How does someone become Catholic?
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process for learning about and becoming part of the Catholic Church. The RCIA is a period of preparation extending over the course of about a year (or more depending on the individual). The RCIA process is appropriate for
– adults who have not yet been baptized,
– for those who were baptized in another faith tradition, and
– for those who were baptized Catholic but not raised within the Catholic faith.
RCIA at St. Casimir meets weekly from September through May (schedule for 2018 TBA).
What happens in RCIA?
The RCIA formation experience is about growing in faith, coming to an awareness that each of us makes up the Church, and committing one’s life to Jesus Christ and the Church. In general, the RCIA experience includes the following steps:
Period of Pre-Catechumenate (Inquiry)
This is a time of inquiry. There are weekly meetings to ask questions, get acquainted, hear the story of salvation and learn the most basic traditions of the Catholic Church.
Period of the Catechumenate
This period is an opportunity to move deeper into the faith of the community. It is a time for deeper formation of your relationship with God, for participating in the Liturgy (Mass), and for getting involved in service to others. We continue to meet weekly, and attend Mass together on Sundays. During the liturgy, we are dismissed and prayed for by the assembly as we meet as a group to reflect on the scripture readings.
Period of Purification and Enlightenment
This is a time for healing and grace, a time for personal reflection on our relationship with God and others. This period is also during with the season of Lent and ends with the decision to become Catholic. We continue to meet weekly as well as at Sunday Masses.
At the Easter Vigil Mass, we celebrate the Rite of Initiation, which includes Baptism (for those not yet baptized), the profession of faith for those previously baptized, Confirmation and Eucharist. It is the holiest of days in the Catholic Church.
Period of Mystagogy
This is a time to explore and appreciate the mystery of Baptism and deepen your grasp of the life, death and risen presence of Jesus Christ among us. Mystagogy is a period of further discovery about how to live out the meaning of the rituals just celebrated at the Easter Vigil. We meet on pre-determined days, weekly, after Easter.