Marriage a stepping stone to the Catholic faith for Bateman parishioners
Ryen Osorio, third left, and James Mead, fifth left, celebrate their initiation as full members of the Catholic Church with Bateman parish priest Fr Phong Nguyen and other Neophytes. Photo: Michael Chong
By Rachel Curry
James Mead and Ryen Osorio may have been introduced to the Catholic Church by their spouses, but theirs was a personal journey of faith which led to their Baptisms last month.
The pair were among a large group to be welcomed into the Catholic faith at St Thomas More Parish in Bateman on Easter Saturday, after completing the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).
The RCIA guides participants through a period of learning and discussion about the Catholic faith, before they receive the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist – at the Easter Vigil.
Participants include Catechumens, who have not been baptised, and Candidates, who have been baptised in another Christian denomination.
James Mead holds up the Oil of Catechumens during the Easter Vigil at St Thomas More Parish in Bateman. Photo: Michael Chong
For Mr Mead, his conversion to Catholicism was the culmination of a long period of faith formation, which started when he attended a Catholic high school as a non-religious student.
“My faith grew slowly… I didn’t consider joining the Church until I got married, because my wife, Heather, was Catholic,” he said.
“After my daughter was born, we got her baptised and started going to Mass regularly. It became a very enjoyable thing to do and I became interested in becoming a full member of the Church.”
Mr Mead said the Bateman parish and particularly the Core Group, which helped the participants grow in knowledge and faith through the RCIA process, were very open and welcoming.
“The knowledge of the Core Group itself is fabulous. Any questions that I had that I couldn’t find answers to, they could give me,” he said.
“The thing that really struck me was how much more joy could be taken from life through time in prayer and being taught how to pray properly.”
Ryen Osorio participates in the Offertory Procession during the Easter Vigil at St Thomas More Parish in Bateman. Photo: Michael Chong
Mrs Osorio, who comes from another Christian faith says she, like Mr Mead, was already familiar with the Catholic Church when she commenced the RCIA.
Her husband, Richie, and two children are Catholic and she had been attending Mass with them for many years.
She told The eRecord that she initially thought joining the Church would be a formality, but the RCIA process resonated with her on a deeper level.
“Basically, when I entered the program, I realised there’s actually something within me that I didn’t realise was there,” she said.
“It’s not just getting the title; I really learnt a lot from it.”
Mrs Osorio said, while her Baptism on Easter Saturday was joyful and exciting, she had experienced an emotional couple of days beforehand, when the significance of her conversion hit her.
“We attended Thursday night and Friday night, and those two services prior to my Baptism really moved me, almost to crying,” she said.
She added that she had always felt welcomed at Bateman and that it was a close-knit parish.
“You really get to know people. A simple smile makes you feel welcomed,” she said.
For more information about the RCIA, visit www.liturgy.perthcatholic.org.au.