RCIA – What is it?
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a process by which adults and teens are brought into membership in the Catholic Church. It is a personal faith journey for those who have never been baptized, or for those baptized in another faith.
Each person may journey towards full acceptance into the Catholic Church in their own time and will celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist when they feel ready and when others have validated this decision.
The RCIA can best be described as a journey of faith that passes through several doors – each door leading to the next path and onto the next door. You discover who you are as a son or daughter of a loving God. You reflect on what this relationship with the Holy One means for your life. You “come and see” where Jesus is found in your time and place.
A Process – not a program or a class
Three “doors” characterize the journey.
The PRECATECHUMENATE is a time for inquiry and introduction to gospel values. Reflecting on the footprint of God in your life and tracing your “spiritual DNA” is the work of this stage. What does God want for you?
Inquirers get to know the parish and get to know its parishioners in an informal way. Members who have gone through the RCIA are available to answer questions and “witness” to their experience with the process.
The CATECHUMENATE follows. At the Rite of Welcome and Acceptance, the inquirers step through another door to a period of deeper prayer, study and action. Now a candidate (one baptized in another Christian tradition) or catechumen (one not baptized), adults meet weekly on Wednesday to reflect on Scripture and experience the Faith. Teens meet Sunday before or after Life Teen Mass to explore Scripture and the Faith tradition.
At the end of this stage, usually at the beginning of Lent, with the Rites of Sending and Election, the Church celebrates the readiness of the catechumens and candidates to prepare to receive the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil. Lent is a time of intense reflection centered on conversion, purification and enlightenment. The Scrutinies are celebrated. Both groups, adults and teens, join in a day of recollection together.
After the Easter Vigil is the time of MYSTAGOGIA. The newly initiated experience full participation in the Catholic Christian community.
Working the process
Each phase of the RCIA brings with it a number of activities including:
Group meetings sharing stories of God’s presence in our lives
Reflections on Scripture alive in our experience
Personal prayer, study and action
Presentations about the Faith
Social evenings and gatherings
Stewardship and community work events
Tours of the Church
Community Rites celebrated during Mass
Is RCIA for you?
There are many reasons why you may want to become involved in RCIA. Do any of these fit you?
*I am searching for a deeper spirituality in my life.
*I am interested in learning more about the Catholic Church; what she *teaches and why.
*I am a baptized Catholic but have received little or no formal religious formation.
*I have never been baptized.
*I am married to a Catholic and attend Mass but just don’t know what the next step might be.
*I have been baptized in another Christian denomination and wish to become Catholic.
*I am a baptized Catholic but have not received Eucharist or Confirmation.
*I am a non-Christian and want to know more about Christianity.
You are always welcome to “Come and See.” The journey begins with one small step!
The Rite of Christian Initiation
The Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) process is underway!
Here are a few of the underlying principles of RCIA:
(it takes a whole parish to support the whole process.)
• RCIA is first and foremost a process.
• RCIA is a community event.
• RCIA ministry is basically one of witness and hospitality.
• RCIA is ongoing and multi-dimensional. Christians are made, not born.
• RCIA restores the baptismal focus of Lent, and reinstates the Easter Vigil as the honored time for initiation.
• RCIA is a step-by-step journey punctuated by corresponding rituals.
Any inquiries into the Catholic faith should be directed as follows:
Youth/Young People: Darlene Goderski at 934-8934
Adults: Bev Ishol at 934-2845.
Can I talk to someone now?
For further information about RCIA – call Shannon, director of faith formation, at 850-932-2859, ext. 234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.