Becoming Catholic As An Adult - Your Questions Answered
What is RCIA?
Are you interested in joining the Catholic Church? Then RCIA (Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults) is for you! The RCIA process introduces you to the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. It helps you explore what it means to be a Christian. It prepares you to enter fully into our community of faith through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. Becoming Catholic is more than just learning scripture and rituals, it's discovering how to be a disciple of the Lord.
We welcome all those who are new to the faith, the unbaptized or baptized, those that have not yet been confirmed in the Church and also those who are simply just searching for God.
How to Start The RCIA Process
First, come join us in church on the 1st and 3rd Sundays after the 9 am Mass for faith-sharing. Ask questions about RCIA and becoming Catholic.
If you have more questions after the faith-sharing times contact any RCIA leader or:
Who Should Come To RCIA?
People who have never had any faith experience
People who have been brought up in another faith; but they are interested in the Catholic faith
People who were baptized Catholic; but they have not received the Sacraments of Communion or Confirmation
People who are married to Catholics and would like to know more
People who feel the prompting of God’s Spirit
How Long Does It Take to Become a Member of the Catholic Church?
RCIA - Becoming a fully-initated member of the Catholic Church takes as long as it takes for those who have been baptized. For those who have never been baptized, they are welcomed in and through the Easter Vigil, the holiest celebration in the Church entire year, with the celebration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation.
Our focus is on a faith sharing experience, and ultimately a conversion of heart that leads to a life of Christian discipleship. With this conversion of heart, we pray you find and develop a deep relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ!
You are not tied to a strict timeline, it’s a journey!
When are the sessions held?
What Are the RCIA Process Steps?
During this time, you are encouraged to ask any questions about Christianity and receive truthful, life: sharing answers from Catholic Christians. The informal discussions during the inquiry period help you link your personal life stories to the Good News as witnessed and lived by the Roman Catholic Community.
If you desire to continue the conversion journey within our faith community, you are invited to experience the first major rite of the RCIA process, the Rite of Acceptance. The rite of acceptance marks both your acceptance of the call of Christ and the communities welcoming acceptance of you, typically at Sunday Mass, with a prayer of strengthening for the journey symbolic of both the joys and the costs of Christian discipleship.
The word catechumenate means "time of serious study”. The length of the catechumenate varies according to individual need. You do not travel alone during this period. Sponsors (practicing Catholics) act as spiritual companions, providing personal support, sharing experience of Christian life and helping you feel "at home" with Catholic religious practice.
The catechumenate period ends when you are ready to begin the third period of the journey, the period of purification and enlightenment, which coincides with Lent (a forty day “retreat”) each year. Here we celebrate the second major rite of the RCIA process, the Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion, Purification and Enlightenment.
This is a time of final preparation for initiation. Joining with the whole church as she enters the Lenten Season, this period is one of prayer, fasting, and reflection – a forty-day “retreat” for the entire church.
You are initiated through the consummating rite of the RCIA process, the Sacraments of Initiation, at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday Night. On that night, when light drives out darkness, joyful sounds fill the silence, and we proclaim and renew our resurrection hope as you culminate your long journey to initiation. If you have not been baptized – this is the night you are born again in the waters of Baptism: then, along with those who are already baptized, you are sealed with the oil of Confirmation and share the bread and wine of the Eucharist as full members of the Roman Catholic community.
Your journey as disciples of the Lord enters into the next period of the RCIA journey, the mystagogia, which means "living the mysteries," for the rest of your life! We all are on a "mystagogia" experience! In our support, you are invited to continue to meet to explore and confirm the Easter experience. This is a pilgrimage of lifelong, continuous conversion in full communion with the Roman Catholic community of Christians.
Reflections and Questions to Think About
As a preparation to begin this journey think about...
Why (or what) motivates you to begin this journey with us?
What are the areas of most concern to you when you consider becoming Catholic?
What is (where do you place) the foundation of “truth” for yourself; in other words, what are the “sources” for yourself in knowing the truth about God, the universe, the “meaning of it all.”
Consider how the Catholic Church discriminates what is the “truth” of God. Practical example: in the Nicene Creed, prayed in virtually every Christian denomination, where do those truths listed and prayed come from?
How do Catholics understand what it means to “be instructed in His ways..... walk in His paths...?”
What is your vision of life after death?
Why there are so many different Christian religions, all claiming to be the authentic church of Jesus Christ?
What is the relationship between the 35,000 Christian denominations and traditions, with one another?
Is it moral to evangelize other Christians to a particular Christian church (approaching Lutherans to become Catholic; Presbyterians evangelizing Baptists, etc.)... if so, why; if not, why not? Are we not all the same, anyway?
What is the relationship between what is taught as being absolutely true, (e.g., God created the world) and morality – the subject of being holy, the discriminating good from evil, doing what we ought to do from that which we ought not to do.
“You have taught me, O Lord, from my youth; and I shall declare your wondrous works even to my old age.”