RCIA – Becoming Catholic
The RCIA Process
The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is the process by which adults become Catholic. It is called a “process” because it is a time of discerning and ritualizing stages of conversion within the faith journey of adults. It is called a “Rite” because, starting with the Period of the Catechumenate, each period of the process is introduced by a rite which is celebrated with the worshiping community.
The RCIA Process is open to those who have never been baptized, those who have been baptized in another Christian denomination and are interested in becoming Catholic, and those who were baptized Catholic, but have never received the Sacraments of Confirmation or Eucharist. Those who participate in the process are called Catechumens if they have never been baptized or Candidates if they have already been baptized.
Participation in the RCIA Process
You can become involved in the RCIA Process either as a participant (someone seeking to become Catholic) or as a Sponsor (someone accompanying a participant in the RCIA).
The RCIA Process and the Community
The RCIA process involves the whole parish community. How?
- As Evangelizers – by encouraging others (spouses, friends, colleagues, etc.) to consider becoming members of the Catholic Church.
- As Sponsors – by responding to the invitation to become a sponsor, by accompanying a person seeking to become Catholic on their journey of faith.
- As Members of the Christian Community – by recognizing that, as a community, as the Assembly, we manifest the Lord’s presence to those who are seeking to join us in faith, by our words and by our gestures of hospitality.
- Participation in the Liturgical Rites – because it is the whole community that evangelizes, we need to be aware of the importance of our involvement in the process. The Rites (the liturgical celebrations which precede three of the periods of the process) take place at one of the weekend liturgies and the Assembly has an important role to play in these Liturgical Rites.
- At the Rite of Acceptance and Rite of Welcoming, the community welcomes the Catechumens and Candidates
- At the Rite of Election, the community affirms and supports the Elect and the Candidates to continuing conversion
- At the Lenten Scrutinies, the community prays for the spiritual healing of the Elect
- At the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil, the community welcomes the Elect and Candidates into the Church.