Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)
Adults who are unbaptized or baptized in another Christian tradition are invited to enter into the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. RCIA leads adults through a process of deepening spirituality and faith formation over the course of a year. They proceed through a series of liturgical rites and discussion sessions which conclude with the Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. Form 2020-2021 RCIA sessions will take place on Sundays at 8:30am via Zoom, beginning in September.
The process toward full initiation into the life of the Catholic Church is not a program or course of study. Rather, it is a journey, step by step, from initial interest and exploration through full commitment.
The RCIA at St. Aloysius begins with a period of Adult Faith Inquiry or Pre-catechumenate, during which each individual meets in an informal, relaxed atmosphere with others who are also interested in the faith as well as members of the parish. You are invited to use this time to ask questions, share faith stories, and get better acquainted with others. There is no time limit on this inquiry period.
When you are ready for a more serious commitment, you will enter the Catechumenate. If you are already a baptized Christian you will enter into Candidacy for Full Communion. The Catechumens and Candidates continue the journey through weekly discussion groups to open the Sunday scriptures and help you deepen your awareness of God’s action in the world and in our own lives. During this time, we will also discuss Catholic doctrine and practices. Catechumens and Candidates are accompanied by members of the parish community who journey with you as Facilitators and Sponsors. They assist, support, and pray with you throughout your journey. This process should last as close as possible to one full year. This is not an arbitrary time frame. This process is a personal one that includes growing and changing and we want to ensure you have adequate time to be certain this is what you are being called to do.
For those who are ready to be called to the Sacraments of Initiation, the Catechumenate and Candidacy conclude during Lent. Lent is a period of deeper prayer and preparation for the Easter celebration. At the Easter Vigil we celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
Throughout the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, special liturgical rites call attention to growth and change: the Rite of Acceptance and Welcome, the Rite of Election, and the Scrutinies. These rites are celebrated at Mass so that the entire assembly participates. These rites become an important means for all the faithful to recognize and pray for the continuing faith journey in which we all participate.