Becoming Catholic

Becoming Catholic (RCIA)

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process in which individuals who have reached the age of reason find out more about the Catholic Faith.  It is an ancient process which was used in the early Church for individuals who wished to become part of the Catholic Community.  The Rite has been restored to the universal Church in the last thirty years.  It is now the proper way for people to understand the Catholic Faith and, if they desire, become members after they acquire an understanding of the Faith.

In the process, individuals learn of the beliefs, practices, and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Faith and they see and experience Catholic living through the community which they wish to enter.  Individuals who join the Catholic Community today possess both the knowledge and the experience of Catholicism before they are initiated into the Church thanks to the RCIA.

 

This process of understanding the Catholic Faith is not a mere expounding of doctrines and precepts, but a training period for the whole of Christian life.  It is the equivalent of an apprenticeship process.

Interested individuals meet in group sessions but the emphasis is on the individuals involved in the process.  Team members (those conducting the process) are constantly aware of the desires and needs of those participating and make every effort possible to meet those personal needs.

Because the RCIA is a personal journey, there is no set length for the process.  Most individuals travel through the process in about a year, but some prefer to delay their decision for a while longer, possibly as long as three years.  The rite is adaptable to the needs of the individual.

The RCIA is a welcoming by the Catholic community to individuals who have expressed a desire to examine that community  with the intention of possibly joining it.  These individuals are embraced by the Catholic community and become a vital part of it.  By Church law, a catechumen (one under study) is considered so important that they are entitled to a Catholic marriage or a Catholic funeral even prior to initiation.

Ministries in the RCIA

The primary minister of initiation in the RCIA is the parish community.  The quality of their lives, the concern and interest they show, the manner of worship, the commitment to social action is of primary importance.

Sponsors are members of the local community who are chosen to accompany the individual through the initial period of conversion.

Godparents accompany the individual through the final stage of the RCIA and continue as a companion with the individual throughout life.

Catechists have the greatest contact with the individuals meeting with them regularly to share faith, pray the scriptures, and share in the Catholic tradition.

 

To become a part of the exciting experience that is RCIA, whether as a participant or volunteer, please contact Parish Office 824-2935