What is RCIA?
RCIA stands for the “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.” The RCIA is a journey of faith for those who are searching and inquiring about the what the Catholic Church teaches and believes. While this program is oriented for adults, mature teenagers may also participate in the RCIA process.
Who should attend RCIA?
- Those who have never been baptized in the Christian faith
- Those who are not currently attending a church or other faith community and who wish to become Catholic
- Those who would like to convert to Catholicism from another faith.
- Those who are curious and would like to learn more about the Catholic faith. These individuals may be involved in interfaith marriages or simply are actively involved in a church of a different faith or denomination.
- Those who were baptized Catholic but did not continue to practice the faith or who have never participated in the Sacraments of Eucharist and/or Confirmation.
When does RCIA take place?
Normally, those who attend RCIA at St. Paul on the Lake meet together at the 8:30 am Sunday Mass and are dismissed as a group after the priest’s homily (sermon) to another location. Led by another Catholic, the group reflects upon the scripture readings of the Mass and then listen to a topic related to the Catholic faith. This time allows participants to ask questions and discuss the faith in a non-judgmental forum. The gathering typically lasts 2.5 hours from 8:30 – 11:00 am.
How long does RCIA take?
The RCIA is not a class or program, but rather a process of conversion. The RCIA will prepare you to begin your journey of faith, which may lead to a lifelong commitment as a Catholic.
The usual length of preparation is approximately one year. However, some people may feel they need more time to prepare. In most cases, the initiation of new members through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist is celebrated at the Easter Vigil (evening before Easter Sunday).
What happens in the RCIA?
The RCIA involves four stages, each marked by a special ritual celebrating the person’s deepening desire to say “yes” to living the Catholic faith.
- Inquiry: This is a time of searching for God, for meaning in life, and for asking initial questions and seeking answers about the Catholic faith.
- Catechumenate: (Cat-eh-kyoo-men-it) During this time, catechumens and candidates are formed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and learn more in depth about the Catholic tradition.
- Purification and Enlightenment: This time occurs during Lent and includes prayer and deeper reflection as one prepares to receive the sacraments at the Easter Vigil celebration.
- Mystagogia: (Mis-tah-goh-jee-ah) A time after Easter celebration to unfold the mysteries and deepen one’s understanding of what it means to “become” Eucharist and live Christ’s mission in our world.
For more information or to register for RCIA, please contact Mrs. Fran Bauer at 313.885.8855.