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The RCIA Process

The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for.

(Cathecism of the Catholic Church, 27)

About the RCIA Process

Each year on Holy Saturday during the Easter Vigil,  thousands are baptized into the Catholic Church in the United States. Parishes welcome these new Catholics through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Listed below are some questions and answers about RCIA. 

 

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a process of initiation into the Catholic Community of Faith.  This is for persons who are seeking baptism in the Catholic Church or full communion with the Catholic tradition through the Profession of Faith, reception of Holy Eucharist and Adult Confirmation.  It is a process which enables the study of the Gospels, Catholic teaching, Christian values, and the development and deepening of a life of prayer and action with the support and involvement of the parish community.

 

If you are interested, please contact Chris Fortin. 

The Five Stages of the RCIA Process

1. Inquiry or Pre-Catechumenate: 

At this time participants are encouraged to ask questions and to explore the basic tenets of the Catholic faith and to reflect upon these in light of their own life experiences. 

 

2. The Catechumenate: 

It is during this time that most of study of Scripture, doctrine, traditions and meeting with the community takes place.

 

3. Purification and Enlightenment:

For those preparing for baptism, this stage takes place during the season of Lent where they reflect upon their own faith experiences in a more intense, prayerful way.  At other times during the year, baptized candidates reflect more deeply upon the meaning of their baptism and celebrate the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation.

 

4. Sacraments of Initiation 

Candidates for baptism celebrate their initiation into the Church on the holiest of nights–the Easter Vigil — where they are baptized, confirmed and receive Holy Eucharist.  Candidates for full communion celebrate their Rite of Reception several other times throughout the year.

 

5. Mystagogia

This is a time for candidates to reflect upon their experiences of being new Catholic Christians and to find their place in the ordinary life of the Church.

Why is there an RCIA Process?

God is always calling all of us to Himself; over time and in stages we grow both in knowledge and in deeper understanding of who God is and who we are in Him. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults is designed specifically for those who, "after hearing the mystery of Christ proclaimed, consciously and freely seek the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts. By God's help they will be strengthened spiritually during their preparation and at the proper time will receive the sacraments fruitfully." (RCIA Study Edition, 1)