Becoming Catholic- RCIA
Becoming Catholic, what is RCIA?
So, you’ve either been coming to Church for a while with your spouse, a friend, or simply because you’re interested; something has drawn you here. Or maybe you were baptized in the Church as an infant, but you haven’t received the Sacrament of Eucharist or Confirmation and now you feel a desire to take those next steps. What do you do or where do you start? How do you become a member of the Catholic Church?
The Catholic Church has a process in place called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This “Rite” or process is nothing new its actually very similar to the rite of the early Church. It begins with developing a relationship with Christ and being received into a community of faith. Through our liturgical rituals, understanding who this community is and what we believe, we come to know how we are called to live out this faith in our lives.
The RCIA process is one of discernment. If a participant chooses to be fully initiated into the Catholic faith this will take place at the Easter Vigil.
RCIA has four steps or stages:
Inquiry, where you’re doing just that, asking questions about the Catholic faith. Talking to other members of the parish, the people sitting next to you at Mass, the priest, deacon, parish staff or committee members. You’re trying to determine if you want more, if you want to become part of the community.
In discerning whether to join our community and enter the Church you would begin the Catechumenate stage and become a catechumen, an old name from the early Church. You’d begin to learn about the Church and Christ from the RCIA Team in a group setting. At this point you’re being “catechized” you’re being taught basics about the Catholic faith so that your faith can develop and grow.
At the third stage things begin to get more in depth as you begin the period of Purification and Enlightenment. This stage begins at or around the time of the season of Lent. The learning and discussion on a variety of topics continues, but you also begin to take a closer look at what’s in your heart and soul, your relationship with Christ. This is in preparation for choosing to become fully initiated in the Church, as you will receive the Sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil Mass.
The final stage is Mystagogia, you unpack, so to speak, the mystery of your journey thus far, the Grace and strength experienced in receiving the Sacraments, the new faith life you’ve begun, and your call to discipleship with Christ.
Come and See, Come and join us……
If you’re interested in participating in this process, or with questions or concerns, please contact Deacon Dennis for more information.