Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults: Thinking about becoming Catholic or just want to learn about Catholicism?
The Catholic Church warmly welcomes you on this journey of exploration and discernment.
What is RCIA?
This collaborative process of study, exploration, faith sharing, and faith formation is the first step in being fully initiated into the Catholic Church.
- When do sessions meet? Tuesday evenings from September to May for approximately two hours.
- What will I learn? You’ll explore Catholic beliefs, history and the beauty of our rituals.
- Who attends? Adults thinking about or just interested in learning about becoming a member of the Church, their sponsors, and other RCIA team members.
- When will I be initiated into the Catholic faith? We’ll celebrate at the Easter Vigil and throughout the year as needed.
Sign up for RCIA
A short history
By the late third and early fourth centuries, how one became a Christian was very much established.
It involved a time of preparation and discernment spread over a long period of time (about three years). The actual initiation, celebrated during the Easter Vigil, involved immersion in water, a generous anointing with oil, and a sharing in the Eucharistic banquet.
During the sixth and seventh centuries the ritual declined as infant baptism became the norm. Eventually this process ended and was separated into baptism, Eucharist and confirmation.
The second Vatican Council restored this process and reintroduced the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) with its beautiful rituals.
Frequently asked questions
It is a process of study, exploration, faith sharing, and faith formation accompanied by specific liturgical rites.
During this process participants (called inquirers) are introduced to the liturgy, the teachings, and the life of the Catholic Church.
Who undergoes RCIA?
- People interested in learning about Catholicism.
- People who have never been baptized.
- People who have been baptized in another Christian faith tradition and are now interested in the Catholic tradition.
- People who were baptized in the Catholic tradition, but were not raised Catholic, and are seeking the sacrament of Confirmation.
Who leads the RCIA process?
The Director of Learning, and a dedicated team of trained parishioners.
If I begin, do I have to become a Catholic?
No. We hope that you gain a deeper appreciation for and understanding of Catholic beliefs and practices. Beyond that, we respect the conscience and decision of every inquirer.
I think I'd like to begin but I’m still hesitant.
Feel free to contact the Director of Learning, to discuss your particular concern or situation. There will be no obligationor pressure, and your confidentiality will be respected.
How does one become Catholic?
- Most Catholics are born into Catholic families and gradually come to share in the full sacramental life of the Church.
- Others, who may have been baptized in a non-Catholic Christian church, have become Catholics after making a solemn profession of faith, being confirmed and sharing the Eucharist with the Catholic community.
- And some, never baptized, have been initiated through RCIA: a process that leads to baptism, confirmation and Eucharist at the Church's annual celebration of Easter.
What does RCIA Involve?
RCIA sessions meet each Tuesday evening from September through May. Attendance at Mass on Sundays is strongly encouraged.
What topics are discussed?
The sessions cover a broad range of topics because our Catholic beliefs encompass the whole fabric of our lives.
- Scripture and the Sacraments
- God, Son and Holy Spirit
- Church history and the papacy
- Heaven and hell
- Mary and the saints
- The problem of evil; sin and reconciliation
- Conscience, moral decision making, justice
Can my spouse or significant other be my sponsor?
No. We do not allow spouses, significant others or relatives to sponsor you. We have found that it works better for someone else to be your sponsor. It is always good to have another point of view and someone who can be “hands off” during your conversion journey. Sponsors are only asked to share their faith with you and to support you throughout the year. If you do not know someone who is Catholic who could be your sponsor, we will provide one for you. Many of our parishioners volunteer for this ministry each year. Sponsors go through ongoing training throughout the year.