If you have not been baptized, the RCIA process prepares you to become a Catholic Christian by celebrating and receiving what we call the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist or Holy Communion. These sacraments invite us into the life of God and makes us members of His Church.
If you have been baptized in another Christian religion, the RCIA process prepares you to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, by celebrating and receiving the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist, along with reciting the profession of Faith.
The first stage of the RCIA is called the Period of Inquiry or the Precatechumenate. The Students get an overview of the Catholic Church, its history, basic prayers, and learning the parts of the Mass. At this point, the participants choose a sponsor, as a companion for the person going through the RCIA process.
The next stage is grouping the students into catechumens or candidates. A catechumen is a person who is not baptized and wants to join the Catholic Church. A candidate is a person who is baptized and wishes to come into full communion by receiving the Sacraments of confirmation and Eucharist. The catechumens and candidates are encouraged to attend Mass, but not receive communion. In this stage the catechumens sign the Book of Elect, along with their sponsors. This stage ends by attending the Rite of Election, held on the First Sunday of Lent.
Purification and Enlightenment is the next stage. This stage occurs during Lent for both catechumens and candidates. In this stage the students leave Mass after the homily and attend a class. Candidates make their first confession and prepare to receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.
The highlight of the RCIA process is when the participants receive their sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil. The catechumens are baptized and, along with the candidates, are confirmed and receive their first holy communion.
Classes for the RCIA process begin in September and end at the Easter Vigil. Please call Bea Bailey at 227-0126 ext. 210 to sign up for classes. Upon registration, you will be given a calendar showing you the days, times, and place where your classes will be held.