Becoming a disciple of Jesus is a life long journey. For most people this journey is accompanied by initiation in several stages. Some begin the stages of the journey as infants, some as school age children, some as adults. In all cases the same essential elements are:
- Baptism - acceptance of the Gospel and becoming a son or daughter of God,
- Confirmation - the reception of the fulness of the Holy Spirit,
- Communion - full admitance to the Eucharist and Christian community.
- For more information on Baptism, please click here.
- For more information on Confirmation, please click here.
- For more information on Communion, please click here.
(Reconciliation, or the Sacrament of Penance, formerly known as Confession,
is not one of the Sacraments of Initiation, and may be received at another time.)
* For infants, baptism usually occurs within months of birth and requires both preparation and post-baptismal instruction for the family to help them live out the Gospel call. The local church community also has a role to play in helping the growing child to know and love God and neighbour.
* For Baptised School Children (Years 3 & 4)
In the Diocese of Broken Bay the Sacramental Process continues after a child has reached the age of 8/9 with the reception of Confirmation - followed by Reconciliation and Communion. First Communion usually occurs in the year following Confirmation with preparation and support for the family from the community.
The preparation for Confirmation, Reconciliation and first Eucharist of children takes place within the family with assistance and facilitation by members of the parish community.
* For adults (RCIA)
The RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is designed for adults or young people who have left school. Initiation into the way of the Gospel and the Church through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharistic (Communion) usually occurs at the Vigil Mass of Easter.
The program also provides an opportunity for those who have been baptised in another Christian tradition, but who wish to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.
The journey towards these sacraments occurs over a period of six months or more and marked by several distinct steps and ceremonies. The steps or stages are found in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). The first stage is that of “inquiry” which may occur at any time!