Are you thinking about beginning the RCIA process, but have questions? Please read through the frequently asked questions below.
How long is the RCIA Process?
Sessions are from September through May, meeting weekly from 9 to Noon.
Who Is the RCIA Process For?
Persons in need of Baptism.
Persons baptized in another Christian tradition who desire to become Catholic.
Persons baptized Catholic in need of First Communion and/or Confirmation.
What are the various ministries involved in the RCIA?
The initiation of new members can only take place within the context of a community of believers. “The initiation of adults is the responsibility of all the baptized.
Sponsor / Godparent
This is a person who accompanies the candidate on the faith journey. This person must be fully initiated and a practicing member of the Roman Catholic Church.
Catechist / Team Member
This is a person responsible for presenting the faith to the candidates and of being visible and actively involved. This is done in collaboration with others including the RCIA director.
How does it work?
The way of becoming a Catholic Christian follows a process of journeying through different periods of formation. Each period is a span of time devoted to formation in doctrine, prayer, liturgy, and Christian living.
Period of Inquiry or Pre-Catechumenate
This initial period intends to awaken the faith of persons, through a dialogue between their own lives and the message of Christianity. It is a time for genuine questioning about the meaning of what life can be in Christ and finding that meaning in the Roman Catholic faith.
Rite of Acceptance / Welcome
This begins one’s formal entrance into the Church. Those who are unbaptized are called catechumens and those who have been previously baptized are called candidates.
Period of the Catechumenate
Where the Pre-Catechumenate was more concerned about information, this period is about formation in the Christian life. The “text” for this period is the scriptures.
Rite of Election
This brings the catechumenate period to an end. This ritual marks the transition from the deepening of faith to a consecration in the faith. This is usually done on the First Sunday of Lent. The catechumens are now called “the elect.”
Period of Enlightenment / Purification
This is like a six-week retreat. The entire parish community renews its commitment to the Christian life by joining with the elect and candidates in reflecting on Scripture and prayer.
Period of Mystagogy
This period follows the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation ( Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion) as a person reflects on their experiences and looks at how they can be stewards in the community with the gifts they have been given by God. This period is a reminder that the initiation process is not the end of becoming a Christian, but merely the beginning of becoming one.
For further information, please contact:
Shirley McDermott, R.C.I.A. Director