The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
RCIA (The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is the process by which one becomes a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church. Participants can be those who are unbaptized and have no Christian background, those who were baptized and raised in other Christian communities, or even Catholics who have not completed their sacraments of initiation (Confirmation and/or Eucharist). The process is one of a total conversion of self to the person of Jesus Christ. While much of our time looks like a “class,” we also focus on the life of sin and grace, as well as growth in personal prayer.
Our sessions are designed to give participants as broad and deep an understanding of the Catholic Faith as possible in our limited time. We focus on four main pillars: The Creed, the Sacraments, Morality, and Prayer. We dig deeply in to the scriptural roots of Catholicism as well as Church History. We try to answer not only what Catholics believe, but why. The sessions offer you much information, but are also question-driven. We want everyone to have all their questions reasonably answered, and to be able to make an educated decision as to whether or not they wish to be fully initiated Catholics. Each session also explores some of the Catholic tradition of prayer and spirituality to begin developing from Day One. At no point in the process are you committed to completing all of it, or of becoming Catholic.
RCIA is a Journey
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults is a process that proceeds over weeks and months. It has four Periods:
The Precatechumenate, or period of inquiry, welcomes newcomers to ask questions and share their stories as they begin to learn more about the Catholic Faith and the process of becoming Catholic.
The longest part of the process, the Catechumenate is a time of learning and formation in the traditions and doctrine of the Catholic Church. This is a time for reading scripture, studying Church customs, traditions and doctrine as well as growing as part of the parish community. As well as attending formal RCIA sessions together on Sunday mornings, participants will also attend Mass afterwards, being dismissed after the homily to reflect more on the Word of God.
3. Period of Purification and Enlightenment
This part of the journey begins with the season of Lent and is a period of continued instruction with more intense prayer. This begins the final preparation of the participants to receive the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil Mass.
This is a time of reflection and celebration after the formal reception into the Catholic Church. Mystagogia means “leading into the mystery” and it is a time to explore the deep mystery of our faith and go forth to help build the reign of God on Earth as new members of the faithful.
RCIA sessions begin in September and end shortly after Easter. Inquiry sessions for anyone interested in learning more about the Catholic Faith or about the process of becoming Catholic are held quarterly.