Becoming Catholic

R.C.I.A. - Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

 

Thinking of joining the Roman Catholic Church?

So, you're developing your faith. Great! Is it a little overwhelming?

The R.C.I.A. will journey with you as you strive to form a relevant relationship God, the Father with Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

  •   Where to start?
  •   What are the "stages" of initiation?
  •   What should I be doing in each stage?
  •   How will I know when I'm ready to move forward?

Where do you begin?

                Well, you just begin from where you are now!

                Many adults entering the Catholic Church, or those just thinking about it, follow a process known as the RCIA — the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

All are Welcome!

                RCIA is a process of study, exploration, faith-sharing and faith formation for individuals interested in learning more about the Catholic Church. 

Who is the R.C.I.A for?

  • Individuals who are not baptized and interested in joining the Catholic Church.
  • Individuals, baptized and belonging to a Christian Church interested in joining the Catholic Church.
  • Catholics desiring to learn more about the Catholic Church.
  • Anyone desiring to learn more about the Catholic Church.

      The RCIA process has distinct stages.

                                Inquiry: the initial period before you decide to enter the Catholic Church. You're asking questions and checking it out, but aren't yet ready to commit.

                                Rite of Acceptance: We will help you focus and intensify your faith experience as you prepare to commit your life to Christ and be received into the Church at the Easter Vigil.

                                Catechumenate: those who decide to enter the Church and are forming themselves for a life in Christ are called catechumens, an ancient name from the early Church. In this stage, you're developing your faith and are being "catechized" — learning the basic points about our Catholic faith and life.

                                Rite of Election:  As you approach the final stages of initiation, our faith community will formally welcome you and send you to our bishop.  The RCIA team will escort you to meet our bishop where you will be officially received into the final stage of the RCIA process.  During Lent you'll go through a beautiful series of Gospel-based meditations, which is the time frame of this period.

                                Initiation: The culmination of the whole process! You will be received into the Church during the Easter Vigil Mass, where you'll receive the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. (If you've already been baptized, you won't be baptized again.)

                                Mystagogia: After reception into the Church at Easter, this period lets you reflect and learn more about the mysteries of our faith and how you can participate in it fully.

RCIA Team

            Your faith journey will be accompanied by individuals of our faith community who are chosen and commissioned to journey with you as you explore the possibilities of joining our Church.  Team members will share their own faith journey to help you understand your own relationship to Jesus.  They will the explain the mystery of our faith as they journey with you

Below are some considerations and ideas for your RCIA journey.

                But first, some basics...

  •  Laying a strong foundation
  •  Faith will be the foundation of your life.
  •  Make that foundation solid!

Go slowly, make sure you've developed the basics well. That will help you avoid discouragement and frustration, two big enemies of faith development.

Also be aware of the importance of accurate and faithful teaching in the information you receive.

We will strive to bring you the most accurate and authentic teaching of our Church.

Make sure that you're satisfied with your own faith development in each of the RCIA stages before moving on to the next.  Don't let pressure from anyone else make you move on.  Also watch out for calendar-based pressure — don't say things like, "If I don't start catechesis now, I won't be done this Easter!" That's the wrong basis for making a decision about your faith and your life!

I know, sometimes it seems like it takes a long time to work through all of the Catholic RCIA stages. But...

                Don't rush it!

RCIA stage 1: Just Looking

                In the inquiry stage, you're just finding out about Jesus, Christianity, and the Catholic Church.

                Your main task here is to explore and develop your faith enough so you can make an informed initial decision about entering the Catholic Church. The final decision won't come for a long time, when you actually enter the Church at Easter and receive the sacraments of initiation.

RCIA stage 2: Learning about the Faith

                In the catechumenate, your faith has begun to develop. Now you need to learn and grow more.

                You focus on catechesis in this stage: learning about the faith, how to live as a Christian, and developing your interior life.

                Your challenge now is to come into closer contact with the Living God, develope a relevant and life-giving relationship with Jesus as you learn more about the Catholic Faith.

RCIA stage 3: Getting ready for rebirth!

                This period of Election is the final stage before receiving the Easter sacraments of initiation into the Church: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. (Those already baptized with a valid baptism in another Christian church aren't baptized again.)

RCIA stage 4: Reflecting on the mysteries of living our faith

                This stage of mystagogy during Easter is for continued reflection on the sacraments you have received at Easter, especially the Eucharist.

 

For additional information

call Mrs. MaryAnn Houser (203-743-5168 x 108 or mailto:Mahouserdre@aol.com

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