‘I felt loved every minute’
Joyue Zhang, Wilton Parish.
The journey to faith for all of us begins with the call of Christ and continues in all sorts of ways through the experiences of our every day lives, relationships, work and prayer. Most of all we are influenced by other people. This is why the Church welcomes new members, not only by teaching them about faith but by giving them a group of people to share faith with them. The RCIA journey is a journey of unfolding friendship, prayer and sharing. It takes place in the parish and is marked by celebrations where parishioners are invited to join in prayer with candidates and support them on their journey. Its high point is usually the Easter Vigil when they receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
There are no tests involved in the RCIA process! When candidates are presented to the bishop in each diocese around the world on the first Sunday of Lent he asks the sponsors the following questions:
God’s holy Church wishes to know whether these candidates are sufficiently prepared to be enrolled… Have they faithfully listened to God’s word proclaimed by the Church? Have they responded to that word and begun to walk in God’s presence? Have they shared the company of their Christian brothers and sisters and joined with them in prayer? (RCIA Rite of Election)
The aim of the RCIA is to support people in their faith journey by opening up the Word of God and the Christian way of life with them in love and support. It is a source of parish renewal as all Christians are inspired by the faith of those who are being welcomed.
Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy. (Benedict XVI The Door of Faith 2011)
Address: Parish Pastoral Development Office, Parochial House, Ballyphehane, Cork.