RCIA



Are you…

  • Are you unbaptized but recognize a need for spirituality in your life and wish to learn more about Jesus Christ?
  • Are you baptized in another Christian faith tradition and may be interested in joining the Catholic Church.
  • Are you married to a Catholic and attend Mass but just don’t know what the next step is to become one of the Catholic faithful?
  • Are your children being raised as Catholics and you want to better understand the faith tradition they are learning?
  • Are you a Roman Catholic who has not completed his or her sacramental initiation?
  • Are you a baptized Catholic or baptized into another denomination but have received little or no formal religious education?
  • Are you a parishioner who has been away from the church and have now returned, but want to know more?
  • Are you a parishioner yearning for something more in your life, who would like a deeper faith, who wishes to meet friendly people, who desires faith sharing, who would like to provide community support to candidates or to contribute by becoming a sponsor?

RCIA may be for you…

What does 'RCIA' stand for?

R.C.I.A. stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

What kind of people are part of the RCIA process?

Any and all people who are interested in or curious about Catholicism can come to the RCIA sessions. Those who wish to be fully initiated into the Catholic Church may choose to do so after inquiry and discernment.

What is RCIA?

RCIA is the Catholic Church’s way of forming new disciples of Jesus Christ. It’s the way the Catholic Church welcomes new members. Even more important than membership in the Catholic Church is becoming a disciple of Jesus. Participating in RCIA is much more than going to classes on Catholicism. It’s undergoing a conversion to a new way of life in Christ. Participants learn the Catholic Christian way of life by being in the midst of members of the parish community.

What happens at RCIA?

There are weekly sessions for participants. The format includes prayer, sharing, background on Catholic tradition & teachings. In addition to the weekly sessions, there are prayer experiences for some of the participants which take place at Sunday mass.

What if I’m not sure if I want to become a Catholic?

That’s fine! RCIA begins with a period of Inquiry sessions. At the end of the Inquiry period, you decide if you are interested in learning more. Even if you decide to continue, there is no final commitment to join the Church until much later in the process.

If I am already Catholic, how does this apply to me?

Welcoming seekers is the most important thing we do. It’s why parishes exist. Integrating the catechumens into the Christian community is the biggest, most essential challenge that the Holy Spirit has set before our parishes. It can even be seem as overwhelming to the RCIA team.

Most Catholics have had an individual in their lives who has made an impact on their Catholic faith. You could be that person! Individuals seeking full communion with God in the Catholic Church need an RCIA Sponsor or Godparent to assist them on their spiritual journey. Sponsors and Godparents will be witnesses to the faith assisting in the evangelization process along with furthering their own education and deepening their own conversion to Jesus Christ in His Church. By mentoring a person in their spirituality they play a critical role in welcoming them into the parish community through the various liturgical celebrations, parish activities, faith sharing, and communal service ministries here at Christ our Saviour..

How long does it take?

RCIA will meet weekly beginning in early autumn. Sessions typically include prayer, instruction on some aspect of the Catholic faith, and small group discussion time.

The Rite of Christian Initiation is not a program. The process has no time frame. Conversion occurs on God’s time; not our time. The RCIA conversion process consists of four periods. The amount of time spent in each phase is dependent on individual needs and feelings.

RCIA is the process of discerning and ritualizing stages of gradual conversion. Initiation of adults belongs to all the baptized. The process is about a relationship over time with both God and the Catholic community. It is the Church’s method of a faith journey of conversion.

Candidates are initiated gradually through a series of liturgical rites. New members normally receive the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil, the highlight of the Church year. RCIA formally concludes at the feast of Pentecost in late Spring.

What are the four periods or stages of RCIA?

There are four stages in the RCIA:
– the Precatechumenate, or period of inquiry and evangelization;
– the Catechumenate, which is a time of serious and dedicated formation;
– the Period of Purification and Enlightenment, which coincides with Lent;
– and Mystagogy, which lasts from Easter to Pentecost.

Additionally, there is the Paschal Triduum with the Sacraments of Initiation.

The ‘inquiry stage’ or the Precatechumenate is the stage when individuals might first contact the parish about their interest and start attending inquiry sessions or meetings. For some who have engaged in their own study or attended Mass attentively and regularly, the Pre-catechumenate might last months. For others who have little background in Catholicism or Christianity in general, more time might be needed.

The next stages would follow appropriately.

What is the first step?

Anyone who is seriously thinking about joining the RCIA process or becoming a Roman Catholic-Christian or who would simply like more information can contact the parish office at 326-3411 or eMail us.