Becoming a Catholic (Sacraments of Initiation I)
Those interested in becoming Catholics might well first talk with other Catholics, and, of course, come along to Church, where we hope they will feel welcome. They are also encouraged to talk with the Parish Priest at an early stage of enquiring. Please also read below, under Adults and Teenagers.
Those wishing for the Baptism of their child/ren will need to talk with the Parish Priest, at one of our Saturday/Sunday Masses, well before making any other plans for the special day. At this first stage, the priest will give a few brief details and arrange for the parents to then meet with him, to progress the preparations further. Please also read below, under Younger Children and Baptism of Infants
In each case, the priest can provide more detail, highlight any special requirements, and bring them to the next appropriate preparation programme.
Details of when programmes are running are also given in our Parish Bulletin.
Adults and Teenagers
Many adults who wish to consider becoming Catholics have already been Baptised (Christened) in another Church, but others have not. In both cases they would be asked to follow a course of enquiry, prayer and discussion with a priest, others interested, and one or more other Baptised Catholics, meeting regularly (maybe about fortnightly) through several months. The length of time would vary, depending on how much experience they have of our Catholic Church, and on their individual needs. Any not Baptised would normally be Baptised during the Vigil on the (Saturday) Eve of Easter Sunday, whereas any already Baptised might also be Received into our Church at other special times (eg Advent or Whit Sunday).
Teenagers would follow a similar programme, but at a level appropriate to their age and experience. Parental support would be a consideration, and more especially the younger the teenager.
Those becoming Catholics as adults and teenagers would commonly be Baptised (if not already) or Received, Confirmed and make their First Communion at Mass. and all on the same day.
Younger Children (aged 7+)
Would normally be considered to become members of our Church where at least one of their parents or guardians is already a Baptised Catholic or is also seeking to become a Catholic. The amount and level of learning, prayer and discussion with children would depend on their age. Our own Diocese of Leeds is one where the Sacrament of Confirmation might well be delayed until such a child is older (see Confirmation).
Baptism of Infants (to age 7)
Infants might normally be Baptised where at least one of the parents or guardians is a Catholic. As an infant is too young to decide for his/her self, the Faith and example of the Catholic parent or guardian is all important. Within our Parish we regularly run a programme (usually over two evenings) of preparation for parents of children to be baptised. We are delighted that almost all parents who are not Catholic also come to these. Godparents are welcome too, but we do ask parents to arrange baby-sitters, so as not to have to bring their child/ren. It is also important that parents do not appoint Godparents until they know what is required for people to be Godparents.