4 years ago I was sitting in the benches of this church, I did not know what the RCIA was (now named ABC), I also didn’t understand many parts of the mass that I was attending. I had married my amazing wife in this church, I had my son baptised here and although both Father John and Father Dan were extremely welcoming, I didn’t fully feel like I belonged.
I approached Father Dan after mass and I said to him “How can I become Catholic” his eyes lit up, he said “We have a course starting in a few weeks on a Monday night called the RCIA where you can learn all about the catholic traditions, what it means to be catholic” I won’t go into all the details but at the time I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to convert so I put it to the back of my mind.
I was welcomed into a group of lovely people, the catechists that were teaching with Father Dan were amazing, all with their own stories to share and interested in everyone else’s journeys.
Each week we learned about a different aspect of the catholic faith, things like the creed, the purpose of it, why it is said in each mass, why it is a mass we attend. Learning about the saints and choosing a saints name to take during confirmation. Discovering the sacraments.
It all leads up to the Easter Vigil, a truly spectacular evening, where you are welcomed into the church family and receive your first sacraments as fully fledged catholics. I see the other candidates that took the journey with me at church or around the town and it is like meeting old friends.
Now we fast forward 4 years and I have had 2 more children baptised here, my eldest now attends St Peter’s and I feel I can now share in their journey of faith even more.
It doesn’t matter if you are not 100% set on the decision, just because you start the course doesn’t mean you have to finish, I had doubts at points on the course but Father Dan and the other catechists were brilliant. You’re sitting in these benches today, you may be here because you’re searching for answers or your family or partner is catholic or you would like your children to be part of the church. I would implore you to speak to Father Dan or Fiona about the ABC course, you will not regret it.