RCIA for Adults

RCIA, or the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, is the way those interested in the Catholic Church learn about the faith and join our family of believers. The process traces its roots back to the earliest days of Christian communities, when all members shared their faith with newcomers as a way of teaching them about the new life in Christ.The RCIA Process is comprised of catechumens, candidates, and sponsors. Catechumens are those who have not been baptized but who want to learn about the Catholic faith. Candidates are those baptized in another faith who wish to become Catholics, as well as those baptized Catholic who have received no other sacraments. 

In general there are four identifiable periods to the RCIA process, the first of which is Inquiry. This is a time for exploring the possibility of becoming Catholic. A person who is interested would meet together with others who are learning more about the Catholic faith and in the group would have an opportunity to ask questions and explore his/her own faith life. A person may continue in these sessions as long as he or she wishes without making any definite commitment to move to the second phase. 

When a person decides to proceed with the process of becoming Catholic he/she moves into the second period of the RCIA which is the catechumenate. This time is more structured and involves instruction in Scripture and the Catholic faith, customs and practices as well as service opportunities. 

The third phase of the process is the period of Enlightenment, which coincides with Lent. This is a time of prayer and reflection in preparation for the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter. These are the Sacraments of Baptism for those who have not been baptized, Confirmation and Eucharist. Through these sacraments a person becomes a full member of the Catholic Church. 
The last period is Mystagogy which is a time to reflect on the experience and meaning of the sacraments that have been received, and continue formation, education, and integration into the life of the Catholic community. This continues through the fifty days of the Easter season and may be extended in a variety of ways for one year. 

The RCIA Process is an on-going and year-round process. Anyone can begin at anytime. If you or someone you know is interested in exploring the Catholic way of life, please call Sr. Betty Gaiss, OP, 627-8493
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