Discovering Catholicism

Are you an adult seeking baptism or a baptized Christian interested in the Catholic faith?

Are you Catholic but never received the sacrament of Eucharist or Confirmation?

The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (R.C.I.A.) is a process designed for adults who are interested in learning more about the Catholic faith and/or are thinking about becoming Catholic. We welcome new members year round. The meetings present an overview of Catholic beliefs and provide an opportunity to ask questions and explore your feelings and any concerns you might have.

The RCIA exerts no pressure on people in any way; you will find yourself in a friendly and welcoming group where you can comfortably contemplate this important decision in your life. During the course of the process, members of the RCIA group are invited to participate in several preparatory Rites, which usually take place during Sunday Mass. Throughout the year, RCIA members that attend weekend Mass are dismissed after the homily to reflect on the homily and the Sunday readings with a facilitator until the end of Mass.

Those who go through the process who have not yet been baptized (called catechumens) have the opportunity to join the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil Mass, where they receive the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. Those who are already baptized and feel drawn to become members of the Catholic Church are received into Full Communion at the Easter Vigil as well.

The process begins with a one-on-one meeting where we can get to know one another and your individual situation. The preparation consists of four periods and three steps. Questions are always welcome and we look forward to hearing from you!

Outline for Christian Initiation of Adults

Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate

This is a time, of no fixed duration or structure, for inquiry and introduction to Gospel values, an opportunity for the beginnings of faith.

First Step: Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens

This is the liturgical rite, usually celebrated on some annual date or dates, marking the beginning of the catechumenate proper, as the candidates express and the Church accepts their intention to respond to God’s call to follow the way of Christ.

Period of the Catechumenate

This is the time, in duration corresponding to the progress of the individual, for the nurturing and growth of the catechumens’ faith and conversion to God; celebrations of the word and prayers of exorcism and blessing are meant to assist the process.

Second Step: Election or Enrollment of Names

This is the liturgical rite, usually celebrated on the First Sunday of Lent, by which the Church formally ratifies the catechumens’ readiness for the sacraments of initiation and the catechumens, now the elect, express the will to receive these sacraments.

Period of Purification and Enlightenment

This is the time immediately preceding the elects’ initiation, usually the Lenten season preceding the celebration of their initiation at the Easter Vigil; it is a time of reflection, intensely centered on conversion, marked by celebration of the scrutinizes and presentations and of the preparation rites on Holy Saturday.

Third Step: Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation

This is the liturgical rite, usually integrated into the Easter Vigil, by which the elect are initiated through baptism, confirmation, and the eucharist.

Period of Postbaptismal Catechesis or Mystagogy

This is the time, usually Easter season, following the celebration of initiation, during which the newly initiated experience being fully a part of the Christian community by means of pertinent catechesis and particularly by participation with all the faithful in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration.