Updated: Apr 22
For the past two years, Covid-19 has halted many programmes, activities and rites for RCIA candidates at both the Church and Archdiocese levels. During this time, most parishes tried their level best to facilitate the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) classes to help candidates prepare for the Sacrament of Initiation - Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion on Easter Vigil.
On Wednesday, 30 March 2022, our Parish’s RCIA coordinator invited our candidates to be physically present for a 3-hour spiritual recollection in the Church. They spent the first two hours talking about their spiritual journey, while reflecting and finding their way to God, as well as discovering the importance of prayer life as they walk towards Catholicism. At the end of the session, the candidates were given several questions for their own reflection, and homework about their journey - whether they feel ready to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.
During the last one hour of their recollection, the candidates were taken into the church to spend a few minutes gazing in silence at the Blessed Sacrament. The Blessed Sacrament, which is Jesus “truly and really present in the Holy Eucharist” was exposed to them next to the baptismal font, which is where they will be baptised on Easter Vigil. The font at our Church is made of timber logs and has been a permanent fixture at the sanctuary since the 1970s. The candidates were then anointed with the Oil of Catechumens (also known as the Oil of Exorcism) which is traditionally applied before adult baptism takes place. The oil is believed to strengthen, help turn away from evil and to avoid temptation and sin.
When the spiritual recollection was over, the candidates were taken on a short tour inside the church while being briefed about the Stations of the Cross. They were also given a short lesson about our Parish and the religious items displayed in and around the church. Hopefully the tour has opened-up their eyes, hearts and minds as they gained insight into the rich history and significance of the Catholic Church and of our Parish.
The Rites of Election and Scrutinies have been held since the First Sunday of Lent, during the different Masses. The candidates were present at the different Masses to introduce them to the various language groups within our Parish. This way, all our Parishioners will get to know and welcome them into our community.
This current 2021/2022 RCIA session will end on the Feast of Pentecost and soon after, we will begin welcoming new candidates. St Thomas Church would like to encourage all its Parishioners to introduce people into our RCIA program for the year 2022/2023 as “we are called to be ambassadors of Christ, to convey the message of Christ and to be His witnesses to the end of the Earth” (cf. Acts 1: 8).
We pray for our current candidates - as well as the many others in various parishes throughout our Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur - as they prepare for their baptism; that they will be drawn closer to Jesus and to the Catholic Church - “draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (James 4: 8).