ARE YOU . . .
- Interested in becoming Catholic?
- A Catholic who wishes to receive Confirmation and/or First Eucharist?
- Interested in helping someone you know become fully initiated in the Catholic faith?
Then RCIA is for you!
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a program for adults who desire to become fully initiated members of the Catholic Church. The goal of the RCIA process is full, conscious, and active participation in an exciting life with Jesus Christ within His Catholic Church.
RCIA helps adults
- grow in their relationship with God,
- become familiar with Catholic teachings and practices,
- get acquainted with the faith community,
- and get involved in service within the community as a whole.
A person who is considering the possibility of becoming a Catholic, or who simply wishes to learn more about the Catholic Church, will find no better way to do this than to become a part of the RCIA Process. If you are a fully initiated Catholic, you can sponsor a RCIA catechumen or candidate.
Our Thursday evening sessions begin promptly at 7 p.m. and close promptly at 9:00 p.m. They usually begin with a song, a prayer, a scripture reading and a lecture; this may be followed by small-group discussions, a closing prayer and refreshments. A few months after beginning the RCIA process, each inquirer is assigned a sponsor. This sponsor is not to be confused with a baptismal or confirmation sponsor. The RCIA sponsor is a practicing Catholic, usually a member of this parish, who goes through the sessions and rites (ceremonies) of the process with the inquirer, serving as a friend and mentor.
RCIA consists of a four-step process…
Step 1: Period Of Inquiry
- Unique to each individual
- Time for asking questions
- Time to intensely examine one's personal relationship with God.
- Ends when inquirers become firm in their desire for initiation and for the study *of Catholic teachings and practices
Step 2. Period Of Catechumenate
- Begins with the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens or, for those who are already baptized, the Rite of Welcoming.
- Time of learning the teachings of the Church and beginning to accept Catholic teachings and practices.
- Sponsors accompany catechumens and candidates on their journey.
- Length of Catechumenate period can vary from person to person
- Ends when the catechumens discern that God is calling them to receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, First Eucharist, Confirmation); the candidates, when they discern that God is calling them to make profession of faith in the Catholic Church
Step 3. Period Of Purification And Enlightenment
- Begins with Rite of Election.
- Catechumens are now called the Elect.
- Time of intense preparation during Lent to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus at Easter and to receive the Sacraments of Initiation.
Step 4. Period Of Mystagogia
- Begins with the reception of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Eucharist during the Easter Season.
- Time of reflection on the commitment made to the Lord, the Church, and the faith community
- Time of finding a place in the community and getting involved.
Catechumen or Candidate?
- Many people who want to join the Catholic Church have already been baptized in another Christian church. They do not need to be baptized again. They will follow a form of these four steps adapted to their particular needs and concerns.
- Others may have been baptized in the Catholic Church and need to complete the sacraments of Initiation by receiving First Eucharist and/or Confirmation. All will have an opportunity to grow in their relationship with God and learn more about the faith before receiving these Sacraments.
- Unbaptized persons are known as Catechumens. Those already baptized are called Candidates.
So are YOU ready for the journey?
- In Dover, the RCIA meets every Thursday evening, with the exception of holidays. The climax of the process comes when those who choose to do so are confirmed and baptized (if necessary) in the Catholic Church.
- Conversion is a serious matter of conscience; it is a matter of rejecting who and what we were to take on a new spiritual identity. It is not rejecting a bad life and opting for a new and good one. To convert is to grow in one’s understanding of his relationship with God and to act upon that new understanding when his conscience compels him to do so.
- In one sense, everyone should be continually converting, or growing closer to God. If you have further questions or would like to sign up, please contact us at The Parish of the Assumption (603) 742-7437.
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