RCIA is a process through which an adult becomes a member of the Catholic Church. It is a journey for those who know they want to become Catholic, those who think they may want to become Catholic, those who are just looking, or those who merely want to know more about what Catholics believe. The RCIA process provides a special period of time and space devoted solely to learning about the Catholic way of living the Christian faith by examining its teachings and beliefs, experiencing its many ways of praying, and sharing with others this mysterious journey of faith. The process proceeds through four distinct phases:
Period of Inquiry
During this first phase, interested persons are invited to “come and see.” It is a time of asking questions and getting the beginnings of answers. You may enter the Inquiry phase at any time by contacting a member of the Pastoral Team. Formal group meetings usually begin around mid-September. The period of inquiry may last as long as the participant chooses.
This is a period of focused spiritual formation for persons interested in the Catholic way of life. It begins formally with the Rite of Welcome during one of the Sunday masses and lasts until Easter. During the catechumenate, those who are preparing for baptism (Catechumens) join with those who have been baptized in another Christian tradition and are preparing for full communion with the Roman Catholic Church (Candidates) to be formed in the Catholic faith. This is done through prayer, presentation, discussion, and meeting the community. Formation sessions take place every Monday night from 7:15 to 9:00 PM. In addition, catechumens and candidates are invited to attend weekly mass on Sundays together at 11:00 AM. Following the Scripture readings and homily, they will be sent from the congregation to engage in discussion around the Scriptures in preparation for the day when they will remain to join the rest of the community in receiving the Eucharist.
The Easter Vigil Mass is the high point of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. At this liturgy, which is the most solemn ceremony of the Church year, catechumens are baptized and candidates are received into the Catholic Church. All are confirmed and receive communion for the first time.
The period of mystagogia is a time for reflecting back on the meaning of the Easter Vigil and the sacraments that have been experienced. Faith formation continues in a less formal way until the feast of Pentecost, when the process concludes for those who have been initiated.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Catholic, please see the table in the Gathering Area for information about initiation into the Catholic Church or download the invitation form here. Interested persons who are already baptized may not need to participate in the full RCIA process. See Fr. Mark for more information.