506-738-2320 / 506-653-6850 holyspiritparish@nb.aibn.com

Holy Spirit Parish Religious Education St Matthews Worship Site  & St Rose of Lima Worship Site Saint John &Grand Bay-Westfield, New Brunswick

Vision Statement

Our vision for every child brought into the family of the Church through Baptism,  is a personal love of Jesus Christ and has an understanding of their mission to the world.

Mission Statement

The Religious Education program works with the Diocesan Bishop, our Priest and our Parish to facilitate an encounter with Our Lord Jesus Christ for Catholic children and youth in our Parish by providing Religious Education curricula, materials, experiences and resources. By building an understanding of our faith and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church we encourage our children to carry those beliefs out into the world.

Classes are Sunday morning 10:15 am before the 11:00 am Mass at St. Matthews Worship Site Hall.

RCIA – Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Who is welcome to begin the RCIA Journey?


All people who are open to discerning their personal experience of faith and to learning more about the Catholic Church are welcome to begin the RCIA process. 

Many people come to an awareness of their desire to learn about membership in the Catholic Church in various and different ways. Often it may be a personal faith experience, overcoming personal difficulty and tragedy, or a relationship or discussion with a person of faith which leads one to begin this exciting journey. 

All that is truly required is a sincere desire to learn, to grow, and to develop one’s relationship with God.

What is RCIA

The RCIA process can be applied to the following 3 groups:


  1. Unbaptized persons (age of discretion: 7+ years): who have never been baptized and who need a process to help them grow in awareness to God’s call to conversion as well as ways to respond to that call. They are considered catechumens.
  2. Baptized in another Christian church: Those who were baptized into another Christian denomination and wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. They are considered candidates. For baptized Christians interested in possibly joining the Catholic Church, the process will vary depending upon the depth on one’s religious and spiritual readiness.
  3. Baptized, but uncatechised Catholic adults: persons who were baptized as infants and not given any religious instruction in the Catholic faith. These adults will be prepared to celebrate the sacraments of penance, confirmation and Eucharist. They are also considered candidates.
It is important to note that “candidates” do not always need to take part in the full process. If they have been actively living the Christian life in another denomination, they are likely to need very little catechesis and may be welcomed into the Church on any Sunday after a short period of preparation.

According to the National Statutes for the Catechumenate, "Those baptized persons who have lived as Christians and need only instruction in the Catholic tradition and a degree of probation within the Catholic community should not be asked to undergo a full program parallel to the catechumenate."

In the case of children who have reached the age of reason (age 7), the pastor of the local parish should be consulted for information about Baptism and the other Sacraments of Initiation.

Adult Catholics who were baptized and received their First Eucharist in the Catholic Church and are interested in the Sacrament of Confirmation should contact their local parish office. These are Catholics who have been instructed in the Catholic faith but who have not received the Sacrament of Confirmation. A separate program of adult Confirmation is available to these Catholics, who are then prepared to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.

For more information use this link for the contact person.

Glossary of RCIA Terms: 


Catechumens – a Christian convert under instruction before baptism and a young Christian preparing for confirmation. 

Catechumenate – When the catechumens complete their preparation and trial and are now those seeking to be baptized. 

Candidates – Candidates in reference to RCIA may be individuals who have not been baptized or were baptized in another Christian church. Or individuals you have not been initiated into the church for the other sacraments (eucharist, reconciliation). 

Uncatechised – What does it mean to be Uncatechised? According to the rite, someone who is uncatechised is a baptized person who received zero catechetical formation after infancy. 

Catechesis – What is the meaning of catechesis? Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people and adults which includes the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life. 


National Statutes for the Catechumenate – or Team RCIA – this ministry will equip the leaders of RCIA with everything they need to inspire the Candidates and Catechumens. 

Link to: https://teamrcia.com/2014/06/the-national-statutes-for-the-catechumenate/


So, what is Alpha?


  • Alpha is a space to explore the Christian faith and discuss your questions with people just like you.  It is not just for Catholics.  Alpha is run in all Christian denomination’s all over the world.
  • First there’s food, then a video followed by discussion.
  • In the past few years hundreds of Alphas were run in Catholic churches, schools, communities, and through collaborative Diocesan initiatives.
  • Because Alpha became so popular in Canadian Catholic churches, a new division just for Catholics was created. Check out the Alpha Canada website. https://alphacanada.org

Why should you get excited about Alpha?

Fellowship with new friends

Alpha is fun, and we laugh a lot. We also engage in serious topics that concern all of us. There are no wrong answers and no judgement.

Share your faith

sharing is optional and there is no pressure. Many people who are solid in their faith don’t feel they need to attend; however, we all know someone that can benefit. Why not attend with a friend or family member to help them with their faith as you share your faith.

You will gain and increase your wisdom and knowledge

as we unpack the basis of Christian belief about “Who is Jesus?” and historical facts about Jesus; historical facts that should help a doubter.

Develop a deeper relationship with Christ

many past guests of Alpha have experienced the glory of the Holy Spirit; they have said that this experience strengthened their relationship with Jesus.

Live out your Baptismal Call

you will get to experience first-hand the work of the Holy Spirit. The joy you find may encourage you to live out your Baptismal Call and not just be a consumer of your faith.

Alpha in a Catholic Context

In 2022, nearly 600 Alphas were run in Catholic churches, schools, communities, and through collaborative Diocesan initiatives. Alpha Canada were able to equip Catholic leaders across the country through online training sessions and in partnering with Divine Renovation.

Check out the links below

Link to Alpha Ministries on our Diocese Website contains a short video of our Bishop Christian Reisbeck encouraging all of us to get involved in Alpha and Alpha Canada in a Catholic Context.

How to Find an Alpha Near You?

Holy Spirit Parish has successfully offered Alpha to several of our parishioners.  Check our weekly bulletin and events calendar for an upcoming Alpha session hosted by us.  You can also access the link below to Alpha Canada – this link lists the Alpha Programs that are offered in areas near you.

How to Get Involved?

Many past participants of Alpha come back and volunteer to participant in the next one.  We need helpers for hospitality, small group hosts and helpers, greeters, prayer team, administration, MC and technical help as required. 

If you want to get involved in the Alpha ministry, please use the link below and select Alpha Program on the form.

Bible Study

Many past participants of Alpha have expressed a desire to attend a Bible Study. Holy Spirit Parish is hopeful that a Bible Study Ministry will be implemented later in 2024 or 2025.  

At Home Bible Study – there are several on-line programs that are designed so that one can read the entire bible in one year.  Check out this popular choice with Fr. Michael Schmitz


Study Bible – A Catholic Study Bible is a good choice as a companion to understanding the bible.  Find one that has a definition of every scripture that provides the context required to fully comprehend the meaning especially for difficult passages.