RCIA-Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults
The RCIA-Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults Process
This is a joined program between St. Charles Borromeo & St. Roman Parishes
There are four periods that belong to this process:
- Pre-catechumenate—Inquiry and pondering
- Catechumenate—scripture, faith sharing, catechesis
- Purification/Enlightenment—intense spiritual preparation
- Mystagogy—celebration of the sacraments/Easter season
The Pre-catechumenate: a Time of Inquiry & Growth
Beginning your journey is as easy as this:
- Kindly contact Cathy Krol (St. Charles Borromeo) at email@example.com or 414-281-8115 or Elizabeth Melendez-Jop (St. Romans) at firstname.lastname@example.org,or call 414-282-9063 x14 to schedule an informal meeting. You may receive information regarding joining the parish, meet pastoral staff, and share a little about yourself.
- After this initial meeting, you will be invited to be part of the Period of Inquiry. This period usually involves about 4 gatherings with other “Inquirers” at times that work for the group.
- Inquiry is a time for you to ask questions and to learn about Jesus, the Catholic Church and Catholicism, the Bible, the Sacraments and other questions you have about faith and God.
- At the end of this period, you will discern if you are ready to continue this journey of faith in the Catholic Church. If so, you will gather with the RCIA team and the other inquirers to continue of the journey of learning more about the Catholic Faith in small groups.
The Catechumenate: a time of Catechesis and Faith sharing
This step of the journey begins with the Rite of Welcome/Acceptance and ends with the Rite of Sending/Election. The catechumenate is marked by these two public rituals, which affords the community the opportunity to come to know, recognize and pray for and with you. You will now meet selected Sunday’s at 10:30am, sit together for the first part of the Mass (the Liturgy of the Word) and then be dismissed to continue with your small group to process the Scriptures and continue to learn about the faith you seek. We generally meet until Noon or 12:30.
The Time of Enlightenment & Purification
This period begins a short but intense time of spiritual preparation. It includes a number of rituals celebrated with the local and larger community and ends with the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday.
Mystagogy: Processing the Experience/Immersion into the Community
We meet a few times during the Easter season to “unpack” the sacrament experience and to enter more fully into the community
Each year on Holy Saturday during the Easter Vigil, thousands of are baptized into the Catholic Church in the United States. Parishes welcome these new Catholics through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Listed below are some questions and answers about RCIA.
What are the steps of RCIA?
Prior to beginning the RCIA process, an individual comes to some knowledge of Jesus Christ, considers his or her relationship with Jesus Christ and is usually attracted in some way to the Catholic Church. This period is known as the Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate. For some, this process involves a long period of searching; for others, a shorter time. Often, contact with people of faith and a personal faith experience lead people to inquire about the Catholic Church. After a conversation with a priest, or RCIA director, the person, known as an "inquirer," may seek acceptance into the Order of Catechumens, through the Rite of Acceptance. During this Rite, the inquirer stands amidst the parish community and states that he or she wants to become a baptized member of the Catholic Church. The parish assembly affirms this desire and the inquirer becomes a Catechumen.
The Period of the Catechumenate can last for as long as several years or for a shorter time. It depends on how the person is growing in faith, what questions they encounter along the way, and how God leads them on this journey. During this time, the Catechumens consider what God is saying to them in the Scriptures, what changes in their life they need to make to respond to God's inspiration, and what Baptism in the Catholic Church means. When a Catechumen and the priest and the parish team working with him or her believes the person is ready to make a faith commitment to Jesus in the Catholic Church, the next step is the request for baptism and the celebration of the Rite of Election. Even before the Catechumens are baptized, they have a special relationship to the Church.
The Rite of Election includes the enrollment of names of all the Catechumens seeking baptism at the coming Easter Vigil. Typically, on the first Sunday of Lent, the Catechumens, their sponsors and families gather at the cathedral church. The Catechumens publicly express their desire for baptism to the diocesan bishop. Their names are recorded in a book and they are called the Elect.
The days of Lent are the final Period of Purification and Enlightenment leading up to the Easter Vigil. Lent is a period of preparation marked by prayer, study, and spiritual direction for the Elect, and prayers for them by the parish communities. The Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation takes place during the Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday when the Elect receives the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. Now the person is fully initiated into the Catholic Church.
As a newly initiated Catholic, they continue their formation and education continue in the Period of the Post Baptismal Catechesis, which is also called Mystagogy. This period continues at least until Pentecost. During the period the newly baptized members reflect on their experiences at the Easter Vigil and continue to learn more about the Scriptures, the Sacraments, and the teachings of the Catholic Church. In addition they reflect on how they will serve Christ and help in the Church's mission and outreach activities.
What is meant when by coming into full communion with the Church?
Coming into full communion with the Catholic Church describes the process for entrance into the Catholic Church for already baptized Christians. In most cases, these individuals make a profession of faith but are not baptized again. To prepare for this reception, the people, who are called Candidates, usually participate in a formation program to help them understand and experience the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church. Although some preparation may be with Catechumens preparing for baptism, the preparation for Candidates is different since they have already been baptized and committed to Jesus Christ, and many have also been active members of other Christian communities. The Candidates may be received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil or at another Sunday during the year depending on pastoral circumstances and readiness of the Candidate.
What is the role of a godparent for an adult being baptized?
Prior to the Rite of Election, the Catechumen may choose one or two godparents, who will accompany the Catechumen on the day of Election, at the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation, and during the Period of Mystagogy. They are called to show the Catechumens good example of the Christian life, sustain them in moments of hesitancy and anxiety, bear witness, and guide their progress in the baptismal life.
For more information please visit www.usccb.org
RCIA-Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults & Children who are 7 year or older that need baptism
We offer a weekly format for Adults & Children that need to be baptized. Children need to be 7 year or older to be in the program. They meet 3 Sundays a month from 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM this includes Sunday Mass. Beginning in September and concluding in May. Because mass is now part of the program we encourage parents and siblings to attend mass with the student in our program.
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