Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) (Offered also in Polish language)


 What is the RCIA?

The RCIA is a process that invites any adult (age 18 or over) interested in searching the Catholic Faith to discover what the Catholic Church teaches and believes. This process is accomplished in a comfortable, friendly and informal environment designed for adults. In this parish the process begins in the fall because entry into the Church has historically been at Easter after about nine months or more of preparation. Near the end of the process the Sacraments of Initiation of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist are celebrated at the Easter Vigil. These sacraments are also celebrated other times of the year as the need arises.

A team of Catechists (teachers) including the pastor present sessions on various topics during the four periods of the RCIA described as follows:

  • The Precatecumenate (period 1)
    is a time for inquiry. A participant may examine the Church, its beliefs and practices, and be exposed to Scripture and its relationship to Church Tradition. All questions will be answered during this period and a participant need not make a commitment to continue into the next period
  • The Catechumenate (period 2)
    is a time for learning more about Church teaching supported by Scripture and Tradition. By nurturing faith a participant is lead to a “conversion of heart” and a commitment to become a follower of Christ within the Catholic Church.
  • The Purification & Enlightenment (period 3 during Lent)
    is a time of reflection and prayer and learning about the value of Sacraments particularly of Reconciliation and of receiving the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. This period is completed by the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation (the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist).
  • A final Mystagogy period (period 4)
    is an important time to experience a deepening of faith and to an awakening to the spiritual gifts of the Spirit at Pentecost

The Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conference has described the RCIA as follows: “The rite of Christian initiation… is designed for adults who, after hearing the mystery of Christ proclaimed, consciously and freely seek the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts. By God’s help they will be strengthened spiritually during their preparation and at the proper time will receive the Sacraments fruitfully. “

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences

The RCIA is a powerful restoration by Vatican II of a practice first started by the early Church in the third century when many people were converting to Christianity during Constantine’s rule. Since its re-establishment in the early 80’s, the RCIA process has renewed the whole Church..

Come join us! To find out more information contact Anna Harmata PA, 773 685 3785