Photo by Fr Francis
Every year the Catholic Church welcomes thousands of new members through a process known as RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). Through RCIA, interested men, women and children (RCIC) come to know the presence of God in their lives.
The Catholic Church is always ready to welcome those who wish to become part of our faith community. People of all ages and backgrounds join the Catholic family every year. If you are seeking more, why not consider the invitation offered by Jesus Christ? Whether you are unsure about God, believe in Jesus Christ, or are looking for something more, our Catholic faith offers an opportunity to search a little deeper.
If you have asked yourself any of these questions, the RCIA process will help you answer them. RCIA will provide you the opportunity to ask questions, pray and experience what is meant by being a Catholic Christian and entering into a relationship with God and the Catholic Community.
Life is a journey on which a person is constantly learning, growing, and changing. This process is a step in that journey and lays the groundwork, through information and experiences, in helping you decide if you want to be a member of the Catholic faith.
What process is involved in RCIA?
The initiation of those inquiring or searching in faith is a gradual process that takes place within the community of the Faithful. By joining the candidates/ catechumens in reflecting on the value of the paschal mystery and by renewing their own conversion, the faithful provide an example that will help the candidates/catechumens to obey the Holy Spirit more generously. (C.f. RCIA #4)
How long does it take?
Christian Initiation is the Church's way of ministering sensitively to those who seek membership in the Catholic Church. For this reason, some people will need more time than others to prepare for the lifetime commitment that comes with membership in the Catholic Church. The usual length of preparation is from one to two years. It is reasonable that catechumens and candidates experience the yearly calendar of Catholic practices at least one time around before they are received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. The outline of the Christian Initiation of Adults is as follows:
PERIOD OF EVANGELIZATION AND PRE-CATECHUMENATE
This is a time, of no fixed duration or structure, for inquiry and introduction to the Gospel values, an opportunity for the beginnings of faith.
FIRST STEP: ACCEPTANCE INTO THE ORDER OF CATECHUMENS
This is the liturgical rite, usually celebrated on some annual date or dates, marking the beginning of the catechumenate proper, as the candidates express and the Church accepts their intention to respond to God's call to follow the way of Christ.
PERIOD OF THE CATECHUMENATE
This is the time, in duration corresponding to the progress of the individual, for the nurturing and growth of the catechumens' faith and conversion to God; celebrations of the word and prayers of exorcism and blessing are meant to assist the process.
SECOND STEP: ELECTION OR ENROLMENT OF NAMES
This is the liturgical rite, usually celebrated on the First Sunday of Lent, by which the Church formally ratifies the catechumens' readiness for the sacraments of initiation and the catechumens, now the elect, express the will to receive these sacraments.
PERIOD OF PURIFICATION AND ENLIGHTENMENT
This is the time immediately preceding the elect's initiation, usually the Lenten season preceding the celebration of this initiation at the Easter Vigil; it is a time of reflection, intensely centred on conversion, marked by celebration of the scrutinies and presentations and the preparation rites on Holy Saturday.
THIRD STEP: CELEBRATION OF THE SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION
This is the liturgical rite, usually integrated into the Easter Vigil, by which the elect are initiated through baptism, confirmation, and the Eucharist.
PERIOD OF POST-BAPTISMAL CATECHESIS OR MYSTAGOGY
This is the time, usually the Easter season, following the celebration of initiation, during which the newly initiated experience being fully a part of the Christian community by means of pertinent catechesis and particularly by participation with all the faithful in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration.
If you're interested to know more about RCIA, please contact: Fr Nick, Fr Gerome or ring the Parish Office at (08) 9752 1687.
RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION FOR ADULT (RCIA)
What process is involved in RCIA?