The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
For any adults who are interested in becoming Catholic, there is a programme operating in the parishes called “Becoming Catholic” – The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or RCIA for short. This is a programme which has a long history in the Church, from its earliest days, and it operates in many Catholic parishes throughout the world..
After an initial six-week enquiry period, those who wish to continue enter a more formal time of discernment called the Catechumenate.
This runs from September through to Easter, when those entering the Church are baptised and confirmed at the Easter Vigil. (If a person has already been validly baptised – Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, and so on – they are not baptised again.)
After this, there is a time of settling in to the Church, called the Mystagogia period.
To become a part of the Becoming Catholic programme, arrange an appointment with the parish priest. You can bring along a Catholic friend (sponsor) if you’d like.
There is a considerable commitment involved – most of all, the commitment to take on the life and teachings of Christ and hisChurch. You also need to be able to attend most Wednesday evening sessions, and make Sunday Mass a part of your weekly routine.
You are led in the process by a team of catechists, Catholic parishioners who lead you through the various aspects of the Faith we introduce you too: Church, Scripture, Sacraments, Church history, prayer, ministry, and so on.
As well, you will have a sponsor to journey with you through this programme. This person needs to be a practising Catholic (i.e. goes to Mass every Sunday), and able and willing to attend most Wednesday evenings with you, as well as meet with you on other occasions to informally discuss your “progress” in the journey to faith. If you don’t know of such a person, we can team you up with a suitable parishioner.
While there is a considerable commitment involved, you are able to withdraw from the programme at any time.
Becoming Catholic is an exciting, challenging journey. Get in touch if you’d like to know more. May God bless you.