RCIA - Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
A Journey In Faith
What is RCIA?
The RCIA process (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is designed to assist interested persons in learning Christian teaching, accepting Christian values and morality, developing a life of prayer and becoming an active member in the local Catholic community.
Who is RCIA for?
The Church welcomes all adults (sophomore and older) who are interested in the Roman Catholic Faith:
- Unbaptized adults desiring to learn more about the Catholic faith and possibly becoming Catholic.
- Baptized Christians from other denominations who would like to learn more about and possibly join the Catholic Church. (candidates).
- Baptized but not confirmed Catholic Adults who have not received First Holy Eucharist and have been inactive in the Catholic Faith.
How does the RCIA process differ from convert instructions?
The RCIA process is the approved method for conversion to Catholicism. This process provides guidance and support from the entire Catholic community and the time for individual growth in faith. Members of the parish community share experiences, values, and beliefs, contributing to the formation of the catechumens and candidates while strengthening the faith of the community itself.
What does the process consist of?
The RCIA process is divided into four periods celebrated as the catechumens and candidates progress on their journey to full membership in the Church.
- The period of inquiry (Pre-Catechumenate) intends to awaken or deepen the faith of persons. It is the time for inquirers to ask questions and to decide if they want to continue in study for possible entrance into the Catholic Church. This period leads to the Rite of Acceptance, which is the first Rite in the Process and is celebrated with the parish community at a Sunday liturgy.
- The period of the Catechumenate is a time during which catechumens and candidates deepen their understanding and appreciation of the faith. Time is spent sharing and reflecting on scripture, traditions and teachings of the Catholic Church
- The period of Enlightenment and Purification corresponds with the Lenten season and Catechumens and Candidates prepare for the Sacraments. Catechumens who choose to do so will be received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil celebration and will be baptized, confirmed and receive First Holy Eucharist. Candidates will be received into the full communion during a special celebration which also honors their Sacrament of Baptism that they had already received.
- The Period of Mystagogy is a time when the newly initiated (neophytes) share their experiences of the Sacraments and deepen their understanding and their knowledge of the Faith. It is a time of greater study into the mysteries of Faith. This period lasts from Easter to Pentecost.
When are RCIA sessions held?
Sessions are held year round on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Parish Center for Formation and Mission, normally in the Bonnie Fitzpatrick Room.
What can the community do?
The Community can:
- Encourage people they know who may be thinking about joining the Catholic Church to consider this process.
- Offer to be a sponsor for a Catechumen or Candidate by sharing their faith life, answering questions, attending RCIA sessions, attending liturgies with the Catechumen or Candidate & being a “companion through the journey.”
- Pray for the Catechumens and Candidates during their Journeys of Faith.
Who are sponsors?
Sponsors are members of the Catholic community who make the Journey with the catechumens or candidates. They serve as a companion and friend, as a source of information about Catholic practices, as a guide to parish organizations and members, as a participant in the liturgies, as a consultant to the RCIA team in assisting the catechumens and candidates through the process.