Home 9 Article 9 Becoming Catholic | Ko te Hīkoi ki te Hāhi Katorika

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Dio Comms Team

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February 23, 2024

Becoming Catholic – he Hīkoi Taumano involves immersing oneself in a community of believers who embrace the presence of God by opening their hearts and minds to the teachings of Jesus Christ found in the scriptures, celebrating their faith through liturgy, and embodying their beliefs in their daily lives.

Some current RCIA candidates reflect on their experiences below.

The journey towards embracing the Catholic faith, as experienced by individuals participating in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), reflects a rich tapestry of personal growth, community support, and spiritual discovery. Participants, coming from diverse backgrounds, share a common thread in their pursuit of a deeper understanding and connection with the Catholic tradition.

Several teachers among those taking part in RCIA found their interest in Catholicism sparked by their school environment. This curiosity evolved into a quest for knowledge, significantly enhanced by the sense of belonging and acceptance within the Catholic community. The welcoming nature of this community, likened to an extended family, has been a source of motivation and comfort, enriching the participant’s journey towards faith.


“The feeling you get when you belong to a community is uplifting and motivating - it feels like my whanau has expanded.”

Challenges along the journey have been varied, from reconciling previous atheistic views with newfound beliefs to navigating the nuances of Catholic worship and doctrine. Despite these hurdles, the sense of determination and the pursuit of discernment have remained strong, guiding individuals through moments of doubt and uncertainty. The support system provided by sponsors, fellow RCIA participants, and the broader church community has been invaluable, offering guidance, encouragement, and practical support such as blessed rosaries, which have deepened the participants’ connection to their faith.


“My sponsor's given me a lot of helpful advice and study, and another Church member kindly gifted me a blessed rosary. I'm very thankful.”

Rituals and milestones within the RCIA process, such as the Rite of placing names in the book, have served as significant moments of spiritual deepening and commitment. Even for those who have felt a distance from God, these ceremonies have been pivotal in fostering a closer relationship with the divine and the essence of Catholicism.


“Attending the Rite when we placed our names in the book. It was a very spiritual moment.”

As the group look forward to the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, there is a shared hope for transformation. This transformation is not only envisioned as a personal renewal but also as a step towards leading a life more closely aligned with God’s will—a life that is reflective of Christian values. The anticipation of these sacraments brings with it a commitment to continue the journey of faith, including regular participation in church activities, prayer, and acts of service that demonstrate the teachings of Christ.


“I hope that friends and family will notice my commitment to the Faith even when it's hard.”

In preparing for Easter and the special church ceremonies, individuals shared about the aspects of their lives that require divine assistance, such as the need for guidance in slowing down and being present. The approach to demonstrating faith in daily life includes practical steps such as attending Mass regularly, engaging in daily prayer, and supporting others through acts of kindness and service.


“I want to attend church regularly and take part in one of the ministries, such as singing and being a Eucharistic Minister.”

These reflections from those taking part in RCIA highlight a journey marked by personal transformation, community support, and spiritual enlightenment. The path to becoming part of the Catholic Church, while unique to each individual, is unified by the collective experience of seeking a deeper connection with God and living out the teachings of Christ within the church community and beyond.

The path to joining the Catholic Church unfolds gradually, with the timeframe varying from one individual to another. This journey guides adults towards receiving the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist (Holy Communion), surrounded by the support of the Catholic community.

However, the journey extends beyond these milestones – embracing Catholicism is a continuous, lifelong journey of faith transformation for everyone in the Catholic community.

What does this journey entail?

The journey of becoming a Catholic, as outlined in the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults, progresses through four phases and stages:

(i) The initial phase of evangelisation or inquiry, culminating in the Rite of Acceptance.

(ii) The catechumenate phase, a period of formation in Christian life and deepening one’s commitment to Jesus Christ and Christian living, leading to The Rite of Election.

(iii) The period of purification and enlightenment during Lent, a time dedicated to intense preparation and prayer for the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation. This period includes the celebration of scrutinies, blessings, and rituals, building up to Easter and the reception of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.

(iv) ‘Initiation’ signifies the commencement of a new chapter – the period of Mystagogia following the Easter Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist offers a chance to reflect on and deepen the understanding and experience of living with the sacraments within the faith community. But, the journey doesn’t conclude here…

Initiation is merely the start of an ongoing, lifelong journey of faith transformation.

 – Text taken from the National Liturgy Office

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