In 1996, the About Being Catholic programme began in St. Joseph's, as a local version of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Through this, many adults and children have been received into the Catholic Church.
The programme is a very complete and practical introduction to the Catholic faith, open to both Catholics and non-Catholics, to those regularly at mass and those who are thinking of returning, to those who definitely want to become Catholic, and those who just want more information.
It is held over a period of 30 weeks, covering different aspects of the faith each week, including doctrines, prayers, sacraments, devotions and church social teachings. The group is primarily instructed by the priests, and it is made up of Catholics and non-Catholics who come t share their faith and experiences of Catholic life. All receive instruction and participate in the discussions in groups. This allows each person to say what they have learnt, or what still puzzles them. Through this, the entire group is enriched.
The evening of the Easter Vigil is very special, and is the climax for those of the ABC group who have made the decision to enter into the Catholic faith. The candidate's preparation for the Vigil mass begins with a practice in the church on the morning, including a period of prayer. Each candidate with their sponsor rehearses under the guidance of the priests each step of their reception into the Church. This can involve baptism, as well as confirmation and Holy Communion.
Each year, many members of the group return to take part in the programme. Some like to share their new found faith, whilst others wish to receive more instruction.