RCIA – Want to Become Catholic?
WHAT IS THE RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults)?
Catholicism is a way of life and becoming Catholic is a journey in faith. RCIA is a method, rooted in history, designed to educate in the Catholic faith and prepare adults to receive the Sacraments of the Church. It seeks, however, to do more than simply give interested persons information. Becoming Catholic involves entering into relationship with a community of God’s people. Our hope is that you will enjoy a deeper relationship with God as you also become acquainted with St. Luke the Evangelist parishioners and the Church throughout the world. Your RCIA journey will be a unique time for you. You will no doubt notice how your own life experiences and beliefs have brought you to this point as you listen to God’s invitation to explore the Catholic faith. At the same time, members of the parish are praying for you, attending sessions with you, and sharing their own life stories as Catholics.
WHO IS RCIA FOR?
- Adults never baptized who might desire to become a Catholic.
- Adults baptized in another Christian tradition who might desire to become a Catholic.
- Adults baptized Catholic who have not received full initiation through the Sacraments of Eucharist or Confirmation.
The RCIA is not a program of exact timing. It is the gradual process of a spiritual journey which may take a short period of time or a number of years. At St. Luke we offer the RCIA program from September through May, with the Sacraments of Initiation being received at Easter. The period of Mystagogy is for the 3-4 weeks following Easter. RCIA support continues throughout the neophyte (first) year.
Once your baptism is verified, you will not need to be baptized again. In RCIA, those who have received baptism will make a profession of faith and will receive the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.
If you are seriously considering becoming a Catholic, or would simply like more information about the Catholic faith, please contact our pastor, Father Kevin Elbert, or Max Hall, our Parish Catechetical Leader at email@example.com; or through the parish office at (216) 521-0184.
RCIA is how an interested person becomes a member of the Catholic Church. This is a gradual process within the community of the faithful. It is a spiritual journey. The RCIA marks the various steps on the way to full commitment within the Catholic Church. It includes five specific periods:
The Period of Inquiry: This initial period allows the individual to become acquainted with the Catholic Church, to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ and to reflect on one’s own life and the stirrings of the heart.
The Period of Catechumenate: Following the Rite of Acceptance/Welcoming (first stage of commitment) this period is for deeper individual conversion and for more in-depth focus on the Catholic faith.
The Period of Purification and Enlightenment: Beginning with the Rite of Election this is a period of more intense spiritual preparation and is intended to purify the mind and heart, and to deepen one’s knowledge of and relationship to Christ.
The Paschal Triduum with the Sacraments of Initiation: Celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ in the Paschal Triduum at Easter offers the appropriate time for the reception of the individual into the Church with the sacraments of Baptism, First Eucharist, and Confirmation.
The Period of Mystagogy: After the completion of their Christian initiation in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist the individual enters a period of deepening of their understanding of the mysteries of these sacraments, and to enhance their understanding of their new faith. It is a period of deepening their Christian formation and incorporation into the full life of the Christian community.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
Each Inquirer shares their journey with a Catholic “sponsor.” This individual is a baptized and confirmed Catholic who is at least 16 years old and is actively celebrating the Sacraments. They occasionally attend class with you, and may attend Mass with you each week and help acquaint you with the St. Luke community. If you know of someone with whom you would like to share this experience, please mention this to the Parish Catechetical Leader, Max Hall.
Sessions take place every Tuesday Evening, except during holiday breaks. Each year many lifelong friendships develop in the sessions, as we gather to learn and pray together. While we recognize that “life happens” and you may have to miss an occasional session, we recommend that you try to not to miss a large number because while it is possible to read and make up a session, it is important to be present for the discussions and worship that give the message its fullest impact. This is also true for weekly attendance to Mass on Sundays, a habit which will characterize your life as a Catholic.
There are occasionally retreats/supplementary events during RCIA. A calendar will be provided at the first RCIA session. Also, during the Period of Catechumenate and the Period of Purification and Enlightenment you will be occasionally dismissed from Mass to further study God’s word from the Sunday readings. Because you cannot yet fully participate in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, scripture sharing is used to help you grow closer to God.