RCIA Testimonials

June 18, 2022

Welcome to our community

The Rite of Christian Initiation is the process that the Catholic church provides for those adults and older children who are baptised into other Christian denominations and those who are unbaptised who desire to become Catholic. In our parish the opportunity to begin this faith journey is offered all year round and culminates in baptisms at the Easter Vigil and reception of the baptised at appropriate times during the year depending on past faith experiences. In 2022 at Easter we welcomed Kim Gorrero, Raquel Kaya, Colin Shah andBhlane Doyle. At Pentecost we welcomedChontelleScrine, Emma King and Kava Mo’unga.

Raquel Kaya is a mother of three and was inspired to join the RCIA whilst attending Holy Communion lessons in the parish in 2019 with her eldest son Jacob, who had also, together with her daughter Willow, been baptised in accordance with the Catholic faith of her partner, Dominic. Dominic grew up in our parish and his parents Jenny and Ivan Jarosevski, are known to many in the parish.  Raquel joined a mother’s group Alpha with Willow, aged two, in the home of Diane Redmayne in early 2020 and continued instructions with breaks due to Covid and the birth of Jameson in November 2021 as well as dealing with health issues.

Kim Gorrero is a mother of two boys, Jaylen and Dilon, and her husband Gino grew up in our parish. She attended a daytime mother’s Alpha run by Diane Redmayne, in the second half of 2017 in the parish meeting room with Jaylen, an infant. The family moved away from the area and then returned in 2021 with a new child, Dilon. At this time Kim was able to join those preparing to become Catholic at Easter 2022. Kim was inspired to become Catholic when her son Jaylen was baptised.

“Before my RCIA journey I already knew God is love and thought that it was enough to keep God in my heart. But when my first born was baptised, I saw the significant beauty of it all and knew there was more to my journey and wanted to take the next steps and be baptised.I’ve learnt there’s no right or wrong way to pray and that prayer is powerful and prayer is everything.

When I completed Alpha in 2017, it was very informative, helpful and inspiring. It was a safe and great space for learning more about my faith journey and meeting other people in the community on their own faith journey; together we had many great conversations about God.

The RCIA community has been very welcoming, supportive and warm. Everyone I’ve met along the way has made my journey extra special and meaningful. During our sessions, we would watch some short videos which were very informative and helpful. After each video we would have a group discussion about the video.

The mentorship throughout my spiritual journey was supportive and Diane was always there to guide me. If I was unable to attend a meet up, information would be given either by aquick phone call, email, text or the next time we saw each other face to face.

The parish community have always been so welcoming and friendly. Both Father Shane and Bishop Brian are caring, compassionate and understanding. FatherShane’s homilies are understandable and he delivers positive messages for me to understand what has been written in the Bible. My family and I are very proud to be part of this community. My heart is so happy and grateful to be on this faith journey.”

Colin Shah was studying a Commerce degree at university and living at home when he began to explore the Catholic faith during the Covid lockdown of 2020.

He engaged with other like-minded students in campus groups and this led him to enquire in our parish about becoming Catholic. He is the first in his family to take this step and joined the RCIA group in early 2021. Colin is currently at Campion College undertaking a Study of History, Literature, Philosophy & Theology.

“The biggest changes in how I viewed my faith between the beginning of RCIA til now has been my understanding of the importance of prayer and daily devotions. Coming into RCIA I had a strong passion for theology (which I still do); but I had not developed a consistent prayer life. Through my interactions with my sponsor and other candidates I was able to further grasp the necessity of a daily reliance on God through prayer and it is something I am still growing in today. 

I was welcomed warmly by those I met, who showed great interest in my story and background. The preparation was catered to each candidate based on their individual stage of learning the Catholic faith. I was routinely asked whether I had questions or if the content was appropriate to my understanding of things; and I had my queries answered well when I shared them.

Diane was very helpful in organising the RCIA

journey, and would keep in touch with me regularly to see how I was going with my life in general, but also with my faith. I appreciate the encouragement she gave through the sessions we did together as well as her efforts to coordinate everything even when I had conflicting schedules or was busy at times.

I received great mentorship from my sponsor Andrew, who was very generous with his time and knowledge in helping me comprehend the faith better as well as to personally assist my growth in faith. My interactions with the parish were positive as well.
Both Father Shane and Bishop Brian, whom I met during the rite of election, were very supportive. I had some great conversations with some of the other Carmelite priests who were very encouraging of me and excited about my decision to join the Church.”

