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What is RCIA?

The Second Vatican Council recommended that the Church renew its way of receiving Adult Candidates. A revised rite called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) was approved by Pope Paul VI in 1972 and has become the norm for the Church. RCIA stresses formation in doctrine, liturgy, Church life, and service and involves the larger Church community in welcoming, instructing, helping and praying for Candidates.

Those who wish to explore Catholicism or to be received into the Church will enter the Catechumenate. This is an intense period of instruction and introduction to liturgy, faith-life, and service.

The Rite of Election, which normally takes place on the First Sunday of Lent at the Cathedral is the official declaration of intent to become Catholic. The intent is realized at the Easter Vigil Mass with the sacraments of Initiation-baptism, confirmation, and the holy Eucharist.

The RCIA is the process by which non baptized candidates are received into the Catholic Church. Baptized members of other Christian denominations who wish to join the Catholic Church are not baptized again, but are received into the Church through penance, profession of faith, confirmation, and the holy Eucharist.

The RCIA can also serve as a focus for ongoing conversion for all members of the Catholic Church. As Catholics see new candidates learning the doctrine, they are encouraged to study their faith. As they participate in the liturgical ceremonies welcoming new members, they can renew their own commitment to Christ.

As they see the newly baptized begin ministries of service, they are encouraged to serve more generously. And those who act as sponsors, teachers, and "prayer partners" for the candidates have abundant opportunities for personal growth.

If you are interested in learning more about RCIA or would like to register, contact the parish office at 423-1239.