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Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

Through the wisdom of the bishops of the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church returned to the initiation process that was practiced in early Christian communities.  In the early Church, people desirous of being baptized would live for several years within the Christian community, learning of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, and how they were being called to live and work in His name.  And now once again, the existent Christian community is responsible for mentoring those seeking Baptism in Christ.

With those seeking Baptism in our midst, the Christian community responds by helping seekers to recognize God’s presence in their lives, to find Christ in the Word of God, in the Eucharist, and in those gathered in Christ’s name.  The entire Church grows together in understanding of the blessing of Christ’s presence and how we share in Christ’s divine mission to bring God’s love and compassion to the world.

It’s important to understand that the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is not a program in which one successfully completes a course and graduates with honors!  Initiation into the Christian community is a process of conversion, of metanoia — a change of heart — that allows us to accept and be transformed by God’s love and then give that Love away to others!

There is no set amount of time for becoming Catholic.  Movement within the initiation process comes with an individual’s discernment and that of the Christian community represented by the pastor, catechists, and companions who journey with those to be initiated.  Through the following periods of the process, the inquirers prepare to profess their faith in Christ and celebrate the initiation sacraments:

Precatechumenate or Inquiry … a time for bringing forth questions and identifying issues about Catholicism that may present roadblocks to becoming Catholic.

Catechumenate … a time for exploring more deeply the Word of God and the doctrinal issues that flow from the Sunday readings.

Purification and Enlightenment … a time for focusing on the themes of Lent — Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving — and recognizing our sinfulness, our need for forgiveness, and the magnitude of God’s mercy in anticipation of the celebration of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. for

Mystagogy … a time for reflecting more deeply on our experience of the Sacraments, worship, community, and mission and how we are to live in Christ each and every day.

The RCIA process is also the path for adults baptized in another Christian church who now wish to be in full communion with the Catholic Church.  Movement through this process parallels that of the unbaptized persons (catechumens).  Reverencing their valid Baptism, the Christian candidates celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, make a Profession of Faith, and celebrate Confirmation and Eucharist.

RCIA sessions at St Francis of Assisi Church are held on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm in the church hall.  For more information, please contact Kathy Dancey at, or contact the church office at 614.299.5781 /