Becoming Catholic (RCIA)
Come and give the Catholic Church a try: for the first time—or again.
Our parish offers a series of gatherings for adults interested in exploring the Catholic faith--either as those considering becoming Catholic for the first time, those who want to reconnect with their Catholic heritage, and life-long Catholics who want to continue growing their faith. We use as our foundation the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) which is explained in more detail below. The overall aim in these weekly sessions is to cover some elements of Catholicism in the hope of facilitating your spiritual journey.
2019 Catechumens & Candidates:
"No one will force you to stay. Have a look at the Catholic Church from inside the convictions that make Catholicism what it is. Walk around in it. See how it feels. Then decide what you think about it." ~ George Weigel
What is RCIA?
RCIA stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. When we bring people into the Catholic Church, or help them to receive all of their initial sacraments if they are already baptized Catholic, we call that "initiation." While the word "initiation" is often used when people are talking about joining a club, we are really talking about a process of prayer, reflection and study spread over several months during which the inquirer participates in Catholic life and worship. The focus of the RCIA process is Christian conversion - a change of heart in which the individual turns toward God and away from whatever is in the way of living a full Christian life. Those who participate in this process of prayer, study and reflection include:
Catechumen: People who have never been baptized
Candidate: People who were baptized in another Christian tradition, or baptized Catholics who want to deepen their understanding of their faith and complete their sacraments of initiation. The three sacraments of initiation are Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation.
They are joined by their sponsors and others looking to grow their faith
So this process could also be a good formation opportunity for anyone who:
- Desires to know more about the Catholic Church
- Attends the Catholic Church and is questioning if the Catholic Church is the right choice for a faith community
- Was baptized Catholic but left or has had little or no contact with the Church.
Classes are Tuesdays from 6:30-8 pm in the Riffle Center. Becoming Catholic today means being a part of an ancient faith, deeply rooted in the teachings and traditions of Christ, that is filled with hope and vibrancy as we continue to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to all the ends of the earth. To look at frequently asked questions about RCIA CLICK HERE. Here's the schedule for this year's faith formation process:
People journeying through the RCIA process need sponsors and community support to help them grow in faith. The RCIA team of sponsors help guide, support and instruct those discerning whether to become members of our Catholic community. Team members share their faith with inquiring adults who are seeking more information about the Catholic Church, many of whom seek to celebrate one or more of the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation. If you are a confirmed practicing Catholic who is interested in helping others to become Catholic, contact John Ysursa, Adult Faith Formation Facilitator, [email protected] for more information.
A sponsor is a friend. Being a sponsor in the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is like being a good friend. The sponsor is a companion to a prospective member of the church as he or she takes a personal faith journey to becoming Catholic. A sponsor extends our parish's and the universal Church community's welcome and support in a personal way.
A sponsor is present. Sponsors will be asked to attend a few rites and participate. For example, if they are sponsoring a catechumen, at the beginning of Lent they will be asked to participate in the Rite of Election. Their presence is also required at the Saturday night Easter Vigil, etc. The sponsor is expected to reflect a conversion and sufficient knowledge of Christian teaching and a sense of faith and charity.
A sponsor prays. S/he humbly recognizes that he is an instrument whom God uses to support the candidate. In prayer the sponsor learns to be open to the Lord's will and to rely upon the Spirit for guidance. As a sponsor you may be asked to introduce a catechumen or previously baptized candidate to some of the many forms of prayer in the church.
A sponsor listens. S/he knows how to listen well to the stories of others. Every person comes with a unique story, a life story that is like the gospel stories that reveal the living Christ. We must learn to listen well to the stories of others, or we will fail to recognize Christ working in them.
A sponsor is up to the spiritual challenge. Sponsors should be willing to accept the possibility of being challenged in their own faith. The candidates' personal stories, struggles, and insights have a way of stirring up within the sponsor a renewed sense of belonging to the church. After all, being Catholic means dying to self and being born again, and again, and again, in an ongoing process of conversion.
Prayer for Becoming Catholic
Lord Jesus, we ask you blessings on these men and women who aspire to join your Church—for the first time or once again—through our parish community.
As they ponder your Word and share their stories may the fabric of their lives become interwoven just as our lives are-- into the very Body of Christ, your Church.