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The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

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   The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process by which people become members of the Roman Catholic Church. The process is concerned with the total formation of the person into believing with the Church community, living with the Church community, praying with the Church community, and serving with the Church community. This gradual development culminates in the celebration of the Initiation Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist at Easter time.

    The central and unifying principle of the Rite is conversion. By entering into the conversion journey through the RCIA, people join the Paschal journey of Jesus Christ and are introduced to Church doctrine, life, liturgy, and apostolic work. The Rite thus broadens the older practice of “convert instruction” to allow for an all-inclusive and ongoing formation in the Faith. The Gospel message of conversion is the reason for becoming a Catholic Christian and the reason for remaining one.

    The Rite is designed primarily for those seeking Baptism; that is, those not Baptized previously. However, because of the nature of conversion as an ongoing reality, the RCIA is supplemented for those Baptized in other Christian denominations now seeking membership in the Roman Catholic Church. As such, the RCIA/Reception into Full Communion is a flexible process which respects the faith development of each individual while maintaining the ideals and visions of the Catholic community.

    The Rite of Christian Initiation can be likened to the “making” of a new family member. As the new member grows into the particular ways of a family’s living, the various members share their values, beliefs, and visions. In this interaction the family creates itself anew; it creates its own identity. This “making” necessarily involves not only the formation of a new member, but the formation of the family itself.

    By way of another example: in the making of an American, one applies for citizenship in a country defined by certain geography and given principles. In “becoming” a new citizen, one appropriates the “meaning” of America, and in the process, America realizes itself by the passing on and living out of its system of meanings. When Americans are “made,” therefore, so is America. In a parallel vein, when Christians are made, the Church is born again, by the passing on and living out of its system of meanings.

    In a strict sense, the RCIA is the process to be followed for becoming a Catholic Christian as an adult. But in a fuller sense, this process for becoming is also the model for remaining a Catholic Christian.


    The Rite of Christian Initiation is not a program but a process. Everyone is welcome to learn about the Faith without any commitment to join the Church.

   It is the Church’s way of ministering sensitively to those who seek membership. The usual length of preparation is up to one year but may vary. We currently meet each Wednesday evening.

   The process of spiritual renewal and instruction should not be hasty, especially for those not accustomed to the fasts, feasts, Sundays and seasons the way Catholics observe them.

   The best time for the Sacraments of Initiation or the Rite of Reception into Full Communion is the Easter Vigil. This celebration points to the wellspring of the Church’s life: “The Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

  Each person's situation and circumstances are unique.  To discuss what would work best for you, please call or E-Mail the parish office. The  Pastor, the Deacon, or a member of the RCIA team will be happy to contact you to help you learn more about us and our process.

For more information please E-Mail us                       
or call the Parish office at 304-363-7434

Last Revised: January 02, 2015