RCIA, or the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, is the process through which a non-baptized person is received fully into the Church. Through earnest inquiry, Catholic instruction, prayer, and interior conversion, the person known as the catechumen (meaning “one instructed”) is prepared to receive baptism and the other two vital sacraments of initiation: Holy Communion and Confirmation.
The Christian instruction received by the learning adult has the purpose of a spiritual awakening and development of the entire person, not only for reception into the Church, but also for being sent out into the world to live the joy of the Gospel. This adult instruction presents both Revelation and right reason which are the two pillars of knowledge that completely form and enlighten the individual through the assistance of the grace of God infused by the sacraments.
The request to enter the Church by RCIA should reflect a sincere desire and intention to practice the Catholic Faith and live according to the teachings of Christ and the Church. It is expected that all catechumens will attend Holy Mass during the instructional process and following. Even though the catechumen cannot yet receive Holy Communion, he or she will grow closer to God through an attentive, heartfelt hearing of the Word of God and closeness to Christ in the Eucharist. Furthermore, since it is imperative that all Catholics keep holy the Lord’s Day, Mass attendance at the stage preliminary to receiving the sacraments confirms the intention of eventual practice of the Catholic Faith.
If you have inquiries about joining the Church or are earnestly seeking the life of grace abundantly present in the sacramental life of the Church, please contact Fr. Steven Booth at FrBooth@saintjulies.org