Through the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, the Church welcomes new members into the faith community. ‘The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life.’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, article 1212).
Christian baptism is the first Sacrament of Initiation. In the waters of baptism we are initiated into the Church as children of God and commissioned to live as Christ’s followers. Anointed by the Spirit, we are cleansed from sin and begin new life in Christ.
The Sacrament of Confirmation confirms our baptism and leads us to the
Eucharistic table. For those baptised as infants, this rite is celebrated at the same time or shortly before First Eucharist. Candidates renew their baptismal commitment and are sealed with the Holy Spirit.
The celebration of Eucharist is the culmination of the initiation process. We offer thanks to God and share communion with Christ and each other. Through our faithful celebration of the Eucharist we are given strength to live out our mission as proclaimers of the Gospel and witnesses of Christ’s love.
It is the privilege and responsibility of the local faith community to hand on the faith to the next generation, a process that involves a partnership between families and the faith community, including Catholic schools. The community offers support to candidates and families during and beyond the initiation process.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the model for all initiation of adults and children of catechetical age. Infants depend upon their parents and godparents to be examples of their faith and are baptised according to the Rite of Baptism of Children.
To find out more about the process of initiation please contact your local parish community.
- Undertake training & formation for their own development
- Invite parents/parishioners to be group leaders and provide training
- Inform the parish of the process for the celebration of the sacraments
- Invite families to present their children for the Sacraments of Initiation
- Organise a formal process for enrollment
- Help parents discern the readiness of their children
- Create and develop links with parish networks
- Liaise with liturgy personnel for the celebration of the sacraments
It is in the family where children receive the help and example needed to live a Christian life and share in Jesus’ mission. It is in the home that children first experience God’s love and learn about Jesus.
Parents, as primary educators, present their children for initiation into the Christian community.
There are many experiences that can occur in the home, through which parents can assist their children in their journey to full initiation in the Church, such as:
- Making the sign of the cross on the forehead, and praying before bed each night
- Making Sunday a special day
- Setting up a prayer space at home, including Christian symbols, such as the cross, candles, the Bible etc.
- Praying Grace before meals
- Joining the Parish community for Mass on Sunday
- Explaining various Catholic customs
- Lighting a baptismal candle on birthdays and baptismal anniversaries
- Reflecting together on the day’s happenings.
- Talking about the sacraments and enjoying the beauty of creation, and talking about God, our creator.
The Catholic school supports families in their important role of passing on the faith to their children. The school assists the family in the process of initiation into the Church by:
- Providing opportunities for prayer and personal reflection
- Providing an environment that fosters Gospel values
- Informing families about the processes available in the parish
- Providing learning and teaching about the sacraments across the years
- Supporting the parish preparation for the sacraments
- Providing opportunities for ritual prayer and sacramental celebrations