First of all, come to Mass on Sunday. You don’t need to worry – you are welcome just to come in, sit at the back and watch what’s going on. You can pray in your own words during the quiet parts of the Mass. And you never know – the sermon might even be interesting!
A very good book to get hold of is the Simple Prayer Book which is published by the Catholic Truth Society or CTS. There should be a copy for sale at the back of the Church. This has a good collection of Catholic prayers and some other information about the Catholic faith.
As you are reading this on the Internet, you could have a look at some of the many good things on the Web. You could start out at the Catholic basics page at this site. If you want a book which summarises Catholic belief, I recommend the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Catholic parishes usually run a course for those who want to become Catholics. You will be in the company of others who have very basic questions and it is enjoyable to make friends with others who are in the same boat. Many Catholics say that the people who are learning about the faith tend to know more than “cradle Catholics”.
(This course in parishes is often called the “RCIA” which stands for “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults”.)
As it is a serious decision, you will not be rushed into becoming a Catholic. The course of teaching takes several months – or longer if you need.
When you are ready, you will be baptised and confirmed and receive holy Communion at a special Mass – preferably at Easter. If you are already a baptised Christian, you will make your confession first and then be received formally into the Church.
Many people would like to become Catholics but feel a bit nervous about taking the first step. So God gave us email! If you live in Brighton, you can email me (Fr. Ray). Otherwise, just call down to your local Church, introduce yourself to the priest, and see what happens from there.
Finding your local Catholic Church
If you are looking for your local Catholic Church, try typing the name of your town and the words “Catholic Church” into Google. That is often the quickest way to find the Church.
Another way is to look up the website for the local Diocese (the area looked after by a Bishop.) The Dioceses of England and Wales is a page which shows a clickable map of England and Wales with the Dioceses marked on it. Here is a link to a list of the Catholic Dioceses of Scotland. There are probably similar pages for other countries. Once at the website for your local diocese, there may be a list of parishes you can consult.