Process of Becoming Catholic
RCIA is the Church's way of guiding those who seek church membership. Some people will need more time than others to prepare for this lifetime commitment. Your questions about God, faith, and what religious path you are called to follow are important to us. We respect where you are and where you have been, and would like to share what we believe and why we find the Catholic community a channel of God's grace. We invite you to explore with us this journey of faith which we call the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. There are four stages to this initiation: inquiry, catechumenate, purification and mystagogy. During this time, candidates participate in regular sessions, retreat days and personal conversations with the director of RCIA and parish priest. A sponsor is either chosen or appointed and aids the candidate on this journey through prayerful support and personal witness. The entire faith community supports each candidate through prayer and witnessing.
How long does it take?
For those who seek full communion in the Catholic Church, the time may vary. Catechumens and candidates need to experience the yearly calendar of Catholic practice fully in order to make an informed decision. The process of spiritual renewal and catechesis should not be hurried, especially for those not accustomed to Catholic practices. Lent (Season of Baptism) prepares catechumens, candidates and the whole community for Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. The celebration of the Easter Vigil dramatically points to the center of the Church's life: "The Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ". Generally the Sacrament of Initiation or the Rite of Reception takes place at the Easter Vigil. The decision is made together with the candidate, the pastor and RCIA director.*
Outline for R.C.I.A. Process
- Period of Inquiry
- Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens
- Period of the Catechumenate
- Election or Enrollment of Names
- Period of Purification and Enlightenment
- Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation
- Period of Post Baptismal Catechesis or Mystagogy