Becoming a Catholic (RCIA)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the process by which adults are formed in and initiated into the Catholic Church. Envisioned as an apprenticeship to the faith, this process is modeled after the order of the Catechumenate in early Christianity. Adults learn what it means to be a Christian disciple through reflecting on God’s word in Scripture, participating in the liturgical rites of the Church’s worship, sharing in the life of the parish community, and engaging in acts of service. The process has three stages: the period of Inquiry or Evangelization in which the first stirrings of faith are realized and discerned; the period of the Catechumenate begins after the Rite of Acceptance by which inquirers express formally their desire to follow Christ in the Catholic faith and they become known as catechumens; the period of Purification and Enlightenment begins with the Rite of Election by which the commitment of catechumens to seek baptism is recognized by the Bishop and they are now referred to as “the elect” and enter into a period of prayer and self-examination during Lent as they prepare for the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter; the period of Mystagogia follows the Sacraments of Initiation as the newly baptized, or neophytes, reflect on and celebrate on the mystery of their conversion to Jesus Christ.
Ideally, this entire process of the RCIA for unbaptized adults would take at least a year, but may take longer depending on a person’s circumstances. This process is adapted for children of catechetical age (7 years or older) and for those who are already validly baptized in another Christian denomination (referred to as “candidates”).
If you are interested in becoming Catholic, please contact the parish office for further information at 570-785-3838 or firstname.lastname@example.org.