Want to become Catholic? R.C.I.A.
Please call the church office for more information concerning R.C.I.A.
Wednesday Evenings @ 6:00 p.m.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the path by which persons from other Christian backgrounds as well as those with no particular faith foundation can learn about our faith and, if desired, attain full initiation into the Catholic Church. It is also the path by which baptized Catholics who have not completed their initiation can prepare for the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.
You are warmly invited to come and explore the Catholic tradition in a setting that is informal, relaxed and non-binding. A team of men and women from our parish community has been called together to “guide” you on this step of your lifelong pilgrimage. In a very real sense, we make this journey together and learn from one another. In fact, every member of our parish has a role in praying for and walking with you as you explore Catholicism. This is not a “program” or a “class,” but a process of exploring the various fundamentals, facets and aspects of our living faith.
Stages in the RCIA Process
The RCIA is divided into four distinct periods, during which participants are introduced to Catholic tradition and a way of life based on the teachings, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As you move from one stage to the next, you will celebrate certain rites within the parish community. While most participants who begin the process in September will be initiated the following spring, individual circumstances, readiness and desire will determine the pace at which you move from one stage to the next.
This is a period of informal inquiry into Christianity as practiced in the Catholic Church. During weekly sessions, conversation centers on a variety of topics of concern to the inquirers. Together with other men and women whose paths have brought them to the threshold of our church, you will have ample opportunity to ask questions and experience the life of our community.
Each participant decides if and when to continue to the next stage of the process. Should you decide to proceed, you will be paired with a sponsor, a companion to walk with you and help you on your way. You will also participate in the Rite of Acceptance (for the unbaptized) or the Rite of Welcome (for those who are already baptized Christians), celebrated at one of our weekend masses.
During this period, the Catechumens (unbaptized) and Candidates (already baptized) are invited to move more deeply into communion with God and the parish community. You will continue to attend regular meetings during which the Scriptures are explored and various Catholic teachings are discussed. Over the course of several months, you will prepare for reception into full communion with the Catholic Church. Along with other members of the St. Peter parish community, you will pray, worship and engage in acts of Christian service.
Participants who decide to become Catholic move the next stage of the process by celebrating the Rite of Election (Catechumens) on the first Sunday in Lent or the Call to Continuing Conversion (Candidates) on the following Sunday.
Purification and Enlightenment
This period coincides with the six week Lenten preparation for Easter. It is a time for more intense deepening of one’s relationship with Jesus and his church, opening to God’s grace, acknowledging weaknesses and celebrating God’s healing presence. During these weeks, participants sit together at Mass on Sunday and are dismissed before the Liturgy of the Eucharist to “break open” the Word of God and reflect more deeply on the Scriptures.
This period culminates at the Easter Vigil, when you will celebrate the sacraments of initiation and be welcomed into full communion with the Catholic Church.
The fourth stage is the period of post baptismal catechesis or mystagogy. The newly initiated explore their experience of being fully initiated through participation with all the faithful at Sunday Eucharist and through appropriate catechesis. The period formally lasts through the Easter season and may be marked by a parish celebration on or near Pentecost. On a more informal level, mystagogy is a lifelong process, one in which all Christians are engaged, as we all work to deepen our sense of what it means to live the Christian life.