By Caroline Smith
For Willetton parishioner, Holly Bentley, the decision to convert to the Catholic faith was inspired by her encounter with some of its Sacraments, including Marriage and Baptism.
Ms Bentley recently graduated from the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) process run through Sts John and Paul in Willetton, and said she first thought about joining the Church while preparing to get married.
“I first became familiar with RCIA when I was in the process of marrying my husband, Zach, last December,” she said.
“Zach was raised as a cradle Catholic, and we attended marriage counselling with Father Thai and met our Catholic marriage sponsors to help prepare us for our big day and beyond.
“Leading up to the wedding, I was curious to learn more about the religion my husband was raised with.”
In addition, Ms Bentley was chosen as godmother to her niece Madison last year, providing her with further contact with Church Sacraments and teachings.
“This was a huge honour and it made me want to learn more about the Catholic faith,” she said, adding that what she learned had helped consolidate values and views that she herself had been raised with.
After that, she decided to join the local RCIA group and work towards receiving the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist – which she did on Easter Saturday, alongside other group members.
Ms Bentley commended the process for its support and guidance.
“It has been a journey and, the more you put in, the more you get out of it,” she said.
“I’ve been blown away with the kindness and inclusiveness Howard (Ong, group coordinator), the candidates and other sponsors have shown me.
“Howard told us earlier in the course ‘during the process, try to have an open heart’- this statement has stuck with me throughout the journey.”
With her entry into the RCIA group, Ms Bentley became a Catechumen – someone who seeks Baptism into the Catholic faith – and the process also welcomes Candidates, who have been baptised but wish to receive full Communion.
Ms Bentley said the people in RCIA – including her friend, Jody, who did the process with her – were one of the best things about it.
“Along the way, I have met some wonderful people,” she said.
“Rosanne, my sponsor, has been an outstanding role model and has offered consistent support and guidance to me at all times.
“I look forward to what’s to come and am excited to continue as a member at Sts John and Paul Catholic Church.”