RCIA is designed for adults who are considering joining the Catholic Church through celebrating the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil.
The process welcomes those 18 years and older who have never been baptized and/or those who have been baptized in another Christian tradition.
Frequently Asked Questions about RCIA & Becoming Catholic
Who participates in RCIA? Three groups of people:
- Unbaptized Adults
The RCIA is primarily intended for unbaptized adults, who, upon hearing the Gospel message and receiving formation in the Christian way of life, choose to become followers of Christ by receiving the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
- Adults Baptized as Christians
The RCIA process also serves adults baptized in a Christian denomination or community who are now interested in living out their Christian life in the Catholic Church. Any baptism that has been performed with water and the Trinitarian formula (invoking the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is considered valid; therefore baptism is not repeated. Rather, we welcome these men and women into the full communion of the Catholic Church through their profession of faith and reception of the remaining sacraments of initiation: Confirmation and Eucharist.
- Adults Baptized Catholic
RCIA also includes adults who were baptized in the Catholic faith, but for whatever reason, did not complete their sacraments of initiation - Confirmation and Eucharist. These women and men are already a part of the full communion of the Catholic Church due to their Catholic baptism.
What is involved in RCIA? When does it start?
RCIA is comprised of a series of stages of formation (each with a different focus) that are marked by ritual steps transitioning a person from one stage to the next.
Our next journey begins in late September or early October with the Inquiry stage. During this stage, we meet for an hour each week to begin to reflect on how God is calling us and what it means to have faith in Jesus. This is the time to ask questions and discern if becoming a Catholic is the right step for you.
In early December, we celebrate our first ritual which publicly marks our desire to officially enter formation for initiation into the Catholic Church. This ritual moves us into our second stage of formation. Here we examine Church teachings, beliefs, customs and traditions. We will continue to reflect on the Sunday scripture.
At the beginning of Lent, (the 40 days prior to Easter), we celebrate another ritual to recognize our progress of being formed in the faith and signals our readiness to begin final preparations for receiving the sacraments. This third period of formation, which coincides with the season of Lent, is more reflective and prayerful, including many special celebrations and rituals passed down from the early Church.
We celebrate the Sacraments and our full initiation into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil Service (after sundown on Holy Saturday – the evening before Easter Sunday)! However, this is not the end, but rather the beginning of your life as a fully initiated disciple! We continue to meet for a fourth stage of formation, gathering a few times during the Easter Season (the 50 days after Easter) to help launch us into the next step of our faith journey and the rest of our lives as Catholic disciples of Christ. The Easter Vigil Service is Saturday, April 20, 2019. The Vigil mass time is to be determined.
For more information about becoming a Catholic through the RCIA program contact Deacon Randy Belice via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting the rectory at (708) 447-1020.