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RCIA

Right of Christian Initiation for Adults

For more information contact Deacon Warren Hecht at whecht@umich.edu.

 

 

What is RCIA?

Catholicism is a way of life and becoming Catholic is a journey in faith. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.) is a process, rooted in history, which seeks to do more than simply give interested persons information.

Becoming Catholic involves entering into relationship with a community of God’s people. Our hope is that you will enjoy a deeper relationship with God as you also become acquainted with members of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church and the Catholic Church throughout the world.

This is a unique time for you. You will no doubt notice how your own life experiences and beliefs have brought you to this point as you listen to God’s invitation. At the same time, members of the parish are praying for you, attending classes with you, and sharing their own life stories as Catholics.

 

Who is RCIA For:

Adults never baptized who might desire to become a Catholic.

Adults baptized in another Christian church who might desire to become a Catholic.

Adults baptized Catholic who have not received full reception into the church through the Sacraments of Eucharist or Confirmation.

Adult Catholics who would like to update or deepen the knowledge of their faith.

 

Common Questions:

How long does it take? The Rite of Christian Initiation is not a program of exact timing. It is the gradual process of a spiritual journey which may take a short period of time or a number of years. At St. Thomas the Apostle we normally offer the RCIA program from the early fall through the winter with the Sacraments of Initiation being received at Easter. The period of Mystagogy is for the six weeks following Easter.

What if I was baptized in another church? Once your baptism is verified, you will not be baptized again. In the Rite of Initiation, those who have received baptism will make a profession of faith in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and will receive the sacraments of First Eucharist and Confirmation.

What is the first step? If you are seriously considering becoming a Catholic, or would simply like more information about the Catholic Faith, please contact Deacon Warren Hecht at 734.761.8606 Ext. 2804 or whecht@umich.edu

What is the process? The Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) is the process by which an interested person becomes a member of the Catholic Church. This is a gradual process within the community of the faithful. It is a spiritual journey. The RCIA, as a rite, marks the various steps on the way to full commitment within the Catholic Church. It includes five specific periods.

 

The Period of Inquiry:

This initial period allows the individual to become acquainted with the Catholic Church, to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ and to reflect on one’s own life and the stirrings of the heart.

 

The Period of Catechumenate

Following the Rite of Acceptance/Welcoming (first stage of commitment) this period is for deeper individual conversion and for more in-depth orientation to the Catholic faith.

 

The Period of Purification and Enlightenment

Beginning with the Rite of Election this is a period of more intense spiritual preparation and is intended to purify the mind and heart, and to deepen their knowledge of and relationship to Christ.

The Paschal Triduum with the Sacraments of Initiation

Celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ in the Paschal Triduum at Easter offers the appropriate time for the reception of the individual into the Church with the sacraments of Baptism, First Eucharist, and Confirmation. Adults are baptized by immersion, going down into the waters to remember the dying and rising of Jesus Christ.

 

The Period of Mystagogy

After the completion of their Christian initiation in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist the individual enters a period of deepening of their understanding of the mysteries of these sacraments, and to enhance their understanding of their new faith. It is a period of deepening their Christian formation and incorporation into the full life of the Christian community.

 

Becoming a Sponsor

Each Inquirer shares their journey with a Catholic “sponsor.” This individual is a fully initiated Catholic (Baptized, Confirmed and receiving the Eucharist) who is at least 16-years-old, is actively celebrating the sacraments and a member of the parish where you desire to be baptized. They must attend class each week and Mass with you each week and help acquaint you with the St. Thomas the Apostle community. If you know of someone with whom you would like to share this experience, please mention this to the RCIA coordinator. At the same time, there are volunteers waiting to serve in this capacity. If your chosen sponsor is out of town or if you would prefer to have a sponsor from our parish family but don’t know many people, we are happy to arrange a sponsor from St. Thomas to accompany you.

 

Attendance:

Classes are taught by teachers and clergy every Monday, except during holiday break. Each year many lifelong friendships develop in the class, as we gather to learn and pray together. We recommend that you try not to miss classes in the year. While it is possible to read and make up a session, it is important to be present for the discussions and worship that give the message its fullest impact. This is also true for weekly attendance to Mass on Sundays, a habit which will characterize your life as a Catholic.

 

Cost:

There is no charge for the classes, and you will be provided all the necessary materials to help you in your studies.