Becoming a Catholic
John's disciples came up to Jesus and said
"Master, where do you live?"
Jesus replied, "Come and see"
So they went with him and saw where he
lived, and they stayed with him that day.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a journey made together, to deepen our understanding of the faith that the Catholic Church professes.
The goal is to help all of us get a clearer sense of how we should live out our faith lives.
RCIA is a faith formation process that helps us in our spiritual journey and helps us grow closer to God.
At St. Mary's it means a weekly meeting with others who are also making the journey and with members of the RCIA team.
- It consists of prayer, presentation and small group discussion. There is no time limit on the length of the process, for many it will be one of eight or nine months, for others it may be longer.
- The goal is to help all of us get a clearer sense of what our priorities should be and how we should live out our lives.
- RCIA follows a set process, but is adaptable to the needs of all of us who are making the journey. Each one of us starts at a different place and comes from a different direction, so RCIA must reflect our differences.
RCIA has four distinct stages or phases and at the end of each stage is a service which marks the step taken.
During this period, we look at our own faith lives and the paths we have taken. Many questions are asked and the idea of Gospel values and the
beginnings of faith are explored.
- The Rite of Welcome is a service for those who wish to continue the journey.
This period involves a deeper study of the teachings of Jesus and his church. It provides the space for those journeying to deepen their knowledge of God and the Catholic faith.
- The Rite of Election is a service in the Cathedral for all those in the diocese making the journey.
- The period of enlightenment
This is the time before Easter in which each person reflects on their own personal conversion to Christ through the study of the Gospels .
- The celebration of the sacraments of initiation is when those who have been journeying are admitted to full membership of the Catholic church.
- The newly initiated look at ways in which they can play an active role on the life of the church.