How to Become Catholic:   The RCIA

“The essence of Christianity is not an idea, not a system of thought, not a plan of action. The essence of Christianity is a Person: Jesus Christ Himself.”

~ Pope Benedict XVI

The Rite of Christian Initiation is the process whereby adults (any person age 7 and older) interested in joining the Catholic Church or completing the sacraments of initiations gradually enter into an understanding of Christ and His Church in preparation for Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. The RCIA is a “year-round” ongoing process, whereby individuals may inquire and begin at any time; this also means how long it takes to complete and when they complete the process will be different for each person. Inquirers are given the opportunity to learn more about the Catholic faith as they deepen their relationship with God in an individually tailored plan. Each inquirer is to have a sponsor, who has the wonderful opportunity to share in the faith journey of their candidate as a fellow companion who will grow in his/her own faith too!
We also offer a concurrent program for children between ages 7-16 who have never been baptized or were baptized in another Christian denomination.
RCIA formation sessions are held on Sunday mornings, 8:00am Mass + 9:00-10:00am Formation time and are open to all who interesting in looking into becoming Catholic and wish to inquire with specific questions before making any commitments. There is an additional educational component to RCIA formation which will be tailored to each individual’s history, wishes and schedule.
A catechumen is an individual who is age 7 or older, never been baptized, and has celebrated the Rite of Acceptance after a time of inquiry into the Catholic faith. The catechumen’s journey into the Church is meant to be an “apprentice model” where the individual gradually grows to a mature faith through a conversion process. This journey is steeped in the yearly liturgical life of the Church. Various rituals are celebrated through the journey to mark one’s progress. Catechumens become fully initiated Catholics at the Easter Vigil when they celebrate Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
What is a CANDIDATE?
A candidate is an individual who is age 7 or older, has already been Baptized in another Christian community, and has arrived at the hopes of becoming Catholic through a time of inquiry. The candidate’s journey into the Church is based upon the individual’s Christian background and needs. The candidate also gradually grows to mature faith through a conversion process and the celebration of optional rituals along the journey. Candidates make a profession of faith at Mass, are formally welcomed into the Church by the presiding priest, and celebrate Confirmation and Eucharist. This celebration can happen anytime throughout the year, but is most special during the Easter season.

Who is the RCIA specifically intended for?

  • Anyone age seven and older who is not yet baptized
  • Anyone age seven and older who is baptized Christian and now wishes to become Catholic

There are other faith formation programs in place for adult Catholics who have never celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation and adult Catholics who wish to learn more about the faith.

If you or somebody you know would like to hear more about the RCIA or has any questions about programs for education or sacramental needs, please contact Michael Schwark at ext. 254 or complete the inquiry form (link is in the menu on the left side of this page).