What is the RCIA?
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) or The Rite of Christian Initiation of
Children (RCIC) is the Catholic Church's way of initiating new members. It warmly
welcomes new members and tries to provide an appropriate spiritual formation for each
Most Catholics are born into Catholic families and gradually come to share in the full
sacramental life of the Church. Others, previously baptized in other Christian Churches,
have become Catholic by making a solemn profession of faith, being confirmed, and
sharing in Eucharist with the Catholic Community.
Some, never baptized, have been initiated through a process that leads to Baptism,
Confirmation and Eucharist at the Church's annual celebration of the Easter Vigil.
Who may attend?
• Those never baptized as Christians
• Those baptized in another Christian faith tradition and now interested in the Catholic
• Those baptized in the Catholic tradition, whose total formation was incomplete
• Children, teens and adults – Each situation is unique. Please contact our office to
discuss the specifics of yours.
How long does it take?
The RCIA is not a class or program. It is a process of conversion. It prepares one to
embark on a journey of faith that leads to a lifelong commitment as a Catholic. This is
not just for those who participate in the RCIA. All Catholics are called to daily
conversion and renewal - to be on this faith journey.
The usual length of preparation is approximately one year. Some people may feel they
need more time to prepare. In most cases, the initiation of new members is celebrated
at the Easter Vigil.
What takes place in the RCIA?
The RCIA involves 4 stages, each marked by a special ritual celebrating the person's
deepening desire to say "yes" to living the Catholic faith.
• The Inquiry - a time for searching for God, for meaning in life, or for asking initial
questions and seeking answers about the Catholic faith.
• The Catechumenate - a time of being formed by the gospel and of leaning more in
depth about the Catholic tradition.
• Purification & Enlightenment - a time during Lent of prayer and deeper reflection as
one prepares to receive God's new life at the Easter celebration.
• Mystagogia - a time after the Easter celebration to unfold the mysteries and deepen
one's understanding of what it means to "become" Eucharist and live Christ's
mission in our world.
If you have questions regarding the RCIA, please contact Meg Zetzer at 440-449-7880.