Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the name given to the gradual process of conversion to Christ and formation in faith within the Catholic Church. Through this rite (sacred ceremony), the Catholic Church and its community of believers, prepares interested adults to receive the Sacraments of Initiation; Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
RCIA is primarily designed for the un-baptized adults who hear the good news of Christ, open their hearts to His message, and freely choose to follow Him and His message within the Catholic Church. There is an adaptation of this rite which is also available for adults already baptized in another Christian faith tradition, but who are interested in joining the Catholic Church.
Since this RCIA process is a journey of faith, there is no way to affix a specific element of time required for an individual to complete this journey to the Sacraments of Initiation. Much depends on the individual. Catechesis (instruction and spiritual formation) for the baptized Christian may require less time especially if they have been active in another faith tradition. The periods or steps within the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adult for the un-baptized are as follow:
Period of Evangelization and Pre-catechumenate:
The time of inquiry / Telling of your story / Faith sharing / The time when the inquirer experiences faith and initial conversion.
Period of Catechumenate:
A time of conversion to Christ / Formation or development in faith for the catechumen (the one who is the one seeking formal entry in the Church via the Sacraments of Initiation) / The intense time of preparation for the sacraments / Breaking open (discussion of) the Word of God
Period of Purification and Enlightenment:
A time during which deeper prayer and reflection continues in final preparation for the celebrating of the rites of initiation at the Easter Vigil
Period of Post-baptismal Catechesis or Mystagogy:
A time after the Rites of Initiation (during the Easter season) when the Neophyte (the newly initiated) along with the local Church take time to share and reflect on being fully a part of the Catholic Church / Discussion continues on the implication of baptism and the full participation with the rest of the community in the Eucharist and how to carry out the mission of the entire people of God within the Church and in our every day lives.
The initiation of adults is the responsibility of the entire Catholic Church Community. The faithful (who are not directly involved in the catechesis process) have an equally important role. By our baptism, we are all called to share our faith and to welcome those individuals questioning faith and seeking to know God. Inviting people to scheduled inquiry classes is a good first step. Better yet, accompanying them to the program would be better. Encouraging words shared, prayers offered, and your visible, active and full participation at the liturgies they attend all make vast difference for those on this faith journey. Being a sponsor for one seeking to be a member of the Catholic Church is also an important role to consider.
Interested in helping with RCIA
Please visit our helping with RCIA page for more information.
Any person, questioning faith, or thinking about becoming a member of the Catholic Church should consider attending. Please call Mr. Greg Callaghan at 412-795-3388 for further information.
If you are a member of the Our Lady of Joy Community and would like to more fully share your faith with those on their faith journey here by being a sponsor or helping in any other way, please contact Mr. Greg Callaghan at 412-795-3388.
Christian Initiation of Children
If your child is of catechetical age (around age seven), this process provides a period of age-appropriate religious education giving the child a basic understanding of the Catholic faith. Children participating in this program celebrate the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Communion in one celebration at the Easter Vigil. Contact the Religious Education Office for more information at 412-795-4389.