The RCIA is not a series of classes that you take in order to “graduate” as Catholic. Rather, it is a conversion to the Christian life.
The RCIA process is for people who are interested in the Roman Catholic faith and who would like to pursue learning about our religion and join our community of believers. The process of RCIA traces its roots back to the earliest days of Christian communities, when all members shared their faith with newcomers as a way of teaching them about the new WAY – the Way of Jesus the Risen Lord.
Before the Rite, as we know it, was defined about 50+ years ago, those who wished to learn more about the Catholic religion and “convert” met with the parish priest for individual instruction. Now we share the privilege and responsibility of communal spirit, teaching and faith sharing.
Maybe you are looking to be Baptized Catholic. Perhaps you are married to a Catholic and wish to find out more about your spouse’s faith. Perhaps you are already a Catholic and never received your First Eucharist and Confirmation. Or perhaps you are baptized in another Christian faith, but have thought about becoming a Catholic. The RCIA Journey in Faith is for all of you!
Catechumens (those who wish to be baptized in the Catholic faith and become full members) and Candidates (this wishing to complete their initiation in the Catholic Church by receiving the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation) are guided by catechists, sponsors, and parish staff who welcome them and accompany them on their faith journey.
Becoming a Catholic is not just a matter of learning and accepting a number of beliefs. It is a process of growth and conversation. This is why it is called a “Journey in Faith”. It involves personal growth, as well as growing into a particular Catholic community or parish. For this reason each parish in the Catholic Church is responsible for its own RCIA process.
Those who want to enquire more seriously into becoming a Catholic will need a sponsor who will pray for and support the enquirer on the Journey in Faith. The sponsor is meant to be a fellow pilgrim on the journey, and must be a Catholic. The sponsor may be a spouse or friend. However, if the enquirer does not know anyone suitable, the parish will be happy to suggest someone.
Ordinary parishioners can join this journey of faith and many find the sessions helpful in developing their knowledge of their Catholic faith and their understanding of its traditions. As you learn, you may even become a “parish sponsor” for those seeking to join the Church.
The initial stage of RCIA is called INQUIRY. During the inquiry sessions we will answer questions and present some basic elements of Catholicism to participants.
The inquiry group includes: those who have never been baptized, those baptized in another Christian religion but now seek to profess their faith in the Catholic Church, and Catholic adults who have not received Confirmation and/or Eucharist.
Former RCIA Participants have said:
- RCIA is such a special experience each week, I felt so welcomed, and received warmth and kindness from everyone present.
- I looked forward to RCIA every Sunday. It was a very rewarding and enriching experience for me.
- I joined RCIA in order to have a better understanding of my husband’s faith. Through the course of the year, I found that every week I was attending less for someone else and more for me. The knowledge and support I gained was exceptional and the Easter Vigil was the culmination of a fabulous year of growth for me.
- I wished that I had done this years ago.
For more information or to join the RCIA, contact Sr. Marietta Umlor at 708-873-4635 or firstname.lastname@example.org.