Salisbury Catholic Parish
Salisbury Catholic Parish Archdiocese of Adelaide

Become a Catholic RCIA in our Community

The Journey of a Catechumen

“Joyful in hope and faithful in service”

I rejected all forms of spirituality in my teens, going on to study Philosophy at University where I tried to analyse the existence of God through logic. This fierce 'scientific' stance persisted right through my adult years. I focused on what I saw to be the shortcomings of organized religion, blaming it for many of the ills in the world; poverty, war, famine. Vehemently independent, I strode through the challenges of life, proud of the fact that I needed no help from anyone.

Then, when I least expected it, I was diagnosed with MS; multiple sclerosis. I was shocked, scared, incredulous and very angry. This couldn't be happening to me, I was a fitness freak, a bodybuilder, a mother in her 50's raising a child more or less on her own.

I realized that I wasn't invincible; I did need help from someone, somewhere. And so began my journey.

I also realized my journey had already begun long before my diagnosis. I had made enquiries some years before, when I was married to a Catholic man, but it all seemed too hard at the time so I didn't pursue it. I had been to Mass many times, two of my children went to Catholic schools, I even sang in the choir of a well-known Catholic church! But I always felt “on the outer”, like I didn't fully belong. I now longed to belong.

I went to see Father Paul to see if it would be possible given my circumstances had changed. He informed me that of course I could “become a Catholic” and gave me details of the RCIA groups that were about to start in his parish. I must say I was astonished at the joy those words gave me.

Discussions began, and right from the start I was made welcome even though I felt as though I knew nothing. Indeed, it was an interesting experience, as a teacher, to have the roles reversed. I had not even been baptised so I had a long way to go. I was determined to put in 100% effort so I did all my “homework”, reflecting on scripture readings and learning a whole new vocabulary; sacraments, liturgy, initiation, confirmation, reconciliation, the list seemed endless! I even started to understand prayer.

I enjoyed the open-ended question/answer structure of the sessions; we were encouraged to reflect ad discuss rather than be told “the right answer”. Much to my surprise, I found myself looking forward to the sessions, and in between, going to Mass and it all starting to make sense. I was starting to feel as though I was part of a community, made possible by God's unending love. The Easter Vigil came at last, along with my baptism, confirmation and communion. What an amazing experience; I really did feel reborn and ready to do God's will in the spirit of Right Judgement and Courage. I am still excited by the question posed at Pentecost, “What sort of a person might I become if I allow myself to be moved by the Holy Spirit?” I am constantly rewarded by using my talents for good.

I now know I have someone to trust, to count on, to be my guide, but above all someone who loves me and will go on loving me: “lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age”. MATTHEW 28:20

I am blessed with the love of God, the life of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.

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