Interested in learning about the Catholic Faith?
Please contact the Parish Center (347-6108) for upcoming RCIA Information. Classes begin each year in the fall and run through the Easter Season.
How Do I Become a Catholic?
RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, is the process by which Non-Catholic adults (whether unbaptized or baptized in another Christian denomination) become members of the Roman Catholic Church. It is a period of study and formation where adults learn about the Catholic faith and prepare to receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist) that make them full members of the Catholic Church. Additionally, the RCIA process is the avenue through which Catholic adults who have not received all of the Sacraments of Initiation are able to do so.
The RCIA process includes
- Doctrinal formation, believing with the Church community
- Practical formation, living with the Church community
- Liturgical formation, praying with the Church community
- Apostolic formation, serving with the Church community
How Is It Done?
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults re-institutes the process used in the early Catholic Church which employs these six principles:
- Conversion — Each person is gently guided to turn and grow closer to God.
- Process — Together we journey towards Christian initiation and the life in grace.
- Catechesis — Instruction draws on the teachings of Catechism of the Catholic Church.
- Scripture — The Bible is used to share the Word of God.
- Liturgy — Worship services are celebrated with the entire community.
- Sacraments — Mysteries of salvation are experienced through signs and symbols.
How Is It Structured?
The RCIA process consists of four periods marked by three rites. The first period is called the Pre-Catechumenate, which is a period of informal introduction to the Catholic Church community and a time for inquirers to ask questions and gather information about the Church and her teachings.
The second period is called the Catechumenate. Preceded by the Rite of Acceptance, this is a period of systematic study in which each person learns the fundamentals of the Catholic Faith.
Part Three of the RCIA process, called the Enlightenment, is a period of spiritual preparation for initiation into the Catholic Church. It begins with the Rite of Election, where persons pass from an initial, preliminary understanding of the Christian life to another more discerning, zealous approach to a life in Christ. During the Enlightenment period, persons prepare themselves spiritually through repentance to celebrate the Paschal Mystery. It is a time spent thirsting for the waters of Baptism, and/or the renewal provided by it. The Enlightenment period concludes with the Rite of Initiation which takes place during the Easter Vigil celebration on Holy Saturday night. This is when persons receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist, becoming a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church.
Part Four of the RCIA process, called the Mystagogia, is a continuing period of formation and education that follows the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation. During this period, newly Initiated persons reflect on their experiences at the Easter Vigil and continue to learn more about the Scriptures, the Sacraments, and the teachings of the Catholic Church. In addition they reflect on how they will serve Christ and help in the Church’s mission and outreach activities.
How Can You Help?
Any member of the Saint Joseph Roman Catholic community can join the RCIA process in any of several ways…
- Bring a friend to explore the Catholic Church
- Come and be a sponsor
- Pray for the RCIA candidates
- Go through RCIA as an Inquirer
Participants normally attend class from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday evenings at the Parish Center.