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 Community

    • 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