre of Our Lady of Ransom. The evenings will consist of a presentation by the RCIA team, followed by coffee, discussion, questions and answers and prayer.
You are warmly invited to meet the RCIA team.
Enquiries: 07790 208889
First term 19.09.2019 – 24.10.2019
Week 1 19.09.19 – Welcome and introduction to the 2019-2020 RCIA programme. Sharing of Faith Journeys from those who have become full members of the Catholic Church.
The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God” (John 1:35-42)
Week 2 26.09.19 – The meaning of life and the existence of God
As human beings we want and yearn for happiness; something that is complete, fulfilling, is pleasurable and permanent. True happiness must somehow involve knowing God, living a meaningful, spiritually aware life. St Augustine said “You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless till they rest in you” (St Augustine, Confessions 1).
Human beings differ from all other living beings on the earth. We have the capacity to know and to be able to communicate intelligently using language. We also have a unique ability to choose – between good and evil. Animals are satisfied to be what they are but the human being seeks ultimate happiness and is discontent with any finite, created things alone. God is not finite He is infinite and He extends a hand to us and draws us towards Him which is happiness. God sent His son, Jesus Christ, who is the key to unlock the meaning of existence and helps us to work towards the fulfilment of Heaven.
Glory to you, my God! A poem by Michel Quoist.
Week 3 03.10.19 – The Life of Jesus
“Jesus’s whole way of life, His way of dealing with the poor, His actions, His integrity, His simple daily acts of generosity, and finally His complete self-giving, is precious and reveals the mystery of His divine life.” Evangelical Gaudium – The Joy of the Gospel: Pope Francis
Born to Mary, wife of Joseph in Bethlehem (part of the Roman Empire) 2000 years ago about 4BC. He was born a Jew, a race of people who worshipped one God; creator of all. The first 30 years of His life Jesus lived in Nazareth and was known as the carpenter’s son. His public ministry began in 27AD and we know Him as a travelling Rabbi, a charismatic and unorthodox teacher; preaching the Kingdom of God; working signs and miracles and establishing the Church. His ministry ended after three years when He was betrayed, arrested by the authorities, stood trial, was condemned and put to death on a cross.
But death did not contain Him and as Catholic Christians we know that He was resurrected and has risen from the dead. Jesus, Son of God, sent to show us The Way to the Father. “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved” (John 10:9)
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20)
Prayer of St. John Gabriel Perboyre to Jesus.
Week 4 – 10.10.19 – The Incarnation: God takes on human nature
At the very heart of the Christian Faith is the belief that God became man. God the Son took to Himself a human nature for the sake of our salvation… ‘Incarnation’. The Incarnation is THE central teaching of our Faith; on it all else stands or falls. The word ‘Incarnation’ communicates the fact that Jesus Christ is not merely man, but GOD Himself become man to save us and bring us back to God. All relevant historical documents show us that the belief in the divinity of Christ was central to the faith of the first Christians. Jesus asked his disciples: “Who do people say I am?” Peter spoke up and said to Him: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:15-17).
The Nicene Creed (325 AD) is an ancient summary of Christian belief. It defines the two natures of Christ. “I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father, Through Him all things were made”.
Jesus is begotten not made, a divine person, not a created person like you or I. Jesus is the human face of the invisible God: ” He who has seen me has seen the Father”.
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by a Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom He also created the worlds. (Hebrews 1: 1-3)
Week 5 – 17.10.19 – The Church: the People of God
The Church was and remains built upon the foundation of the Apostles, the witnesses of the Good News who were chosen and sent on mission by Christ himself. The Church exists because every single human being is meant to be united both to God and to one another.
In the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible the ‘People of God’ is a description applied to the Israelites (Judges 20:2), and in the New Testament applies to the Christians (Hebrews 4:9 & 11:25). The Second Vatican Council document Lumen Gentium says “the new people of God; a people made up of Jew and gentile called together by Christ”. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that membership of the People of God comes not by physical birth but by faith in Jesus Christ and baptism.
Christians in the world today – we are ordinary people, indistinguishable from other men and women either by nationality, language or customs. We are people who strive daily to live up to the teachings of Jesus and to worship Him. What we have in common is that we truly believe that God is real, that the Catholic Church here on earth enables us to worship and receive God’s teaching. That despite our weakness and human frailty we continue to strive to live as followers of Jesus in the face of the difficulties and temptations that surround us.
Symeon’s Hymn 15, Hymns of Divine Love: The Divine Union. Adapted from Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality, pp. 219-220
Week 6 – 24.10.19 – Tradition and Scripture: how can we believe in the Bible?
Sacred Tradition comes from Christ. The Catholic Church teaches us that it is the full, living gift of Christ to the Apostles, faithfully handed down through each generation; Tradition means “handed down”. It is through tradition that the Holy Spirit makes the Risen Lord present among us, offering us the very same Word and Sacraments that He gave to the Apostles. St Paul told the Thessalonium Christians to hold fast to the traditions taught by the Apostles: “So then brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us” (2 Thess 2:15).
The Catholic Church says that we are THE PEOPLE of the WORD; the WORD being a living experience. God is the author of all Sacred Scripture, and each book is written by a human inspired by the Holy Spirit. The written word has no error but is inspired by God, it is God talking to us and the Word has the power to build you up.The four Gospels are real recollections of Jesus, His life and who He was. They are historical, accurate depictions of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection. St Augustine said, “I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Church already moved me’.
“The word of God is something alive and active”. (Letter to the Hebrews 4: 12-16).
For further information, please see the RCIA Flyer
Please click here for the full programme: RCIA Programme