Our parish welcomes the new members into the Catholic Church through a process of education, faith sharing, and rituals known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) describes the RCIA as a process in which participants "undergo . . . conversion as they study the Gospel, profess faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church, and receive the sacraments…" The RCIA is structured over a full initiation through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. Initiation within the Church is a journey of conversion that is gradual and ongoing and it takes place within the community of the faithful, the Church.
Who is welcome to begin the RCIA Journey?
All people who are open to discern their personal experience of faith and to learn more about the Catholic Church are welcome to begin the RCIA process. It doesn’t matter if you have or not a personal faith experience, overcome to a personal difficulty and tragedy, or a relationship or a discussion with a person of faith, which lead you to begin this journey, you only need a sincere desire to learn, to grow, and to develop a relationship with God.
The RCIA process can be applied to the following 3 groups:
The Steps of the Journey
First Step: Rite of Acceptance:
This is a liturgical rite in which the inquirer states publicly in the midst of the parish community that he or she wants to become a baptized member of the Church.
Second Step: Rite of Election:
The Rite of Election coincides with the beginning of Lent and is for all those who are seeking baptism at the Easter Vigil.
Third Step: Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation:
At the Easter Vigil, the catechumen receives the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Holy Eucharist and will continue to live out his or her response to God as a member of this faith community.
Period of Mystagogy:
The fourth stage is the period of post baptismal catechesis or mystagogy. At this time, the newly initiated explore their experience of being fully initiated through participation with all the faithful at Sunday Eucharist and through appropriate catechesis. Emphasis is placed on the study of the Gospel, the reception of the Eucharist, and actively living a life of charity, service, and love.
Beginning the Journey
For many people interested in becoming Catholic or entering into full communion with the Catholic Church, the process can be somewhat confusing or intimidating. After all, this is a major decision in one’s life. The decision to join the Church is exciting and will lead to a deepening of personal faith and relationship to God, others, and self. No matter what has brought you here, the fact that you are interested in taking the next step shows your openness to God and God’s call in your life. Perhaps you are asking where to begin the journey. The answer is that you have already begun! Welcome to your faith journey!The next step is to fill out the registration form and bring it to the Faith Formation Office Monday through Thursday from 9:00 to 5:00 and we would be happy to help you move ahead in your discernment process, or contact Deacon Tomas Jimenez at 919-552-8758 ext. 217, for more information.