RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)
Interested in becoming a Catholic?
Baptized in another faith denomination?
Spouse or fiancée Catholic?
Baptized a Catholic but never formed in faith or received Confirmation or First Eucharist?
If you are seeking to find a faith you can embrace fully as your own, then we welcome you to explore with us what it means to be Catholic!
Persons who are seekers of faith are invited to enter a wonderful process with a big name: The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA. Through this process, depending on where you are in your journey, people gather with others to explore, learn, discuss, question, experience and celebrate the Catholic faith. People are invited to begin this journey of faith at any time. They enter the church when they are ready, which can take a year or even many years. Most all adults who are not baptized do so at an Easter Vigil, where they celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.
Those who are already baptized and feel drawn to become members of the Catholic Church are received into Full Communion with the Catholic Church at various times throughout the year depending upon their readiness. This process can take anywhere from 8 months to a year or more. Each individual’s own journey is respected and no one is ever pressured to enter the Catholic Church.
Who typically attends RCIA?
At the “Inquiry Stage,” or “the beginning of the process:
Anyone not already baptized or already baptized in another Christian Faith or anyone who might be starting to ask what it means to be a Catholic. This might include but is not limited to:
Non-Catholics who are married to Catholics, whether unbaptized or baptized in another faith
Visitors who are interested in the Catholic Church, whether unbaptized or baptized in another faith
Those who do not currently have a church home, but are looking for the faith experience found in the Catholic Church
Adult Catholics who have not yet received the Sacraments or First Eucharist or Confirmation.
Once the person feels that they are ready to make a commitment to continue on, and the church leadership agrees with this decision, the next stage begins in becoming a Catholic. This stage can take as long as it takes for the person to be committed to make the next step in being committed to becoming a Disciple of Christ. Usually around the beginning of Lent in the year the person hopes to be baptized, which would normally be at the upcoming Easter Vigil, the person discerns they are ready to join the Catholic Church and then enter the stage of spiritual readiness.
Even though the above stages are present in the process, every individual’s faith experience is different and that is respected. No one is ever pressured to proceed to the next stage before they are ready. By the same token, no one is ever pressured to enter the Church – it must be a free and personal decision.
Is the RCIA the only way to become Catholic or for someone already Catholic to be Confirmed?
Depending on one’s faith experience and religious background, the RCIA process may not necessarily be the only way to come fully into the Catholic faith. An adult who has participated in Catholic education up to confirmation age and has been an active Catholic for many years is not required to be part of the RCIA process to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation. However preparation is still necessary.
For more information about our RCIA process, please contact Fr. Dennis.