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It’s time to think about RCIA but first what is RCIA?

RCIA stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.

RCIA is the process by which a person joins the Catholic Church.  There are two general groups of people here.  First, those who have never been baptized in any Christian Church and, secondly, those who were baptized in a Christian (but not Catholic) Church.  A third category may be seen in many parishes.  This group of people were baptized in the Catholic Church but never received any religious education or any other sacraments.  These people are often included in RCIA to receive the religious education.

RCIA is not a one-time thing.  It is a process.  Most parishes begin the process in September (some run year round) and continue until the Easter Vigil when the person is baptized (if not already), confirmed, and/or received into the Catholic Church, and receives their first Communion.

Throughout the process, generally there are weekly gatherings where the participants learn about the Catholic Church and what we believe.  Some people begin the process knowing for sure they want to be baptized or received into the Catholic Church.  Others aren’t sure.  You don’t have to commit to the whole process at the first session.  Part of the process is for the person to learn what it means to be Catholic and to discern if now is the time to do so.

People joining RCIA come from various backgrounds.  Some are married to or dating a Catholic.  Others may have friends who are Catholic who inspire them with their faith.  Still others may have found out about the Catholic Church on TV or on their own.  All are welcome. 

If you are interested check the bulletin in your local Catholic Church for more information or call the parish office and ask to speak to whoever is in charge of the RCIA program.  Or if you know someone who may be interested share this with them.  Maybe it will be just the encouragement they need.


Fr. Jeff

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