An adult can join the Catholic Church through a process referred to as the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (“RCIA”). At St. Maria Goretti, this process typically begins each August, and concludes with Mystagogy in May, after individuals are baptized and/or confirmed into full communion with the Catholic Church on Holy Saturday during the Easter Vigil.
There are several steps in the RCIA process. These steps include:
Precatecumenate: This stage is also referred to as the Period of Inquiry. It is a time in which individuals can learn more about the Catholic faith, while discerning God’s call.
Rite of Acceptance: After the necessary time is spent inquiring about the faith and an individual makes a decision to join the Catholic faith, they state before the parish community that they want to become a baptized member of the Catholic Church and receives the parish’s affirmation. Once completed, they become a Catechumen.
Period of Catechumenate: During this stage, Catechumens receive formation in the Catholic faith. It is the longest stage in the process.
Rite of Election: Once the pastor and parish community believe the Catechumen is ready to make a faith commitment to Jesus and the Catholic Church, they are chosen by the bishop to receive the Sacrament of Initiation at the Easter Vigil. The Catechumens publicly express their desire for baptism to the bishop. Once completed, they are called the Elect.
Sacraments of Initiation: At the Easter vigil, the Elect receive the Sacraments of Initiation, which include Baptism (if not already baptized), Confirmation, and the Eucharist. It is at this time that one enters fully into communion with the Catholic Church.
Mystagogy: After becoming a newly initiated Catholic, formation continues in this period, at which time there continues to be learning about the Scriptures, the Sacraments, and the teachings of the Catholic Church, as well as how they will serve Christ and help in the Church's mission.
Are you ready to begin your journey into the Catholic faith?