Before his ascension into heaven, the Risen Lord commanded his disciples to “go out, teach, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” This is the fundamental mission of the Church: to make disciples.
The reason why we are commanded to make disciples is to make manifest the Church visible in the world, so that the Church, which is the community of disciples might worship God, teach the truth, and serve others in love. The Church, we understand, is the Body of Christ visible as a communion of persons: those in heaven, those awaiting heaven, and those alive here and now. As the great doctor of prayer, St Teresa, says: “Christ has no hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
The seven sacraments are the means by which our life within this Body of Christ is both initiated and nourished.
The three sacraments of initiation bring us into that life: the sacraments of Baptism, of Confirmation, and of the Most Holy Eucharist.
The two sacraments of healing maintain that faith as Christ walks the journey of life with us: the sacraments of Anointing of the Sick, and of Penance.
The two sacraments of proclamation and of growth allow that life in Christ to continue through time, and expand the Kingdom in two important ways: the sacraments of Holy Order, and of Marriage.
Since the time of the Lord, the Church has preached the Gospel by words and actions, and incorporated members into herself through the sacraments which were given to us by the Lord himself.
In our own time, as in the time of the Apostles, adult converts to Christ are initiated by the sacraments of Baptism, of Confirmation, and of the Most Holy Eucharist. The adoption of this life takes time and preparation, not only intellectual preparation, but also spiritual and moral preparation, and an ever more conscious growth into the person that God desires you to be. The church desires to baptise her new children on the night of resurrection itself, the Solemn Paschal Vigil, the night before Easter Day.
Every autumn, we begin a weekly year-long teaching course, Journey in Faith, open to all, exploring the fundamentals of the faith. Those who wish to become Catholic – particularly those who are not already baptised – would need to attend this teaching course. You would also be accompanied by a catechist [a lay teacher of the faith], as well as a priest, to get to know you more, and to help incoporate you into the Christian community over the course of the year. We explore not only the content of the faith in an intellectual way, but also explore growth in a life of prayer, in a life of love of others, and in a life of constant change and conversion to Jesus.
- If you are not baptised at all: we will walk together towards baptism at the right time, and discover your journey in faith together both individually, and in our group teaching sessions.
- If you are already baptised in another Christian community: your level of existing Christian practice is respected and brought to complete communion with Christ in the Catholic Church. You would be received at the earliest appropriate time on your own journey in faith. We recommend that you attend the teaching sessions anyway.
- If you are already a Catholic, but do not practice the faith, or you left the Church in the past: come along and have a chat with any of our priests; you are welcome to attend our open teaching sessions. We desire to welcome you home, no matter how far you may have traveled.
If you would like to become a Catholic, please contact the Cathedral Office [firstname.lastname@example.org], or contact any of the priests.