Becoming Catholic- An Overview of the RCIA (excerpt from the DFR website)
Parishes welcome new members into the Roman Catholic Church through a process of formation, faith sharing, and rituals known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This process includes several stages marked by prayer, study, and discussion.
The RCIA is structured over a series of ceremonial steps and periods of learning, the timing of which may vary for each individual. One may take as much time as he or she needs in the initiation process before entering into full initiation in the Church through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. The RCIA process may also be adapted to meet the specific needs of children and youth.
Who is welcome to begin the RCIA Journey?
All who are open to discerning their personal experience of faith and learning more about the Catholic Church are welcome to begin the RCIA process. All that is truly required is a sincere desire to learn, to grow, and to develop one’s relationship with God. The RCIA process is applied to the following:
- Unbaptized: persons (age of discretion: 7+ years) who have never been baptized and who need a process to help them grow in awareness to God’s call to conversion as well as ways to respond to that call. They are considered “catechumens.”
- Baptized in Another Christian Church: Those who were baptized into another Christian denomination and wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. They are considered “candidates.”
- Baptized but uncatechized Catholic Adults: Those who were baptized Catholic as infants who are seeking to complete their initiation. These adults will be prepared to celebrate the sacraments of reconciliation, confirmation and Eucharist. They are also considered “candidates.”