RCIA – Becoming Catholic
What is RCIA?
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is the Catholic Church’s way of nurturing the conversion of heart of all its future members. RCIA is a process – a process of exploration, study, faith-sharing and faith formation with specific liturgical recognition and celebration for those interested in becoming Catholic, either by baptism or reception into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.
There is no obligation for those who enter the process to become Catholic. Those who participate are asked to attend sessions, attend Mass weekly, and read the material that is provided to all involved in the program. Those who are not baptized will be asked to participate in the Dismissal Group discussion following the homily. More importantly, all candidates are asked to reflect on:
• God’s call in their lives
• The stories of God’s love in Sacred Scripture
• The need of an active prayer life
• The importance of making moral choices
• The basic Catholic beliefs
Please know that spouses/friends of those involved are welcome to attend sessions. The RCIA is a process that usually proceeds over weeks and months. It has several steps:
Pre-Catechumenate – This is the earliest phase in the process; it is also known as the Period of Inquiry. Baptized and non-Baptized participants acknowledge that Christ is calling them into the Church through the movement of the Holy Spirit. This is a time for seeking and reflection.
Rite of Acceptance/Welcome – This is the first rite in the process. This rite welcomes new members into the worshipping community.
Catechumenate – This is the longest part of the process and it is the time of learning and formation in the traditions and doctrine in the Catholic Church, as well as a deepening of spiritual growth. This is a time for sharing of stories, reading Scripture, and studying the Church customs, traditions and doctrines. Participants also participate in worship services and various Church rituals.
Rite of Election – Those who will be baptized at Easter are received by the bishop and the community to receive the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter.
Easter Vigil/Easter – all newly elected members of the community who have been journeying through the RCIA are welcomed formally into the community of believers through receiving the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Those who are already one with us in baptism but wish to be received into full communion will do their profession of faith and receive Confirmation and Eucharist.
Mystagogy – 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.
The program can be tailored to fit those on different paths due to their level of knowledge of the Christian faith and their previous experience with the Catholic Church.
People journeying through the RCIA process need sponsors and community support to help them grow in faith. The RCIA team and sponsors help guide, support and instruct those discerning whether to become members of our Catholic community. Team members share their faith with inquiring adults who are seeking more information about the Catholic Church, many of whom seek to celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation.
Anyone interested in becoming Catholic or helping with RCIA may contact the Pastoral Associate, Jacqui Rapp, at 502-897-2592 ext. 113 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please fill out RCIA Inquirers Form as linked on this page and bring it with you to your first meeting with the Pastoral Associate.