THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WELCOMES YOU!
Do you feel something missing in your life? Begin a new life of love, faith, and justice lived in communion with Catholics throughout the world! If you are looking to learn more about the Catholic faith, this is an excellent place to start!
What is the RCIA?
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is primarily a journey of faith. It is a restoration of the ancient practice of initiation in the Church. It is focused on conversion, whereby the candidates (individuals interested in becoming Roman Catholic) enter into an extended period of intellectual formation and life conversion through prayer, study, and reflection upon the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. It is a communal journey in which our church community welcomes new members into the parish community. RCIA is not a program or classes, but a sacramental process in which candidates are fully initiated into the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic faith.
If you would like more information about the RCIA process, please call the parish office at 603-448-1262.
Is the RCIA for me?
The Catholic Church designed the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) process for any adult or child over seven years of age who is:
How do I begin?
You will begin with a one-on-one meeting with a parish staff member or RCIA team member. This is a good time to share where your faith life has taken you and what brought you to this point. Any questions you may have will be addressed here.
How long does it take to become a Catholic?
It takes long enough for conversion to happen. Depending on your previous faith experience, the circumstances of God’s grace, and the process of discernment, the Rite of Christian Initiation for the unbaptized can take a minimum of one complete liturgical year. For the baptized, the process can be adjusted to accommodate your life experience of faith. Since the process of conversion is unique, some people may require more time than others to prepare for this lifetime commitment.
How does the RCIA work?
RCIA consists of four periods of formation which are marked by rituals that celebrate what has been completed and call that person to the next phase. The following outlines the periods (stages) and steps (rituals) for the order of Christian Initiation of Unbaptized Adults.
Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate
This is a time of inquiry and introduction to Gospel values. There is no fixed duration or structure. It is an opportunity for the beginnings of faith.
First Step: The Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens
This is the liturgical rite, usually celebrated on some annual date or dates, marking the beginning of the catechumenate proper, as the candidates express and the Church accepts their intention to respond to God's call in following the way of Christ.
Period of the Catechumenate
This is the time, in duration corresponding to the progress of the individual, for the nurturing and growth of the catechumen's faith and conversion to God. A celebration of the word and prayers of exorcism and blessing are meant to assist the process.
Second Step: Election or Enrollment of Names
This is the liturgical rite, usually celebrated on the first Sunday of Lent, by which the Church formally ratifies the catechumen's readiness for the Sacraments of Initiation. The catechumen, now the elect, expresses the will to receive these sacraments.
Period of Purification and Enlightenment
This is the time immediately preceding the elect's initiation. It usually takes place during the Lenten season preceding the celebration of this initiation at the Easter Vigil. It is a time of reflection, intensely centered on conversion, and marked by celebration of the scrutinies, presentations, and rites on Holy Saturday.
Third Step: Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation
This is the liturgical rite, integrated into the Easter Vigil, by which the elect is initiated into the Church through Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.
Period of Post-baptismal Catechesis or Mystagogy
This is the time, usually the Easter season, following the celebration of Initiation, during which the newly initiated experience being fully a part of the Catholic Christian community. This occurs by means of pertinent catechesis but particularly by participation with all the faithful in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration, i.e., the holy sacrifice of the Mass.