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  These four letters are an acronym for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.  It is the process used by the universal Catholic Church to initiate new members into our faith community.

For whom is RCIA intended?
The unbaptized, those baptized in another tradition, those baptized Catholic who have not completed the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.

How does RCIA work?
It is a process not a program. Initiation is an ongoing experience intended to help individuals understand Jesus’ personal call to them and how best they can respond to that call throughout their life within the context of the tradition of the Catholic Church.

RCIA is viewed as formation not information.
While providing initiates with necessary information so as to come  responsibly into communion with the Catholic community, this process focuses primarily on the formation of the heart and on how to use the scriptures and the church tradition to both discern the call of Christ in one’s life and the means to generously respond to that call.

The RCIA process is communal not individual.
The formation process takes place within the context of the community itself.  Initiates pray with the community and are prayerfully supported by it; they reflect on the Catholic faith within the context of the community, and they are given the opportunity to experience how the members of this community live their faith.

What is the goal of the RCIA?
The goal is to help initiates understand how to be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ and share in his mission as a member of the Catholic Church. Baptism for the unbaptized and Acceptance into Full Communion are seen as the means to obtain this goal but not as end in themselves.

The Means of RCIA
Conversion is the principal means for preparing to become a disciple.  Through the use of the Church’s tradition, Scripture, and the Liturgy, initiates are helped to turn their lives over in faith and trust to the will of God as made plain in the person of Jesus.

What does the rite look like?
The RCIA consists of four periods linked together by three Liturgical stages. 

·  First Period:  Inquiry
Inquiry is a time when candidates become acquainted with the Catholic Church.  It is a time to raise questions and to reflect on one’s life and find connections to the Gospel.

·  Second Period:  Catechumenate, Formation
This formation is accommodated to the liturgical year, rooted in the Sunday celebration of the Liturgy of the Word. In this phase participants learn Catholic beliefs and teachings, more about Sacred Scripture, Catholic practices, Church history, Sacraments and more.

·  Third Period: Purification and Enlightment
A period of intense spiritual preparation for the celebration of the Initiation Sacraments.  It usually coincides with Lent.

·  Fourth Period: Mystogogy
During this time the new Catholics examine the Rites they have experienced  and enter more deeply into the Christian Life.

RCIA at Saint Mary meets on Sunday at 11:30am after the 10:00 Mass in the school lounge.  People may enter the process at any time.

If you are interested in becoming a Catholic or would like more information please call: Father Patrick Keane at 734-5033, ext. 27 or Carole Sears at 734-5033, ext. 34.