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THE RCIA PROCESS

 

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a process of initiation into the Catholic Community of Faith.  This is for persons who are seeking baptism in the Catholic Church or full communion with the Catholic tradition through the Profession of Faith, reception of Holy Eucharist and Confirmation.  It is a process which enables the study of the Gospels, Catholic teaching, Christian values, and the development and deepening of a life of prayer and action with the support and involvement of the parish community.  If you are interested, please contact us. 

Who Should Attend RCIA?

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  • Non-Catholics who want to find out more about the Catholic Faith
  • Those who want to join the Catholic Church through Baptism, or Profession of Faith
  • Those who were baptized Catholic as infants but never received religious education, Confirmation, or First Eucharist
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Why is there a RCIA Process?

Christians are made, not born.  There is nothing automatic or instant in the Rite of Christian Initiation.  The development of faith takes time; it cannot be rushed.  The candidates must be allowed sufficient time for their faith to ripen.  Ordinarily, this means anywhere from one to two years of formation depending, of course, on the background and spiritual maturity of the candidates.

In the past (in fact, hundreds of years ago), a person desiring reception into the Christian Community studied, prayed, fasted and did good works for three years.  Initiation takes time.  Initiation is more than doctrinal instruction.  It is a way of coming to know the traditions, the people, the prayer and the actions of the community.

A Couple Common Questions

Must I make a commitment to Catholicism to participate in  this program? 

  • No!  We realize that many people are searching and need to know more about the Church before they make such a commitment.  We also realize that Catholicism is not for everyone.  We ask no firm commitment until the beginning of Lent.

 

I was baptized a Methodist, Baptist, etc.  Must I be re-baptized in order to join the Catholic Church?

  • No!  There is only one Baptism.  Candidates who were baptized with a Trinitarian formula (In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) and water who are seeking full Communion within the Catholic Church will not be baptized again.  They will simply make a Profession of Faith and receive the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.  Click here to read more about the Rites of Initiation for baptized and unbaptized persons.

The Five Stages of the RCIA Process

  1. Inquiry or Pre-Catechumenate — At this time participants are encouraged to ask questions and to explore the basic tenets of the Catholic faith and to reflect upon these in light of their own life experiences.
  2. The Catechumenate — It is during this time that most of study of Scripture, doctrine, traditions and meeting with the community takes place.
  3. Purification and Enlightenment — For those preparing for baptism, this stage takes place during the season of Lent season where they reflect upon their own faith experiences in a more intense, prayerful way.  At other times during the year, baptized candidates reflect more deeply upon the meaning of their baptism and celebrate the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation.

  4. Sacraments of Initiation — Candidates for baptism celebrate their initiation into the Church on the holiest of nights–the Easter Vigil — where they are baptized, confirmed and receive Holy Eucharist.  Candidates for full communion celebrate their Rite of Reception several other times throughout the year.

  5. Mystagogia — This is a time for candidates to reflect upon their experiences of being new Catholic Christians and to find their place in the ordinary life of the Church.