Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
The RCIA will help you gain a full understanding of the Catholic faith and all its teachings. It supports you, as you seek to respond more deeply to Jesus Christ, and to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.
Here at St Peter’s Woolwich, we know that the mission of the Catholic Church is bringing people to Christ and we will be starting a new Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).
The RCIA will help you gain a full understanding of the Catholic faith and all its teachings. It supports you, as you seek to respond more deeply to Jesus Christ, and to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. If, by next Easter, you are ready to receive your Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, First Holy Communion, Confirmation), this will take place at the Easter Vigil Mass.
Existing Catholics who would welcome some refreshment in understanding Catholic beliefs and teaching are also most welcome to sit in).
What is the RCIA?
The RCIA exists to help you gain a good understanding of the Catholic faith and all its teachings. We support you, as you seek to respond more deeply to Jesus Christ, and to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. It is a process of conversion where you can find space and time to come face to face with the Risen Lord Jesus and really see His face in others also. The RCIA teaches Christ and it aims to bring you into full communion with the Catholic Church through the sacraments of initiation which are Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation.
We will meet each Saturday afternoon from 3 to 4 p.m. in Pugin Place (next to the church). Occasionally we will meet in the Church itself. The first meeting is to be announced. There will be some breaks e.g. during Christmas and New Year.
How do I join?
Please get in touch with the Parish office to register or if you have any questions. We aim to make these sessions fruitful and enjoyable for everyone and we will be delighted to assist you - particularly if you have any special needs, concerns or disabilities – even if English is not your first language.
What happens when I get there?
This precious time at the RCIA is time to retreat from the cares of the outside world for an hour or so each
week, to learn about the Catholic faith and the Church that Jesus Christ himself founded. During this period of
personal conversion we will be praying, meditating on Sacred Scripture and studying the Catechism (the teaching of the Catholic church) on a variety of different teachings and beliefs. Then at Easter 2023 you will receive the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion) at a special Easter vigil service. The RCIA is about exploring and learning about the Catholic faith in a systematic way – through attending weekly
sessions. If you aim to be received into the Catholic Church next Easter, you must attend session. An attendance record will be kept and any missed weeks may result in you not being able to make good progress. The Parish Priest will ultimately decide whether you are sufficiently prepared.
To get the most out of the RCIA you are expected to turn up, on time, every week (phones switched off please). First, we pray together to the Holy Spirit for enlightenment as He plays the most important role in your conversion! Then we listen and engage with what is being explained and taught. Ask as many questions as you like – it is
important that you do. The only ‘daft’ question is the one you didn’t ask! Enjoy yourself!
What do I need?/Is there any cost?
The RCIA is free and you will be given the necessary materials such as hand outs and a Catholic prayer book. It’s a good idea to bring a notebook and pen, and a folder to keep your handouts safe for the future. Snacks and drinks will be provided.
What if I miss one of the sessions?
Please note that catechists are volunteers who give up their free time to be there for you, prepare and give the teachings. We have our own commitments during the week so there is no opportunity to repeat sessions. We think you are worth the effort but we expect you to give your full commitment to this too! If you are genuinely ill we will do our best to help you understand what went on the week before but we hope you will commit fully to the programme.
When will I be received into full communion with the Catholic Church?
If, by Easter 2023, you are ready to receive your Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation), this will take place at: The Easter Vigil Mass next year 2023 at St Peter’s Woolwich.
Babies and Children
We do not have childcare facilities, so please make arrangements for childcare at home. If you genuinely cannot get anyone to take care of the children you can bring them along on the understanding that they must sit quietly and not run around - this will be your responsibility. Your babies and toddlers can be baptised at the same service as yourself at Easter! Also, please keep an eye on the newsletter for children’s Holy Communion and Confirmation programmes which are run separately.
The Parish Office on 0208 8540359.