Anyone interested in exploring the possibility of becoming Catholic should contact the Parish Secretary in the first instance and provide his or her contact details. A member of St Teresa’s Parish will contact an inquirer to outline the first steps and to arrange a meeting with a Priest of the Parish. The process followed depends on whether or not an inquirer is baptised and whether or not he or she has had any church involvement as an adult.
The New Zealand Bishops have designated the “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults “(RCIA) as the process for receiving unbaptised adults into the Catholic Church. After a period of inquiry, persons wishing to proceed towards Initiation become Catechumens – a status they maintain for at least a year while they undertake learning about, and experience of, the Catholic faith in action. The Catholic Initiation of Catechumens, consisting of the Rites of: Baptism; Confirmation; and First Holy Communion, usually occurs at the Parish’s Easter Vigil (Saturday night) Mass.
Adults baptised by any recognised Christian church, but who have had little or no adult church experience, will, as Candidates for reception into the Catholic Church, follow an adapted RCIA process similar in content and length of time to that undertaken by Catechumens, but which recognises their baptismal status. Their preparation also usually culminates at the Easter Vigil Mass with the Rites of: Reception into the Catholic Church; Confirmation; and First Holy Communion.
Baptised persons who have practised as adults in another Christian church and decide, after a period of inquiry, to seek full communion with the Catholic Church will undertake a shorter preparation for the Rites of: Reception into the Catholic Church; Confirmation; and First Holy Communion. Their reception will usually take place at a Sunday Mass in the Parish, in consultation with the Candidate and his or her family.
The Parish Community joins in liturgical celebrations with Catechumens and Candidates at a number of points in their preparation for reception into the Catholic Church and supports them through prayer and including them in Parish activities.