Becoming Catholic

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process of spiritual and educational formation through which adults become fully initiated members of the Roman Catholic Church.

  • Have you been worshiping at any of the area Catholic parishes, but never officially took the step to become Catholic?
  • Have you been away from the church and have now returned, but want to know more?
  • Have you been Catholic all your life, but never celebrated all of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist)?
  • Have you joined us from a different religious background and would now like to find out more about the Catholic Church?

If any of the above questions apply to you, we would love to help you in your journey! Or if you know of anyone who would answer YES to any of the above questions, perhaps you should extend an invitation to them to participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

Classes are held at 7:00pm on Tuesday evenings through Easter. Other arrangements can be made depending upon need. Please contact Fr. Lanning for more information.

FAQs

What is RCIA?

RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, is a class for people who would like to know more about the Roman Catholic faith. It is also for those who desire to be received in full communion to the Catholic Church. This includes Catechumens and Candidates. Catechumens are people who have never been baptized by any Christian Church. Candidates are individuals who have been baptized in any Christian Church (including Roman Catholics) but have not been Confirmed in the Catholic Church.

What is the RCIA Process?

For anyone who wishes to become a Catholic Christian, the RCIA process includes several steps (periods) that lead to your initiation into our “Catholic Christian” community.

Our journey begins in the fall with our first stage of formation. We meet weekly to begin to reflect on how God is calling us and what it means to have faith in Jesus. There is plenty of time to ask questions and discern if this is the right step for you.

In October or November, we celebrate our first ritual which publicly marks our desire to officially enter formation for initiation into the Catholic Church. This ritual moves us into our second stage of formation. From this point on, we also attend Sunday Mass together, in addition to continuing our weeknight sessions. We reflect deeply on the Sunday scripture, and examine related Catholic beliefs, teachings, customs and traditions.

At the beginning of Lent, (the 40 days prior to Easter), we celebrate another ritual to recognize our progress of being formed in the faith and signals our readiness to begin final preparations for receiving the sacraments. This third period of formation, which coincides with the season of Lent, is more reflective and prayerful, including many special celebrations and rituals passed down from the early Church.

We celebrate the Sacraments and our full initiation into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil Service (after sundown on Holy Saturday – the evening before Easter Sunday) and the Sunday after Easter! However, this is not the end, but rather the beginning of your life as a fully initiated disciple! We continue to meet for a fourth stage of formation, gathering a few times during the Easter Season (the 50 days after Easter) to help launch us into the next step of our faith journey and the rest of our lives as Catholic disciples of Christ.

What is the goal of RCIA?

The RCIA process is all about conversion – about growth and change taking place in our hearts and minds so that we can more fully live in relationship with God and each other. It is about deepening our faith, and exploring what belief in God means for our lives and how it is reflected in our actions. The purpose of this process is not to be able to check off a class requirement or to see how much information you can learn about the Catholic Church, but rather to assist you in becoming a living, breathing, active disciple of Christ!

Questions? Want to talk about this process more?

Contact our pastor, Fr. Michael Lanning, at pastor@samparish.org or 440-333-2133.