What is the RCIA?
In simplest terms, the RCIA is a systematic look at the beliefs, practices and “laws” of the Roman Catholic faith. The RCIA sessions are held to explain the Church’s teachings and practices, such as the celebration of the Sacraments.
The RCIA is often likened to a “journey of faith” where participants of all backgrounds journey together to discover more about the Catholic faith. Think of it as you would a journey to the foreign country – you would see and learn more on a guided tour than if you simply went and wandered on your own.
Who can participate?
The RCIA is ideal for people who are not Catholic and who wish to know more about the Catholic faith. Catholic adults also find participation in the RCIA helpful as a “refresher” in their faith. Also, Catholics who have not been practicing their faith for a period of time find the RCIA useful in facilitating their return to the community of the Church.
Why would I participate in the RCIA?
As the title suggests, the process of the RCIA was created by the Church to prepare adults for reception (initiation) as full members of the Catholic faith.
What do you do at the RCIA?
RCIA sessions are a mix of prayer, faith sharing, scripture reading and discussion, “instruction”, and dialogue. Some sessions include “lessons” covering some aspect of Catholic teaching, belief or practice conducted by either a member of the Pastoral Team or someone with appropriate expertise. Other sessions include things like tours of the Church to learn about what everything is and represents.
In the faith sharing aspect, people discuss the impact of their faith, whatever that is, on the way they live their lives. In particular, the Catholic companions reflect on the way they try to live in response to the teaching of the Church.
Scripture is one of the corner stones of the faith, which is why bible study is undertaken in the beginning of the program. Scriptural study is also intended to help participants find the personal meaning of the Scripture for their lives.
Another important aspect of the process is community building, through social and interpersonal time. It is more comfortable on any extended tour if you have a community of people with whom you can enjoy the journey.
Am I committed to anything if I participate?
Absolutely not. The RCIA should be a welcoming journey for you to take away whatever you get from it.
What if I do want to become a Catholic?
Those who decide they want to become full members of the Catholic Church use the RCIA as a preparation period. Along the way several “Rites” are celebrated, milestones to mark significant decision points in the faith journey.
What if I have more questions?
We welcome your questions and are blessed by them. Feel free to contact the Parish Office via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone: (630) 627-4526.