What is the RCIA?
The R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults), also called the Baptismal Catechumenate, is a process of initiation into the Catholic Community of Faith for persons who are experiencing a conversion in their lives and seeking either Christian baptism in the Catholic Church or full Communion with the Catholic tradition of Eucharist and Confirmation.
It is a journey that enables the study of the Gospels, Catholic Christian teaching, the acceptance of Christian values and morality, the development and deepening of a life of prayer and action with the support and involvement of the local Christian community. The RCIA is more than a course of instruction. Ultimately, it is a process of conversion, designed to meet the unique and individual needs of the participants and to foster a personal relationship with God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Five Stages of the RCIA Process:
- Inquiry or Pre-Catechumenate. At this time participants are encouraged to ask questions and explore the basic tenets of the Catholic faith and to reflect upon these in light of their own life experiences. There is no commitment required in this stage. Depending on their personal journey and readiness, this stage can last from a handful of weeks to months or years.
- The Catechumenate. When a person is ready for a greater commitment into the faith and desires to move towards receiving the sacraments, this is when they enter the Catechumenate after going through the Rite of Acceptance. It is during this time that most of their study consists of deepening their knowledge and understanding of the faith while drawing closer to Christ. One can only enter the Catechumenate after attending the Inquiry and setting up an interview with John Rinaldo, Pastoral Associate for Adult Faith Formation.
- Purification & Enlightenment. For those preparing for baptism, this stage takes place during the Lenten season where they reflect upon their own faith experiences in a more intense, prayerful way.
- Sacraments of Initiation. Candidates for baptism celebrate their initiation into the Church on the holiest of nights-the Easter Vigil – where they are baptized, confirmed, and receive Eucharist. For those who have already been baptized, but have not received their confirmation or Eucharist, they, too, will receive their sacraments during the Easter Vigil.
- Mystagogia. This is a time for fully initiated members of our community to reflect upon their experiences of being new Catholic Christians and find their place in the ordinary life of the Church. Although formally, mystagogia usually takes place from Easter to Pentecost, we are called to continue our faith journey and growth for the rest of our lives.
Interested in Becoming Catholic and Entering the RCIA?
As mentioned above, the first step is to attend our Inquiry sessions. They take place on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month in the Community Center at St. Thomas More. The full schedule with topics is below. You are welcome to drop in at any time to join us. There is no beginning or end to Inquiry and will continue all year round.
P.S. Even if you’re fully initiated in the Catholic Church and you just want to learn more about your faith, you are absolutely welcome to drop in as well!
We also have a program called Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC), which is intended for children age 7 and up, that were not baptized as infants, who have attained the use of reason and are of catechetical age. They seek Christian initiation either at the direction of their parents or guardians. This process is also intended for those teens (grades 9-12) who have been baptized but have never attended any formal faith formation classes. * Please note that this is a parent participation process. For more information, please contact Jenifer Jefferies at 725-204-9912 or at [email protected]
|Wednesday, September 22nd (6:30-8:00 pm)||What is Inquiry? An introduction to RCIA|
|Wednesday, October 13th (6:30-8:00 pm)||Tour of the Church|
|Wednesday, October 27th (6:30-8:00 pm)||What’s up with the Saints?|
|Wednesday, November 10th (6:30-8:00 pm)||You Are Called By God|
|Wednesday, November 24th||No Session (Thanksgiving Break)|
|Wednesday, December 8th (6:30-8:00 pm)||What is Advent?|
|Wednesday, December 22nd (6:30-8:00 pm)||Who is Mary?|
|Wednesday, January 12th (6:30-8:00 pm)||What is the Sacrament of Baptism?|
|Wednesday, January 26th (6:30-8:00 pm)||The Bible (part 1)|
|Wednesday, February 9th (6:30-8:00 pm)||The Bible (part 2)|
|Wednesday, February 23rd (6:30-8:00 pm)||What is Lent?|
|Wednesday, March 9th (6:30-8:00 pm)||What is the Sacrament of Confirmation?|
|Wednesday, March 23rd (6:30-8:00 pm)||Seeing God in All Things|
|Wednesday, April 13th (6:30-8:00 pm)||What’s so special about the Triduum?|
|Wednesday, April 27th (6:30-8:00 pm)||Jesus: Myth or History?|
|Wednesday, May 11th (6:30-8:00 pm)||The Mass (part 1)|
|Wednesday, May 25th (6:30-8:00 pm)||The Mass (part 2)|
|Wednesday, June 8th (6:30-8:00 pm)||Who is the Holy Spirit?|
|Wednesday, June 22nd (6:30-8:00 pm)||Developing Your Moral Conscience|
|Wednesday, July 13th (6:30-8:00 pm)||What is the Sacrament of Reconciliation?|
|Wednesday, July 27th (6:30-8:00 pm)||How Do I Pray?|
|Wednesday, August 10th (6:30-8:00 pm)||What is the Sacrament of Eucharist?|
*Topics could change without notice.
If you’d like to learn more about any part of the RCIA, please reach out to John Rinaldo at [email protected] or 702-476-2281.
If you are interested in attending Inquiry, you are encouraged to fill out the form below to let us know you plan to attend.