Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults(RCIA)
Sharing our Christian faith is important. Others worked in the harvest so we were able to reap the benefits of the sacraments and spiritual guidance of the Catholic Church. Likewise, we willingly try to bring this precious gift to the next generation, our faith community, and to others. One of the ways we reach out to others (non-Catholics) is through RCIA.
What is RCIA?
RCIA is the process by which non-Catholic adults (technically anyone over the age of seven) are received into the Catholic Church. RCIA is available in two ways. The first is geared for those people who have not received any Christian baptism of any kind. The second is for those who have been baptized in a Christian denomination using the proper (Trinitarian) formula.
Why is baptism a distinction?
A valid baptism can only occur once in a lifetime. Once original sin is removed and a person is claimed for Christ (even as an infant), it is an action that can not be repeated. So, those who have already been validly baptized in another Christian tradition have already received the sacrament and need only profess their acceptance of the Catholic faith as the Church established by Christ.
The RCIA process is basically a guide to conversion of heart led by the Holy Spirit. A team of instructors help lead the Catechumen (candidate) through the process explaining the Church from its Jewish roots through the life of Jesus, to His Sacraments and the modern Church, and how the Church administers the Seven Sacraments.
Over the years, the Catholic Church has determined that the age of reason is seven years. After that time all those received into the Church receive all three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist). We do have a separate education component for the youth but the process is the same.
We welcome your involvement in RCIA this year. It can be a very rewarding experience.