Take the next step.
RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is the official process for adults who wish to explore joining the Catholic Church.
Would you like to become Catholic?
Discern joining our RCIA program.
About the structure
There are four stages in the RCIA process.
Pre-Catechumenate is the first stage. Those who feel called to explore the Catholic faith are given an opportunity to review their own lives and the way God has already been speaking to them. As adults assess their personal life story, they also explore the way Jesus called his disciples and continues to call people today. Basic questions like what we are living for and where we are headed, are given attention during this stage. Also words like ‘faith,’ ‘religion,’ ‘doctrine,’ ‘church,’ and more are examined.
Catechumenate is the second stage of RCIA. This term comes from the Greek and was used in the early church for those who were studying Christianity. During this stage, all participants will explore the teachings of the Catholic Church, including moral teachings, the sacraments, and more
Lent is the forty days of serious prayer and preparation that leads up to Easter. This stage is relatively short but emphasizes discernment and God’s plan for each person.
Mystagogia is the time after Easter. In short, it is a time for learning to live the mystery of our Christian faith, especially for those who have just joined the church at Easter.
Regardless of which session we are in, RCIA sessions are presented with the best of adult learning techniques. Sessions are conducted in a relaxed way with a variety of presentation styles.
Each participant will have a sponsor, someone who lives the Catholic faith, as a personal mentor or coach. These sponsors need not be expert theologians but must truly practice their faith. If the participant has difficulty finding a personal sponsor, the parish will provide one.
RCIA is about formation of a person in the Catholic faith as much as provide information about the Catholic church. Sessions involve prayer and personal reflection.
About RCIA participants
How does someone know that he or she is ready for RCIA?
- First of all, the adult who is considering joining RCIA should feel drawn to walking with the Lord. RCIA is not merely about becoming Catholic, but it emphasizes listening to the plan that God has for each person.
At times people have deeply moving experiences that remind them that God is already active in their lives. From those moments, they want to come closer to God and better understand God’s plan.
- Those drawn to RCIA most likely have already worshiped with Catholics and find something about the Mass encouraging them to learn more. Many are drawn by the Eucharist and the desire to be in Communion with God and other Catholics.
- Some people simply have realized there is something missing in their lives. Perhaps they have never had an active church membership. Or maybe they went to a church (whatever denomination) when they were young. Either way, they realize now is the time to explore a lively, vibrant faith.
People are often attracted to a particular parish church. And we hope that parishes represent the best of what Catholicism can be. At the same time, becoming Catholic means joining the universal church, one that connects millions of persons throughout the world
- Those who enter RCIA do not necessarily have to have made a commitment to joining the Catholic Church. Rather, the commitment is to exploring the Catholic Church. No one is ever forced to join the church; we also encourage families not to put pressure on anyone since the decision needs to be made in freedom.
For more information, contact Fr. Herb Weber.