What I’ve learned as an event photographer | RCIA at Newman Center | Chapel Hill, NC

These extraordinary times have proven that we can gather together, but we must do it safely.

Barbara Bell Photography captures important events near Chapel Hill, NC

Earlier in the summer (you know, way back in June), I had the pleasure of photographing the outdoor RCIA ceremony at the Newman Center.

Newman Center of Chapel Hill photographed by Barbara Bell PhotographyWhat is RCIA?

RCIA stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and was a process developed by the Catholic Church for people interested in joining the Church, who were older than the ‘age of infant’ baptism.  RCIA candidates are introduced to aspects of Catholic beliefs and practices, which can include periods of reflection, prayer, and even instruction on what it means to be a Catholic.  There is no set timetable and those who join the process are encouraged to go at their own pace, taking the time they need.

RCIA Candidates at the Newman Center of UNC-Chapel Hill are welcomed into the church.

I went to Catholic school and was raised in the Church, but it is the conversation I have with people who convert to this faith that always amaze me and even humble me.  Years ago, my husband and I were visiting family in San Diego, and we attended Mass at a local church. When the service was done, the woman who stood to my left leaned toward me and asked if I had a minute.  I turned to her, and she asked if I was a member of the Church.  I said that I wasn’t a parishioner of that particular church, and she asked how she could join or – better yet – become Catholic?  The question itself voiced a sense of hope from her.

Barbara Bell Photography captures important events that happen near Chapel Hill, NC

I pointed out the people who were clearing the altar, as well as the clergy at the back of the Church who were shaking people’s hands as they exited.  Any of those people could connect her to the RCIA.  Most parishes have an RCIA group, and if that church didn’t, they would certainly connect her with one that was local. The relief that showed on her face was palpable.

The important events in our lives need to be recorded and photographed to be remembered for years to come.

It’s much like when we are lost and driving in an area that we don’t know.  When we see someone and can ask for directions, it’s a beacon in a sometimes frustrating situation.  When this helpful person speaks, they say comforting words like, “You’re really close” or “You’re not far at all” or even “You missed this one turn, but I can get you to where you need to go.”  Think of how we feel when we hear those words.  It’s the exhale of a breath we didn’t realize we were holding.  Talking to the right person can feel like that.

Capturing your big day is Barbara Bell Photography's biggest priority near Chapel Hill, NC

In these uncertain times, we all need to feel comfortable to ask questions. Maybe we don’t have the  answers; instead, we each try to connect one another to the people who do have those answers.  I think the RCIA does that for people.  It connects them to something bigger than themselves.

The family and event photography we capture today is preserved for all of our tomorrows with Barbara Bell Photography.To watch this outdoor Mass of the RCIA ceremony held at the Newman Center in Chapel Hill is to remember that we all need a sense of community to carry us during these times. We walk this road of life, and we provide company along the way.

Capturing life's most precious moments is Barbara Bell Photography's lifelong passion and goal.

Contact Barbara Bell Photography today to create photographs to inspire you to share your memories.

Barbara Bell Photography creates heirloom photographs to inspire families to share their memories near Chapel Hill, NC.