Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) - Are you interested in learning more about the Catholic Church?
- Are you unbaptized but recognize a need for spirituality in your life?
- Are you baptized Catholic or baptized into another religion but have never received any formal religious education?
- Are you married to a Catholic and attend Mass but just don't know what the next step is to become one of the Catholic faithful?
- Are you yearning for something more in your life? Maybe you have been looking for a spiritual homecoming in your life and have never found it.
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is the place for you. Every year adults are welcomed into the Catholic Community through RCIA. It is a learning and loving process in which conversion of the heart brings you to Jesus Christ who is our Lord and Savior. "Come to me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon your shoulders and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. Your souls will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light." Matthew 11:28-30. The doors are open! We invite you to join us!
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program facilitates the faith journey of adults and children who choose to look to the Roman Catholic religion for community and spiritual guidance. This process is done over an extended period with participants joining the community of St. Joseph on their faith journey. This journey is marked by liturgical celebrations along the way as they become more acquainted with Jesus Christ and learn what the Catholic Church teaches and celebrates. This program helps the process of conversion of God's people and brings people more fully into the Catholic Church and to the Christian faith. This journey culminates but does not end at the Easter Vigil Celebration of the Eucharist.
The First Step of the RCIA process, called evangelization, begins when an adult comes to the Church to inquire about Catholic beliefs and practices. It is a time of faith sharing, reflection and discovery.
Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens:
The Second Step is to discern in the Catholic tradition an experience of faith that is attractive and personally meaningful, creating a desire to belong to the family of Catholic believers. It opens with a formal parish welcome called the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens. Throughout the catechumenate they join with parishioners each Sunday to listen to the biblical readings and the homily. The Old and New Testament scriptures are the focal point and the basis for the theological and spiritual reflections that lead catechumens and parishioners through the RCIA process. The catechumens are dismissed after the homily to gather together with their catechists to study the word of God and to examine how their lives are touched by its power.
Rite of Election:
The Third Step is deepening the commitment. A period of purification and enlightenment. On the First Sunday of Lent, the parish and diocesan community affirm the catechumen's readiness for Baptism in the ceremony called the Rite of Election. From this moment on those chosen to be initiated are called the elect. Their names and the names of their godparents are written in the Book of the Elect.
The Vigil of Easter brings the journey of the elect to the fullness of Christian initiation. With Baptism, comes a rebirth in Jesus Christ. With confirmation, comes the seal of the Holy Spirit who is our helper and guide. The newly initiated are invited to remain with the faithful to share in the Lord's Supper. Now for the first time they may approach the table of the Lord and receive the body and blood of Christ.
Those who wish to enter the Catholic Church and are already baptized in another denomination, may also complete their journey at Easter time. They too are formally welcomed into full membership in the Catholic Church and receive the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist after completing a period of Doctrine and Spiritual instruction.
The Fourth Step is called Mystagogia. The newly initiated, now called neophytes, continue their formation in the Christian life, and deepen their faith commitment.
For more information please call the Parish Office at (860)349-3868.