Welcome home, Catholic converts.
It felt like on Easter the Catholic Church welcomes a million new members worldwide. It has been a long journey for them through the RCIA program as they are now in the home stretch of the program. They have just become members of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church. Now, they wonder what they shall do next.
The first thing you must do is attend Mass more often and receive the Eucharist as often as possible: the Catholic Faith is not a once-a-week thing. Rather, it must be a part of your daily routine. In addition to incorporating a prayer routine while also making a plan to attend Sunday Mass and or Daily Mass, here are some things our new members can do.
Join a Spiritual Reflection Group
This can be bible study, young adult group, reading a Catholic-themed book or even watching a spiritual-themed movie. Take time to reflect on its true meaning. Even be prepared to share your thoughts on what is being discussed.
Get Involved or Volunteer in Service Outreaches
Some vary from homeless, pro-life, special needs, or visits to those imprisoned, sick, or even homebound. Even consider running a collection drive to benefit those in need in the community.
Join the Knights of Columbus
This is geared towards Catholic men. Some men who join the church feel the call to become a better Catholic man through the oldest Catholic fraternity founded by a humble priest named Blessed Michael J McGivney. The Knights of Columbus has been helping those in need since 1882 and has grown to more than two million men worldwide. Learn more at kofc.org/join.
Dive Deeper into the Catholic Faith
By now, you may have questions following a weekly RCIA session. It shows that your spiritual heart needs satisfaction. Consider listening to Catholic podcasts that range from apologetics, church teachings, and even the lives of the saints. YouTube has a myriad of channels that await your click. Even consider reading books from authors like Shaun McAfee, Dr. Scott Hahn, Kevin Vost, et al.
Tell Your Story
You have a story to share. Why not tell it? Someone inspired you to join the church. Perhaps, it can be the spark for others to consider becoming a part of the one true church.
Your faith is not meant to be in a box like it’s a part of some storage. It must be shared to give hope to the hopeless.
Attend Young Adult Events
For those who are under 40, this is a tremendous opportunity for you to meet like-minded people who will help you in your faith journey. The young adults who are Catholic are not the future of the church; they are the now of the church. Many vocations have been fostered over the years since the papacy of St. John Paul the Great and many aspiring members of the clergy.
As someone who has been involved with the young adult scene for more than a decade, I have found solitude and comfort in the challenge to strive for sainthood while inspiring others to live out their faith that many of their peers and loved ones take for granted. The need for a community can be fulfilled when you come out of your comfort zone and meet those who are on the same journey as you.
Build Spiritual Habits
Since becoming Catholic, how has your prayer routine been? Have you prayed in the morning, evening, and all the times in between? During RCIA, you’ve learned about the rosary, but you may struggle to know all 20 mysteries and how to properly pray it. Here are the mysteries and step-by-step guide to this devotion here.
In the era of apps, I recommend the Hallow App which is rich with prayers, novenas, spiritual challenges, and even homilies from Fr. Mike Schmitz and Bishop Robert Barron. It was recently ranked No. 1 in spiritual downloads and was started by a group of Catholics from Notre Dame University.
Consider also making a weekly Holy Hour. Maybe you can’t do a full hour. Break it down for a week or two. Then, when you’re ready, set aside one full hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Bring a spiritual reading with you. St. Alphonsus Ligouri has a guide that can help in your 60 minutes before the lord here.
New Catholics, you are just getting started. As the saying goes, “Can’t stop. Won’t stop.”
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