• St Lawrence & Mary Immacualate, Balcatta   ||   St Theresa, Gwelup
  • banner1a.jpg
  • the-lamb-of-god.jpg
  • banner3a.jpg
  • banner-6.jpg
  • banner-5.jpg
  • banner2a.jpg

RCIA - Purification and Enlightenment

In the early Church, baptisms only occurred at Easter; so the weeks before Easter were a focused time of preparation for catechumens. This period evolved into what we know as Lent. Today, for catechumens and candidates, the role of Lent as a period of final preparation for initiation has been restored.

This stage begins with the Rite of Election which normally occurs on the First Sunday of Lent. Catechumens and candidates are presented to the Bishop of the diocese at the cathedral. The catechumens' names are inscribed in a Book of the Elect and candidates commit to continuing conversion.

During the Period of Purification, catechumens participate in several rites during parish liturgies. On the third, fourth and fifth Sundays of Lent are Scrutinies, during which special prayers are offered for the catechumens "to uncover, then heal all that is weak, defective or sinful in the hearts of the elect; to bring out then strengthen all that is upright, strong and good." (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, no. 141).

During the First Scrutiny or the week afterward, the catechumens are presented with a copy of the Creed. During the Third Scrutiny or the week afterward, they are given a copy of the Lord's Prayer in accord with ancient tradition in which catechumens were not taught the words to the Lord's Prayer until soon before their baptism.


In the early Church, the Easter Vigil was the only liturgy of the year in which people joined the Church. This was because at Easter we celebrate Christ's victory over death and our sharing in that victory through baptism. The journey during that all-night vigil was a journey from darkness to light, from death to life. This is the journey that new Christians share as they descend and rise from the waters of baptism in which they are reborn.

At the Easter Vigil, catechumens are baptized and confirmed; candidates are confirmed. The new Catholics complete their initiation by approaching the Lord's table for the first time to receive His Body as full members of His Body at last.


Four stages in the RCIA:

- the Precatechumenate, or period of inquiry and evangelization;

- the Catechumenate, which is a time of serious and dedicated formation;

- the Period of Purification and Enlightenment, which coincides with Lent;

- and Mystagogy (Greek, meaning "interpretation of mystery") which lasts from Easter to Pentecost.

Mass Times

Mon - Sat 9:00am & 1st Fri of the month 7:30pm
Wed 10:30am at Gwelup

Sat 6:00pm (Vigil)
Sun 8:30am, 10:00am (Italian), 12noon (Croatian), 5:00pm
Sun 11:30am at Gwelup

Every 4th Sunday of the month at 5:00pm


Reconciliation is available every morning during the week
before 9am Mass in St Lawrence church.

Fri 8:30am - 8:55am
1st Fri 8:30am - 8:55am & 7:00pm - 7:25pm
Sat 5:15pm - 5:55pm or by appointment.
(during Advent and Lent 15 minutes before 9:00am Mass)

Sun after 11:30am Mass or by appointment.

© Balcatta/Gwelup Parish
Parish Facebook