What is the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults Program?
The Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) is a program that people can partake in to become members of the Catholic Church. The adult program is designed to ensure that adults who are considering becoming Catholics are aware of the teachings of the Catholic Church, as well as the rituals and practices that are an integral part of being a Catholic.
At Infant Jesus, there is a weekly meeting for all participants and sponsors, at which the Mass, the Sacraments, Catholic Morals and Sunday Scripture are studied and discussed.
There are a number of steps to the Initiation process, and a participant can withdraw from the process at any point if they so wish. The steps to becoming a Catholic are:
- The Period of Inquiry
This is essentially the prelude to the process. It is a time for people who are considering converting to Catholicism to ask any questions that they may have about the Faith, or about any of the beliefs, practices or traditions of the Church. It is a period during which a potential participant will decide if they are ready to commit to following the process to become a Catholic.
- The Period of Catechumenate
Once a person decides that they are ready to become a Catholic, they participate in a Rite of Welcome, at which time they attend Mass with their sponsor and are welcomed into the “Learning Process”. Once they are welcomed into this process, the participants are known as Catechumens, and they begin to study all aspects of the Catholic faith in earnest. There is a significant time commitment involved at this stage, with attendance and participation in all sessions expected by all participants.
- The Rite of Election
During the Lenten period following the completion of the “Learning Process”, the participants and their sponsors travel to Holy Name Cathedral, where the participants are presented to the (Bishop/Cardinal) at a special ceremony. The Catechumens formally declare to the (Bishop/Cardinal) that they wish to be baptized and become a member of the Catholic Church. Representatives from parishes throughout the Archdiocese gather together at this ceremony.
- Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation
On Holy Saturday, The Elect are received into the Church. Participants who have never been baptized are baptized, while those who have been previously baptized, make a Profession of Faith. All are Confirmed and Receive their First Holy Communion. Once this ceremony has been completed, the participants are fully-fledged members of the Catholic Church.
For more information please contact:
Director of Religious Education
708-799-5400, ext. 221