What is RCIA?
The Catholic Church always welcomes new members into its community. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the present-day process by which people enter into the faith. RCIA is a process in which interested men and women can explore Catholicism, and make a decision to become a Catholic over a period of months.
Any adult, 18 years and older, who is unbaptized or a baptized Christian of another faith, may participate in the RCIA process.
What is the process?
- The process begins with a period known as Inquiry. This consists of a few weeks of inquiry and instruction, during which interested individuals can learn the beautiful core beliefs of the Catholic Church, Sacraments and Rituals, and basic Church history. This is a time when inquirers ask a lot of questions of the RCIA team members. After thi.s initial period, participants are asked to affirm their decision to continue the conversion process.
- Next is an extended period of classes designed to involve participants in the Church community and the Sacraments in a deep and profound way. This period allows participants the opportunity to examine their commitment and deepen their love relationship with Jesus Christ.
- For those committed, the next step is an introspective period involving prayer and reflection (normally during Lent) leading to the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation (customarily at the Easter Vigil).
- The process is completed in a period of reflection and prayer known as Mystagogy. This period gives the newly Baptized and/or Confirmed Catholics a chance to join or participate in different ministries in the Church and become acquainted with Parish life.
What if I’m married civilly, divorced, or divorced and remarried?
If you were married in a civil ceremony or if you are divorced and remarried, the Church may require an annulment or convalidation. Your circumstances must be addressed before beginning RCIA (Please see other church brochures on Annulments or Civil Marriages/Convalidations, or speak with one of the priests or Deacon Bob directly.)
If you are divorced but not remarried, you are free to begin the RCIA process. An annulment may be required if you later choose to marry in the Catholic Church. Since initiation into the Faith is a life changing transformation, we suggest you let the RCIA team know any and all concerns about marital issues prior to beginning RCIA.
What documents are required for becoming Catholic?
Baptized Christians of another faith will need a copy of their baptismal record. Copies of marriage certificates and decrees of annulment in the Church may be required if appropriate.