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Have you been thinking about joining the Church?
Do you feel drawn to Catholic liturgies and tradition? Would you like to deepen the meaning of your presence at Sunday’s liturgy? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, prayerfully consider joining on the path of discovery of your true spiritual identity.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process by which adults are received into full communion with the Catholic Church. RCIA is a journey of faith that not-yet baptized adults, as well as baptized adults, complete with the help of the catechists, and especially on the strength of their own conviction and desire to grow in their faith.
The RCIA program at Holy Name Parish, St. Dominic Parish and St. Clement Parish begins in the fall and ends shortly after the Easter Vigil Mass. During these months, the weekly sessions focus on an introduction into Scripture, the Catholic Creed, the Mass, the Sacraments, and other various topics such as Mary, the Saints, the Holy Spirit and Grace, and Catholic Social Teaching. There is another session offered in the spring and summer months and ends in August.
What Sacrament can I receive as a result of participating in RCIA?
“The sacraments of Christian initiation - Baptism, Confirmation, Penance and Reconciliation and the Eucharist - lay the foundations of every Christian life. The sharing in the divine nature given to men through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishment of natural life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, cleansed by the sacrament of Reconciliation, strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, they thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 1212)
- Initiation: Is the culmination of the whole process!
- Inquiry: This is the initial period before you decide to enter the Catholic Church. It is the time to ask questions and check it out before you are ready to commit.
- Catechumenate: In this stage, you’re committed to developing your faith and are being “catechized” through learning the catechism and 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.
- Reception: When you are ready to commit, you will be “received” into the Church.
- Mystagogy: This is the period after you are received 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.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CAN I ATTEND MASS IF I HAVE NOT BEEN RECEIVED INTO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH?
- Yes, all are welcome and encouraged to attend. Mass is a beautiful place to offer prayers and to learn more about God through the readings of the Bible. While the Church requires you to have received the Sacraments of Baptism, and, through instruction, the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist in order to participate in Holy Communion, you are welcome to come forward during Holy Communion and receive a blessing by crossing your arms over your chest in reverence to God.
WHAT IS REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE IN RCIA?
- The only requirements for participation is a heart open to ongoing conversion with a desire to explore a Catholic Christian identity by becoming part of the Catholic community.
IS THERE A PLACE FOR ME IN THE RCIA PROCESS IF I'M UNSURE OF JOINING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH?
- Yes! Participating in RCIA does not require you to join the Catholic Church if you are not ready. It is a journey to know God better. There will be opportunities during the RCIA process for you to explore your intentions. Prayer, discernment, and reflection are part of the RCIA experience.
WHAT IF I WAS BAPTIZED BUT NOT AS A CATHOLIC?
- If you were baptized as a Christian, in the name of the Holy Trinity, then your baptism is recognized by the Catholic Church.
WHAT IF I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN?
- You are most certainly welcome to come and learn about God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit through the RCIA program. Through this education, prayer and discernment you will be eligible to enter into the family of God by being Baptized and then receiving all the other sacramental gifts available to us through Our Lord Jesus Christ.
WHAT IF I HAVE ALREADY BEEN BAPTIZED IN THE CATHOLIC FAITH BUT HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANY OF THE OTHER CATHOLIC SACRAMENTS (HOLY COMMUNION, CONFIRMATION, ETC.). CAN I STILL ATTEND THE SESSIONS?
- Yes, absolutely. You are not alone. Many of us, who were baptized in the Catholic church, have circumstances whereby our Catholic education was interrupted and never completed. This program will be a rewarding experience for you and you can complete your education and receive all the sacramental gifts available to us through Our Lord Jesus Christ.
IS THERE ANY COST ASSOCIATED WITH RCIA?
I AM MARRIED TO A CATHOLIC, CAN MY SPOUSE ATTEND TOO?
- Yes, we encourage all spouses to attend. It’s a great chance to share your faith, learn together and bring God deeper into your marriage.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME?
- All that is needed is a sincere desire to grow and learn. Attendance is expected at meetings and at one of the selected Masses each Sunday. In addition, there are special events throughout the process that require attendance and participation. Each member of the RCIA is encouraged to spend some time each week in prayer and to read the reflection materials received from time to time.
"Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” John 1:38