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Right of Christian Initiation

All Are Welcome

Rite of Christian Initiation is a process of study, exploration, faith-sharing, and faith formation with specific liturgical rites for seekers and inquirers. Seekers and inquirers are non-baptized adults who desire to be fully initiated into the Roman Catholic Church and/or baptized Christians who desire full communion in the Roman Catholic Church.

Catechumens

Adults or older children who have not been baptized and desire to join the Church are invited into the ancient celebration of the Rite of Christian Initiation as Catechumens. During this process, which is marked by regular ritual acts, participants are introduced to the liturgy, the teachings, and the life of the Catholic Church.

Candidates

Adults or older children who were baptized in another Christian denomination prepare in a similar way for the sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist during their reception into the Catholic Church as Candidates.

RCIA: Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults


The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops describes the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) as a process in which participants "undergo…conversion as they study the Gospel, profess faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church, and receive the sacraments…The RCIA process follows the ancient practice of the Church and was restored by the Second Vatican Council as the normal way adults prepare for baptism."

Likewise, the language used in the RCIA process is that of the early Church formation programs. Catechumens are those people who are seeking full initiation into the Catholic Church through all of the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation. Candidates are people who have been baptized in a Christian tradition but are seeking initiation into the Catholic Church through Eucharist and Confirmation.

RCIC: Rite of Christian Initiation of Children (7-18 years old)


RCIC is the process involving “Christian Initiation of Children Who Have Reached Catechetical Age.”  RCIC utilizes the same process as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), but with adaptations for children.

Through the RCIC process, un-baptized children (or children who have been baptized into a non-Catholic Christian faith) prepare to receive the sacraments of initiation and enter the Catholic Church.  They seek Christian initiation either at the direction of their parents or guardians or, with parental permission, on their own initiative.

The process involves the entire family and culminates in the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil.  Weekly group meetings begin in August and continue until the Rite of Welcome/Acceptance.  At this time, the RCIC group will be called out of 9:30 AM Mass each Sunday and will meet until after Noon.

Whether your family is just entering the Church, is returning after time away, have decided as a family to delay your children’s sacramental preparation, or any other circumstance, all are welcome.

RCIA is a Journey


The Rite of Christian Initiation is a process that proceeds over weeks and months. It has several steps:

Pre-Catechumenate/Inquiry
This is the earliest phase in the process; it is also known as the Period of Inquiry. Catechumens and Candidates acknowledge that Christ is calling them into the Church through the movement of the Holy Spirit. This is a time for seeking and reflection.

Rite of Welcome/Acceptance
The Rite of Acceptance is the public ritual for those who are ready may to enter into a deeper relationship with the Church and begin their formal preparation for the sacraments of initiation within the Catechumenate.

Catechumenate
If it is true that we cannot properly love whom we do not know, the Catechumenate, as a period of intensive learning, helps us to come to know Christ more intimately by way of a more systematic and rigorous understanding of the Deposit of Faith. This is a time for sharing stories, reading scripture, and studying the Church customs. Participants also participate in worship services and various Church rituals.

Purification and Enlightenment
This stage normally coincides with the season of Lent because Lent is a time of the Church's great retreat.  During this period there is an emphasis on personal self-examination and prayer in preparation for the Easter Sacraments of Initiation.

Rite of Election
Catechumens and Candidates are chosen to be received by the bishop and the community and to receive the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter.

Sacraments of Initiation
At the Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday), all newly elected members of the community, who have been journeying through the RCIA process, are welcomed formally into the community of believers through receiving the Sacraments of Initiation.  The un-baptized Catechumens enter into the Dying and Rising of Christ through the Sacrament of Baptism.  Catechumens and Candidates are anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation, and share at the Lord's table in the Sacrament of Eucharist as full members of our Catholic Christian Community.  Baptized candidates may receive the Sacraments of Initiation at a time other than Easter.

Mystagogy
This is a time of reflection and celebration after the formal reception into the Catholic Church. Mystagogia means “leading into the mystery” and it is a time to explore the deep mystery of our faith and go forth to help build the reign of God on Earth as new members of the faithful.

 

RCIA Sponsors


People journeying through the RCIA process need sponsors and community support to help them grow in faith. The RCIA sponsors help guide, support, and walk the journey with those discerning whether to become members of our Catholic community. Candidate/catechumen will be assigned a sponsor from our own St. George Community.  Our sponsors strive to help the candidates/catechumens feel more connected and embraced by the community in which they will worship.

 

 

Contact

Molly Rose
Director of Child Faith Formation/ RCIC
(225) 293-2212 ext. 204

Karen Fawley
Director of Adult Faith Formation/ RCIA
(225) 293-2212 ext. 206

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