Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
��Are you thinking about becoming Catholic?
The Catholic Church warmly welcomes new members and tries to provide an appropriate spiritual formation according to each person's needs. Most Catholics are baptized as infants. Others, who were previously baptized in other Christian traditions, become Catholics after making a solemn Profession of Faith, receiving Confirmation and sharing Eucharist with the Catholic Community. Still others, who were not previously baptized become Catholic through a process called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, which includes the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, and usually takes place at Easter. The Church wants to share its' life with new members and offer them support and encouragement through the R.C.I.A process. Any Adult interested in learning more about the Catholic Church is welcome to attend our RCIA Inquiry Sessions on Monday nights, throughout the year. The sessions are held on Monday nights from 7:00-8:00 p.m. in the Library of the Kamel Life Center at All Saints Church. For more information, please contact Kathy McDermott, Religious Education Department @ 972-778-0328 or
What is RCIA?
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the formation process in which adults not yet baptized become full, active, participating members of the Catholic Church. The process is also for those who are baptized in another Christian church, who would like the opportunity to learn more about the Catholic faith. It is also open for Catholics who simply want to continue and deepen their faith journey. Through this process, one is given the opportunity to develop a fuller understanding of the Catholic Faith, fellowship with other Catholics, and for education in Scripture and prayer.
RCIA Adapted for Children
This two-year catechetical process, which is very similar to the process for adults, is designed for the children at their level, leading to the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) for any child over the age of 7 not yet baptized. For those children baptized in another Christian church, they also are prepared by catechesis to make a Profession of Faith and celebrate Confirmation and Eucharist. In both cases, the children are placed in a catechetical session that meets on Sundays. The celebration of the Sacraments takes place at the Easter Vigil.
What are the steps to becoming Catholic?
**There is no obligation to move forward after the designated time frame for each period. One may stay in any period for as long as one wishes. These are very important steps that should be prayerfully and carefully discerned. Please take advantage of the RCIA Team, Religious Education Staff, Priests and Deacons to help you through this time of reflection. Each step is an increase in the knowledge and understanding of the Catholic Faith, your life, God's will for your life, and an increase in a relationship with Christ.
First Step: Period of Inquiry
During this time, Inquirers explore the idea of becoming Catholic. They raise questions about the Catholic Faith and Life, and connect their own lives to God's will for them.
How Long? The Period of Inquiry is offered year round and usually lasts from 6 weeks to a few months or more, whatever is needed for each individual Inquirer.
Second Step: Catechumenate (time of learning)
Some Inquirers decide to commit themselves and continue the initiation journey. Inquirers who have not been baptized enter through a ceremony called the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens. They publicly declare their faith, and the Church symbolically claims them for Christ by signing them with the cross. They are now called Catechumens (which means "one who is learning"). Those who are already baptized Christians seeking to become Catholic enter the Rite of Welcome and are called Candidates for Full Communion. From this point, a sponsor is given to each Catechumen and Candidate who supports him/her on the journey. Adults involved in RCIA participate each Sunday at Mass, and are blessed and dismissed after the homily to reflect on the Scripture readings they have heard. Following Mass, they have catechesis on the teachings of the Church as passed down to us from the Apostles. These sessions are open to all interested adults.
How Long? The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has stated that this period is to last at least one year for Catechumens, and at least 6 to 9 months for a Candidate.
Third Step: Period of Purification and Enlightenment
During the season of Lent, Candidates and Catechumens take this opportunity by means of prayer to reflect deeply on their lives, the effects of personal sin, and ways to grow in personal holiness. With the help of sponsors and the RCIA team, Catechumens and Candidates discern their readiness for celebrating the Sacraments. Catechumens are called to the Rite of Election, and are now members of “The Elect.” Candidates celebrate the Rite of the Call to Continuing Conversion, and later the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
How long? This period is a time of intense prayer lasting six weeks, coinciding with the season of Lent.
Fourth Step: Initiation and Mystagogia
The Easter Vigil on the night of Holy Saturday is the primary celebration of the Lord's resurrection and is the occasion for the celebration of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist with the Elect and Candidates. Elect celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist).The newly initiated are called Neophytes as they are the "new plants" in the faith. At the same time, Candidates are brought into full communion through Profession of Faith, Confirmation and Eucharist.
The period of Mystagogia is the time for the "unfolding of the mysteries" of the Sacraments just celebrated. Neophytes participate fully in the Mass and seek a means of fellowship or service in the parish community.
How Long? The new Catholics continue to meet weekly during the Easter Season. The journey of faith lasts a lifetime in ongoing Mystagogia.
How do I get started?
If you are interested in learning more about the Catholic Faith, you are welcome to speak with an RCIA Team Member or attend our RCIA General Sessions, Sundays in the St. Theresa Room (across from the Library) at 10:30 AM. Attend our Monday night Inquiry Session at 7 PM in the Library.
For more information, contact the Religious Education Office @ 972-778-0328
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: If I was Baptized in another Christian faith, and I'm considering becoming Catholic, do I get "re-baptized?"
A: "We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins" (Nicene Creed). Baptism imprints on the soul an indelible mark which consecrates the person for Christian worship and unites him to Christ. Given the special nature of Baptism, it cannot be repeated. (CCC 1272) A baptized non-Catholic would attend all steps of Christian Initiation appropriate for baptized Candidates.
Q: I am Catholic, and I made my First Communion in the second grade, but I did not receive Confirmation as a youth. Should I attend RCIA?
A: At All Saints, the Sacrament of Confirmation is offered to those who have reached their 8th grade school year and older. In this case, you would be taken through a special interview process with the RCIA Coordinator in order to assess your faith formation. Accordingly, you would begin the steps appropriate to your faith formation.
Q: My child is the ninth grade and has not received the Sacrament of Confirmation. What should she do?
A: At All Saints the Sacrament of Confirmation is offered to those in the 8th grade and older. Your child will be given an interview to assess the type of faith formation they have been given through the years. Depending on her needs and desires, she will be a part of an appropriate catechetical session. We encourage, in addition to Sacrament preparation classes, she attend Life Teen on Sunday evenings. This is a great opportunity for young teens to learn and understand further the teachings of the Catholic Faith as well as getting involved with the faith community.