The RCIA is the process through which adults become members of the Catholic Church.
Why Be Catholic?
Catholic authors, Richard Rohr OFM and Joseph Martos, list “Eight Good Reasons for Being Catholic” in an article for Catholic Update. Here are their reasons:
An optimistic view of creation: Catholics see God shining through all of creation so Catholics are very comfortable using elements of creation—water, fire, oil, bread, wine, human touch—in the Church’s sacramental celebrations.
A universal vision: The word “catholic” means “universal.” The Catholic Church is multinational, multicultural, and multiracial in its universal vision.
A holistic outlook: Catholics believe that everyone is called to achieve their fullest potential, to be a truly whole and holy person, and this requires true conversion.
Personal growth: Catholics, therefore, see life as a constant process of continuous conversion to become more like Christ; a journey of faith open to God’s grace.
Social transformation: Catholics believe that society itself must be transformed so that all people are set free to live as children of God.
A communal spirit: From the earliest days of the Church, the Christian way of life was communitarian. Saint Paul called each community a “body of Christ.”
A profound sense of history: The Church is over 2000 years old. From this unique perspective of history, Catholic have learned that the gospel can be lived in any place, at any time, under any condition.
A respect for human knowledge: Catholics believe that if they are firmly grounded in their faith, that faith is not threatened by the search for scientific knowledge. Catholics know that all truth comes from God, whether it is revealed or discovered.
If you or someone you know wishes to join the Catholic Church or simply desires to learn more about the Church, continue to read below......
Interested in being Catholic? Need Confirmation and Eucharist? Check out RCIA
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is especially designed for the following people who: have never been baptized; have been baptized in another Christian tradition, or who are baptized Catholics needing to receive the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. Or, if simply, you or anyone you know is interested in examining your faith life, baptism, prayer, or the Catholic Church, then this is for you. Sessions are on Mondays, 6:30-8:30pm in the Mothers Room located in the Church.
An Overview of the RCIA - Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
Parishes welcome 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). This process includes several stages marked by prayer, study, and discussion. Included in the process are several Rites, which take place within the context of the Mass. 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 process follows the ancient practice of the Church and was restored by the Second Vatican Council as the normal way adults prepare for baptism.”
The RCIA is structured over a series of ceremonial steps and periods of learning, and the timing of these may vary for each individual. One may take as much time as he or she needs in the initiation process before becoming ready for 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 suited to individual needs. It is a process rather than an educational program and this process takes place within the community of the faithful, the local Church.
The RCIA process has several distinct stages. These Catholic RCIA stages are a good model of faith development itself, so this article will fit you whether or not you're actually in the RCIA process.
Inquiry: the initial period before you decide to enter the Catholic Church. You're asking questions and checking it out, but aren't yet ready to commit.
Catechumenate: those who decide to enter the Church and are being trained for a life in Christ are called , an ancient name from the early Church. In this stage, you're developing your faith and are being "catechized" — learning catechism, or the basic points about Catholic faith and life.
Purification and preparation: The Church will help you focus and intensify your faith as you prepare you to commit your life to Christ and be received into the Church at Easter. If you're following the RCIA process, you'll go through a beautiful series of Gospel-based meditations during Lent, which is the time frame of this period.
Initiation itself, the culmination of the whole process! You're received into the Church during the Easter Vigil Mass, where you'll receive the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. (If you've already been baptized, you won't be baptized again.)
Mystagogy: after reception into the Church at Easter, this period lets you reflect and learn more about the mysteries of the Mass and the Sacraments that you now participate in fully.