Becoming Catholic – RCIA
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
For Adults Who Want to Become Catholic
In 1971, in response to the call of the Second Vatican Council, the Church dramatically revised the process of becoming Catholic. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA, while new in a sense, was not really new. It was an effort to restore the spirit of early Christianity by emphasizing conversion as a participation in the passion, death and resurrection of Christ, as well as the role of the entire praying, witnessing and teaching Body of Christ in giving support and shape to that journey.
What is the RCIA?
RCIA is a process which includes a series of rites in the context of learning about the faith and spiritual formation. Through this process, a person is fully incorporated into the Body of Christ, the Church.
Who enters the RCIA process?
People involved in the RCIA process are either catechumens or candidates. Catechumens are those who have never been baptized. Candidates are those who have been baptized in other Christian denominations, whose baptism is recognized as valid.
What are the four stages of the RCIA process?
The four stages in the RCIA process are: the Precatechumanate, the Catechumenate, the Period of Purification and Enlightenment and Mystagogy. The celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation is held at the Easter Vigil. During Easter, we celebrate Christ’s victory over death and our sharing in that victory through our baptism.
- The Pre-catechumenate is also called “the inquiry stage.”
- When a person has decided to join the Church, he or she begins the Catechumenate state. This stage begins with the “Rite of Acceptance.” Catechumens deepen their study of the faith and commitment to living the Christian life.
- The focused time for preparation is called the period of Purification and Enlightenment. This final period of preparation is called Lent.
- The final state of Christian initiation is called Mystagogy (mystery). It continues through the Easter season to Pentecost. During this period, new Catholics are deepening their grasp of the paschal mystery through meditation of the Gospel, sharing in the Eucharist, and doing works of charity.
Please contact either Deacon Rich or Deacon David to register or to learn more about RCIA.