R.C.I.A (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is a process for welcoming new members into the Roman Catholic Church
• Those who are not baptized
• Those who are baptized in another Christian tradition and who seek to enter Full Communion with the Catholic Church
• Baptized Catholics who never had the opportunity to receive Holy Communion and Confirmation
Those who seek to join the Catholic Church become members of the Catechumenate: an ongoing process that meets people where they are on their faith journey and gently initiates them into the life of the parish and the Catholic Church.
Through this sacramental, spiritual, and educational process, the Church initiates people seeking to become Catholic from a variety of backgrounds. These include non-baptized adults and children of catechetical age as well as those baptized in another Christian church. In all cases, our goal is to reach out to those who are looking for a spiritual home in the Catholic faith. The process begins with “evenings of inquiry” in which participants openly discuss issues and questions pertaining to Catholic life and faith. Those who choose to embrace the Catholic Church typically celebrate the sacraments of Baptism (for those not already baptized), Confirmation, and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil.
R.C.I.A. Glossary of Terms
Catechumenate: This is the term used for the process, which takes place over an undetermined period of time, during which adults and older children prepare to receive the Sacraments of Christian Initiation.
Catechumen: An unbaptized adult or older child who has begun the process of preparation (the Catechumenate) is called a Catechumen.
Candidate: An adult or older child already baptized into another Christian denomination who seeks full initiation into the Catholic Christian Tradition is called a Candidate.
Election: This is the term used to express the celebration of God's call of a Catechumen to receive the Sacraments of Initiation. The Catechumen, in responding to God's call is elected (chosen) to become a Catholic.
Sponsors: A member of the parish community "walks" with each person preparing to receive the Sacraments of Christian Initiation. A sponsor accompanies the newcomer by giving support and guidance. Sponsors may also be chosen as godparents for those to be baptized.
Christian Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. At the Easter Vigil (Saturday evening before Easter Sunday) those who are not baptized and are ready to be received into the Catholic Church will be baptized and receive Confirmation and the Eucharist.
Adults who are already baptized in another Christian tradition may, when they are ready throughout the church year, make a Profession of Faith and receive the sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist at a Sunday Mass.
Initiating Community: The parish is the Initiating Community. All the new members of St. Gregory’s are welcomed, prepared and supported by the entire faith community. It is within the context of the community and its prayer life that newcomers are received into the Catholic Faith.
Mystagogia: This is a term which describes the continuing education (catechesis) of the newly initiated Christian. It is a time for living a sacramental life, living out the Gospel way of life and for becoming more involved in the parish community.
Are you interested in learning about the Catholic Faith? You are welcome to begin a journey of exploration & faith with the people of the Church of St. Gregory.