Bhlane Doyle is currently in Year 7 at Mt Carmel Catholic College and lives with his grandmother and is sponsored by his aunt, Elise Hasrouny. He was influenced to become Catholic by their example and began his preparation in mid-2021 joining with other parish children in their sacramental preparation lessons, as they occurred, and having small group discussions with Sister Ninfa after school.

Chontelle Scrine is the mother of Lachlan, aged 10, Charlotte, aged 5 and Blake aged2. She is married to Graham who grew up in this parish and his parents, Vicki and Trevor Scrine, are known to many. Chontelle was baptised into the Presbyterian church and had experience of faith practises during her childhood. After attending sacramental preparation lessons with her son, Lachlan, she made the decision to become Catholic. She joined the RCIA group that met weekly in the home of Diane Redmayne in early 2022

“I have learnt so much more than I expected I would have andthere wasn’t a point I felt like it was too hard to understand or that my questions weren’t answered. There is a feeling of belonging when you tell someone at Mt Carmel “I am becoming a Catholic as an adult”; it’s very reassuring because the response I received was that I was not alone in this journey and in the end, I am not only in connection with God but also a wonderful community. Diane made the journey exciting to be learning again, I am so lucky to have had her as a mentor.Lori was an absolutely beautiful person through all of this too being so welcoming and

happy to help out. I have been a part of the Scrine family for 17years and even though I attended church occasionally, was married by Father Shane, have had all of my kids baptised there etc, this time it felt different, this time I feel like I am a part of something that I didn’t realise I needed or was looking for at the start of this RCIA journey. My advice is for anyone that does make the time to give it a go, you won’t regret it, you will find yourself exploring and learning things you didn’t realise you needed or were looking for. Just give it a go!”

Emma King is recently engaged to Tristan Lorquet, who grew up in this parish and his parents, Joe and Jane Lorquet, are known to many. Emma was baptised Catholic and attended state schools and her main influence to begin to live a faith filled life as a Catholic has come from her nan( in photo with Emma), who passed on to eternal life recently. Emma joined the RCIA group that met weekly in the home of Diane Redmayne in early 2022.

“Before starting this journey, I had faith in Jesus and believed in heaven. Now that I know what it means to be a practicing catholic- that is, inviting God into my life to strengthen my relationship with him, I am more conscious about being a better person and wanting to avoid sins to strengthen my relationship with Him. I am feeling a sense of belonging and a part of something bigger spiritually and I am praying more than I ever have. It was easy to open up and have real meaningful conversations during our RCIA sessions in Diane’s home and I felt very welcomed and grateful that the sessions accommodated for my working full time. Alpha videos are great and hearing others’ stories and beliefs I found was very interesting.

I loved how open everyone is about their life experiences. It was very easy to understand what it means to be a catholic and the process of becoming a catholic. I enjoyed Diane’s emails with attachments to read and the texts and calls to help with organisation.

Father Shane, during my first sacrament of Reconciliation made me feel very comfortable and spoke to me as though I was his daughter – family: very caring, nurturing, and supportive. I was very grateful that he came to my nan’s funeral and performed a blessing which he was genuinely happy to do. The parish community has ensured I felt comfortable and welcomed, many were supportive and encouraging me to engage in retreats and attend mass.”

Kava Mo’unga is aged 18 and lives at home providing care and domestic support for his mother and five siblings aged between 6-15 years. He was baptised in the Uniting church and his main influences in deciding to become Catholic were his grandmother who lives in Cooma, his uncle Terry and his own research online during Covid.

“Up until now, I have viewed faith as just some other thing in my life; it was just my thoughts. After doing my research on Catholicism, my faith deepened. Now I see Communion as something more than the bread and wine and the Sacraments are more than just parts of life: they are the visible signs of God’s Invisible Grace. I spoke with Father Shane on Ash Wednesday this year and I am grateful for the welcome he gave me and for the support of Andrew, who ran a Lenten group that I enjoyed, and of Diane, who ran individual sessions for me based on my availability.

All the people I have come across have been so kind and friendly to me, a stranger, offering to help me. It made the journey easier and I really appreciate Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and the help and warm welcome given to me. The parish has really showed me the importance of Christ’s body in the congregation. The family feeling almost like my second or spiritual family.

Father Shane and Father Ransom have really helped my faith journey through the Homilies and their advice and their works of kindness.”