New or returning to the Catholic Church?

  1. What do Catholics believe?
    - In brief: Apostles Creed (see q13. Penny Catechism)
    - In more detail: See the Catechism Resources
  2. Can I just turn-up at a chapel? 
    Yes, anyone can come (the chapels or Mass Centres are usually open 30mins before Mass starts - see the Mass Schedules).
    To follow the Mass, most people use a "missal for the faithful" (1962 edition or earlier). Alternatively, you can follow the Mass of the day on divinumofficium.com (option Missale).
  3. What do I need to wear?
    Modest and respectful clothes: at least smart casual.
  4. How can I become a Catholic?
    Talk to one of the priests after Mass in the sacristy or send an email to [email protected]. You will be enrolled on a course of instruction which may take up to a year. If your resolve remains firm and there are no obstacles, then you will be either received into the Church by baptism if you have never been baptised, or you will be reconcilled to the Church by a Profession of Faith, Absolution from censures, and by the supply (administration) of those ceremonies of baptism particular to the Catholic rite of baptism if they were never received.
  5. How can I simply learn more about the faith?
    Read and read some more.
    Listen to audio resources.
    Join a catechism group (email to [email protected])
  6. When can I go to confession?
    If you are already a baptised Catholic, all you need to do is join the confession queue at the confession times which are displayed on the noticeboard at the chapel.
    If you haven't been for a long time (over a year), make an appointment with a priest.
  7. How do I make a good Confession?
    Read the guide.
  8. How do I make a good Holy Communion?
    - Only Catholics who (a) have no known mortal sin on their conscience and (b) have fasted for at least an hour may receive Holy Communion.
    - As the priest turns around to pronounce the words of absolution, renew your act of contrition, and make the Sign of the Cross.
    - When the altar servers receive Holy Communion, go quietly up to the altar rail with hands devoutly folded, and kneel.
    - As the priest approaches to give you the Blessed Sacrament, moderately raise your head, open your mouth, resting the end of your tongue on the lower lip. While receiving communion reflect on the words which the priest then utters: “May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve your soul unto life everlasting. Amen.” After this, return to your place, having your eyes cast down and hands again reverently folded.
    - Make a thanksgiving.
    Read the guide.