RCIA - a process of journeying with people who are interested in joining the Catholic Church.
If you are interested in becoming Catholic and have any questions please call the parish office or email Sr. Jo Ann Timmerman firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is RCIA?
The Catholic Church is unlike any other organization on earth. In fact, it is more accurate to call the Church an “organism” – a living body: the Body of Christ; because that is what it is (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). To become Catholic is to become part of His body – a process that begins with Baptism and continues forever. So, how does one become Catholic? Ordinarily, one becomes Catholic through the process known as RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults).
RCIA consists of four periods, starting with the period of inquiry, or ‘evangelization.’ During this period of time individuals are introduced to the person of Jesus Christ who is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). The period of inquiry can last any length of time, but usually lasts two to three months, starting in September. There is no commitment necessary, and no expectations during this time. It is a time for listening, learning and asking questions.
If, after this introductory period, a person decides that he or she wants to learn more about the Catholic faith with a view toward making a deeper commitment then he or she is admitted as a “catechumen” (or “candidate” in the case of one who is already baptized). Instruction on the faith, which is based on Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church begins at this time. Like the period of inquiry the ‘catechumenate’ (as it is called) can last any length of time depending on the needs of the individual, but usually lasts about four months.
The third period is called ‘purification and enlightenment.’ It coincides with the season of Lent: six weeks in which all the members of the Church, along with the catechumens, reflect on their need for ongoing conversion in preparation for Easter. This period culminates at the Easter Vigil* with the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
Once a person has received the Sacraments of Initiation he or she becomes a “neophyte,” which means “beginner” or “novice.” The fourth and final period is called ‘mystagogia’. During this time the deeper meaning of the sacraments, the Christian life and prayer is examined. It is a time of growth when one’s understanding of the faith matures so that he or she can participate more fully in the Mass and in the life of the Church.
Archdiocese of Denver