Congratulations on having the courage to take the first steps in finding out more about what the Catholic Church teaches about God, Jesus Christ, ourselves and the meaning of our lives. Perhaps you have been thinking about the deeper questions of life and faith for many years, perhaps you have a Catholic friend or relative which sparked interest in you, perhaps you went to Catholic school or were baptised as a child but never made your first holy communion. Perhaps you grew up in a different Christian tradition or different religion and would like to get baptised. Maybe you’re still deciding whether or not you are ready to become Catholic, maybe you’re already 100% sure. But wherever you are on your faith journey, please know that you are very welcome to take the next steps and join the RCIA process!
RCIA stand for the “Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults” is is the ordinary pathway by which adults become members of the Catholic Church. You can think of RCIA as a combination of a training plan, a time of discernment and a time of deepening in faith and deepening in your relationship with God. There are three main components of the RCIA process: (1) Catechetical or intellectual, which is studying what Catholics believe and why, (2) Pastoral or spiritual, about growing in your relationship with God and sharing in the fellowship of the Christian Community and (3) Liturgical, which is about participating in Sunday Mass (the high point of our week) and the ceremonies which mark the journey towards becoming Catholic. All of these preparations culminate in the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and holy communion, typically received at Easter, which are the means by which a person enters into the Catholic Church and becomes an adopted son or daughter of God, a member of the mystical body of Christ.
Depending where you are in your faith journey, you may spend a year in the RCIA process, or perhaps two or three years. There is no pressure to become Catholic, and no rush, we want you to come to know and love Jesus Christ and His Church in your own time, and to be welcomed into the Church through baptism, confirmation and holy communion when you are ready.
At Saints Agatha and James Catholic Church, the intellectual formation takes place on Sundays from 3.30pm-5.15pm by participation in the Catholicism 101 course (which is open to Catholics, non-Catholics, believers and non-believers). Spiritual formation takes place on Thursday nights 6.45pm-7.45pm in the small faith sharing Credo group. The Credo group is only open to those who are in the RCIA program, or to others who would benefit, by special invitation. Credo means “I believe” and it is a special place deepen in your relationship with God, to learn about prayer, to share your faith experiences, to hear about the faith journeys of others and to learn what it means to be part of the Christian community which is the Church. The liturgical dimension take place through participation in the Sunday 5.30pm Mass.
Important dates for 2018-2019:
Thursday 18th September 2018 6.45pm: 1st Credo Meeting & RCIA Orientation Session
Sunday 21st September 2018 3.30pm: 1st Catholicism 101 class (intellectual formation requirement for RCIA)
Date TBC 5.30pm Mass: Rite of Acceptance and Rite of Welcome
Saturday 9th March 11am or 3pm (TBD): Rite of Election for those wishing to become Catholic. Takes place in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul
Saturday 20th April 2019 8pm: Baptism for adults at the Easter Vigil Mass
Sunday 28th April 2019 11.30am : Reception into full communion with the Church (if you are already baptized) AND Confirmation for baptized Catholics, Divine Mercy Sunday
What does it involve?
For more information contact Marisa March firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-275-4026. If you are thinking about becoming Catholic and would like to join the RCIA program, please fill out this form. Thank you!