What is RCIA?

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops describes the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) as a process in which participants "undergo…conversion as they study the Gospel, profess faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church, and receive the sacraments…The RCIA process follows the ancient practice of the Church and was restored by the Second Vatican Council as the normal way adults prepare for baptism."

Likewise, the language used in the RCIA process is that of the early Church formation programs. Catechumens are those people who are seeking full initiation into the Catholic Church through all of the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation. Candidates are people who have been baptized in a Christian tradition but are seeking initiation into the Catholic Church through Eucharist and Confirmation.

All are Welcome!

RCIA is a process of study, exploration, faith-sharing, and faith formation with specific liturgical rites for seekers and inquirers. Seekers and inquirers are non-baptized adults who desire to be fully initiated into the Roman Catholic Church and/or baptized adult Christians who desire full communion in the Roman Catholic Church.

Adults or older children who have not been baptized and desire to join the Church are invited into the ancient celebration of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. During the RCIA, which is marked by regular ritual acts, participants are introduced to the liturgy, the teachings, and the life of the Catholic Church.

(Adults or older children who were baptized in another Christian denomination prepare in a similar way for the sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist during their reception into the Catholic Church.)

RCIA is a Journey

The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults is a process that proceeds over weeks, months, and possibly years. It has several steps:

Pre-Catechumenate

This is the earliest phase in the process; it is also known as the Period of Inquiry. Catechumens and Candidates explore the possibility that Christ is calling them into the Church through the movement of the Holy Spirit. This is a time for spiritual seeking and reflection.

Rite of Initiation

The first Rite in the RCIA process, the Rite of Initiation accepts new members into the worshipping community.

Catechumenate

The Catechumenate is a time of learning and formation in the traditions and doctrine of the Catholic Church. This is a time for sharing stories, reading Scripture, and studying the Church's traditions and doctrine. There are several liturgical rituals that the catechumens participate in during the season of Lent.

Rite of Election

Catechumens and Candidates are chosen to be received by the bishop and the community. The elect will receive the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter.

Sacraments of Initiation

At the Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday), all newly elected members who have been journeying through the RCIA process are welcomed formally into the faith community through the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.

Mystagogy

This is a time of reflection and celebration after reception of the sacraments of the Catholic Church. Mystagogia means “leading into the mystery” and it is a time to explore the deep mystery of our faith and eventually go forth to help build the reign of God on Earth as new members of the faithful.

RCIA Team

People journeying through the RCIA process need sponsors and community support to help them grow in faith. The RCIA team of sponsors help guide, support, and instruct those discerning whether to become members of our Catholic community. Team members share their faith with inquiring adults who are journeying toward the reception of the sacraments. 

 

St. Matthew's Parish welcomes all people on their spiritual journey!

 

If you believe that God may be calling you to enter the Catholic Church, please call our RCIA coordinator, Bernadette:

570-242-7390.

 

Or, if you would simply like to talk with one of our priests about your faith journey, please call:

570-421-2342.

 

Click Here for Our

2017-18 RCIA Schedule!

 

The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, or RCIA, is a communal process for formal initiation of new members into the Catholic Church.

The RCIA has recovered ancient Christian methods of forming and preparing men and women to receive the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. 

 

 

 


 

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