The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process by which people can question, search, and inquire into the Catholic faith. It is a journey which leads many to seek full membership in our Church. For others this journey may not lead to full membership. There is no set timetable, however, on average the process takes between eight to twelve months. Those who enter the process are expected to attend Mass on Sunday, attend a weekly RCIA session, and become increasingly more involved in parish activities.
If you would like to talk about where you are, or if you are curious about our Church and our faith, or even if you’ve been attending Mass here and would like to find out about possibly joining, this is where to begin! All are welcome to come and see, to ask questions, and to look more deeply. Please fill out the Inquiry form below to get started!
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1. Initial Interview
This is an opportunity to share, in an informal manner, your faith journey.
2. Inquiry Groups: Joining the RCIA Process
You get to ask questions and the best way to do this is to join one of our Inquiry groups. This is your journey, it’s your quest, and it is you that God is calling. There are no commitments, and coming to inquire doesn’t mean you have to join the Church. These groups are formed with 8-15 people who are interested in learning more about the faith. They are led by an experienced group of leaders who are knowledgeable in the Catholic faith and understand the 101 questions you might have during this initial period. Our next inquiry group begins meeting on Monday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the Trepp Center.
If you like what you hear and would like to join our Church, then you transition to the “Catechumenate” which is the instructional portion of the journey. While it is a time of instruction, the focus of the Catechumenate remains the overall faith formation of the person.
4. Purification and Enlightenment
A period of “Purification and Enlightenment” is the final stage before the reception of the sacrament. This period begins with the Rite of Election when the bishop, on behalf of the Church, accepts you as a candidate for Sacraments at the Easter Vigil. This is a more intense spiritual time and is marked by several important rites.
For those who are called to full membership in the Church, the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) are celebrated at Easter Vigil. People can be received into the Church at any time, but the Easter Vigil, held on Saturday evening before Easter Sunday, is a very special night and the liturgy is most appropriate for the reception of new members, especially those who will be baptized for the first time.
After Easter, there is a period of coming together to reflect on the meaning of living the Christian life. It is also a time for discerning gifts and finding the most appropriate way of putting those gifts at the disposal of the community. Throughout the first year, you will meet about 6-8 times for reflection and fellowship.
You must be baptized and confirmed to be a sponsor, whose role is to be a support and presence to the catechumen or candidate. The sponsor accompanies the catechumen or candidate during the various rites and to Mass. The sponsor is also a listener and mentor and shares with their catechumen or candidate their love for the faith.