What is the RCIA?
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the way adults come to learn about and experience the Christian life, specifically our Roman Catholic tradition, and become initiated into the life of our Church through the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
The RCIA Journey
The RCIA begins with a period of inquiry and maturing. This is a time for hearing the first preaching of the Gospel and of prayer. The end of this period is marked by the first stage or step which is celebrated by the whole community: The Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens.
The second period is called the Catechumenate. This is a time of more intense preaching and teaching of the Gospel, prayer, spiritual direction, catechesis – in other words, handing on the specific Roman Catholic traditions. It is also a time of getting to know members of the larger Christian community. This period ends with "The Rite of Election" when the catechumens are ready to respond totally to God's call of faith through the Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
The third period takes place during Lent. It is a time of purification and enlightenment or illumination for a more profound spiritual preparation. Its focus and conclusion is the Easter Vigil celebration and the Sacraments of Initiation.
The final period takes place during the Easter Season. The newly baptized are able to deepen their experience of the sacraments and of being new members of the Christian community.
Support During The RCIA Journey
This may seem overwhelming but you are not expected to take this journey alone. A sponsor is provided for each inquirer so that you will have individual support as well as an RCIA team to guide you. Initiation is a gradual process that takes place within the community of the church where your spiritual journey is encouraged by the faithful of the parish. Becoming a Catholic means to adopt a new way of life motivated by a life-changing friendship with Jesus.