Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (and Children)
This is the process through which the Catholic faith and way of life are progressively introduced to interested adults and older children — either not baptised or baptised in a non-Catholic Christian church. Children who were not baptised as infants are also initiated by this rite through an adapted process, sometimes unofficially referred to as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children (RCIC).
Unconfirmed adult Catholics also go through this process to prepare for confirmation. This is a period of reflection, prayer, teaching, discernment, and formation. Those who join the process are encouraged to take as much time as they need and go at their own pace. It is expected that those entering the process will begin to attend Holy Mass on Sundays, attend a weekly RCIA session, and become involved in the process.
Classes at Good Shepherd Parish , Kelmscott
The next Inquiry classes for adults are scheduled on an as needed basis (i.e. when we have people who are interested in attending class). Call the office for more information. Those who begin these classes would be able to continue on to the Catechumenate once completed. You can join these classes at any time through the summer. However, if you start too late then you may not be able to baptised into the Church during Easter.
Other ways to prepare
Becoming a Catholic Christian is an internal as well as an external process. God is not calling you to simply act like a Christian but to BE a Christian through an internal conversion and ascent to Him. He is calling you to a relationship of love and obedience to Him. There are many ways you can begin to learn about the Faith before, during, and after the RCIA classes. Some of these are:
Pray: Begin praying in your own way and words. God is not aloof and distant: He is close at hand and waiting for you to invite Him into your heart and your life. However, He respects your freedom to say "no"; so, start saying "yes" with prayer.
Begin attending mass: as a non Catholic you cannot receive Holy Communion during the mass; however, all are welcome to come to the mass and begin receiving the richness of this 2000 plus year old tradition.
Read about the Church and the Lives of the Saints: There are many good books and web sites with information on the Church and the various saints throughout history. However, there are very many bad websites and books as well! By "bad" is simply meant they are misleading or provide false information about the Catholic Church: so be careful what you read.
Pickup a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) or view it online here.
Read the Bible: The bible is the Word of God in that the human authors were writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The only authoritative interpreter of the bible is the Church established by Christ, i.e. the Catholic Church. However, God wills that you read the Bible and begin to learn about the history of His love for you! For some information on reading the Bible click here.