News

Newly Planted Catholics Cause for Joyous Celebration

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
6 May 2016

Bishop Terry Brady celebrated a Paschal Eucharist Mass last weekend, an annual Mass of Thanksgiving organised by the Catechumenate Office for the neophytes of the Archdiocese, who were baptised or received into the Catholic Church at Easter. Celebrated at St Mary's Cathedral, over 70 neophytes were present along with representatives from their 15 parishes and communities.

The term neophyte means 'newly planted' and is used to describe those newly initiated in their first year of being Catholic. This period is an important time for post-baptismal catechesis, where the new Catholic reflects on their Easter experience in the context of belonging to a faith community and grows in their knowledge and practice of the faith.

Catherine Hilder, Director of the Catechumenate Office said it was a joyous occasion in which the neophytes, along with members of their parish communities, gathered for the first time since becoming Catholic to celebrate Eucharist with the Bishop. Bishop Brady presented the new Catholics with a small gift at the presentation which was held after the Mass in the Chapter Hall.

"I'm particularly grateful to Bishop Brady for making the presentation and to the RCIA teams who along with their parish priests have done so much to welcome our new members of the Church," said Catherine.

The annual Mass is also a time for the Church to offer grateful prayers for priests, catechists, those involved in the Catechumenate Office and the RCIA programs and others involved in formation of those seeking to enter the Church.

Every year hundreds of people decide to become Catholic and each one has their own special story. Each is drawn to the Church by different experiences and circumstances and the number of those entering the Church at Easter in the Archdiocese of Sydney continues to show a steady increase.

Many of those who take part in the RCIA program (the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) are young men and women in their 20s and 30s. Earlier this year Auxiliary Bishop Brady welcomed 228 catechumens and 49 candidates into the Church during the Rite of Election ceremony held at St Mary's Cathedral.

For more information about the process of entering the Catholic Church go to www.rcia.org.au