Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)
“The Rite of Christian Initiation is designed for adults who, after hearing the mystery of Christ proclaimed, consciously and freely seek the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts. By God’s help they will be strengthened spiritually during their preparation and at the proper time will receive the sacraments fruitfully.” (Catholic Rites)
Are you interested in learning more about the Catholic faith? People are drawn by the Holy Spirit to explore the Catholic faith for many different reasons. This page is designed to answer your basic questions about the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program.
WHO IS RCIA FOR?
The Catholic Church designed a preparation process to celebrate the sacraments Christ has instituted. We call this the RCIA program. This process is for any adult or child over seven years of age who is…
- Unbaptized and recognizes a need for spirituality in their life.
- Baptized and raised in another Christian tradition but interested in learning about the Catholic faith.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
At Saint Matthew, we ask that you fill out an RCIA inquiry form. We often begin with a one-on-one meeting with a parish pastoral staff member. This is a good time to share where your faith life has taken you and what brought you to this point. Any questions you may have will be addressed here.
The RCIA process is an extended period during which you will be given pastoral and spiritual formation and guidance for living as a disciple of Christ.
RCIA is not an instructional program—it is a process of conversion and apprenticeship created by the Church to welcome those who wish to learn more about the Catholic faith and in turn may want to become Catholic.
As you discern God’s call for you as an individual, you will experience rituals of commitment and the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist), to come into communion with the Catholic Church.
CONVERSION: WHAT IS IT AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
- Conversion means change, moving from where we are to where God would have us.
- Conversion affects every part of our being, giving us a new way of understanding ourselves and the world around us.
- Conversion is an on-going, lifelong process initiated by God.
- We do not control conversion—we accept it as coming from God, drawing us closer to Him and His unconditional love, which we then willingly share with others.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A CATHOLIC?
It takes long enough for conversion to happen. The process will vary for each individual based on their experience and circumstances Our typical process runs from September through Easter each year, but individuals with different needs and backgrounds may celebrate the Sacraments earlier or later.
WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP?
The next step is to fill out an RCIA inquiry form. You will then hear back from a member on staff about next steps.