RCIA - The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

First of all, you may be wondering if you can complete RCIA online. The answer is no. But, there is a very good reason for it. It has nothing to do with the technology not existing. It has nothing to do with the inability to put a program like that together. The reason why there is no RCIA online program is because of the very nature of RCIA. Online classes could never give you the full experience. RCIA is more than simple classes on theological topics; it is a journey of spiritual growth and wisdom - something that no book or online resource can teach.


What is RCIA - The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults?

RCIAThe Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or RCIA, is the way that adults can become Catholic. Basically, RCIA is adult Confirmation. Every Catholic must go through some form of Confirmation. Most "Cradle Catholics" go through Confirmation after they reach the age of reason. Basically, the age of reason is the age at which you first become aware of the differences between right and wrong. The actual age differs for everyone, and many argue when this actually happens. Either way, as an adult, we are way beyond that.

To understand what Catholic RCIA is all about, it is important to understand Confirmation. Whether you are a teenager or grandmother of seven kids, Confirmation applies in the same way. It is the method by which we join the Catholic Church. As adults, the difference is that the classes are focused around us. Our questions may be different. Our ability to understand may be different. Our maturity is certainly different. For these reasons, and many others, the Church has a specific program to help us as we begin our journey in the Catholic faith.



The RCIA Process

 Defining the Stages

RCIA ProcessThe RCIA Process involves a number of steps that are meant to guide you on your journey toward becoming a Catholic. Depending on your past, such as your baptismal status, the RCIA process may differ slightly for different people. For those who have not been baptized in an acceptable manner, they will go through the entire RCIA process. For those who have already been baptized in an acceptable manner, you simply must come into "full communion with the Catholic Church." What is an acceptable baptism? I won't go into detail on that here. It can be answered in a follow up interview.

The Full RCIA Process

Coming into Full Communion

For those who have already been baptized, they are known as Candidates. As a Candidate, you will go through many of the same periods of growth as the Catechumens. For Candidates, the focus is on teaching the foundations and traditions of the Catholic Church in contrast to other Christian denominations. Like Catechumen, Candidates should spend a great deal of time focusing on their studies, prayer, and learning the scriptures.

RCIA Sessions

The Purpose

Going through the RCIA process is a time meant for us to grow in our relationship with the Trinity, but it is also a time for us to learn the basic tenets of the Catholic faith. To give structure to that learning process, the Catholic Church offers RCIA sessions as a way for us to get a better understanding of the Catholic Tradition. As someone new to the Catholic Church, it may be difficult for us to know where to begin. RCIA classes are meant to guide us on our journey to Catholicism.

RCIA - What You Will Learn

Although it may differ slightly from parish to parish, most RCIA classes cover some of the basic topics, such as: RCIA Classes

The Life of Christ + The Holy Trinity + The Virgin Mary + Prayer + Scriptures + Catholic Tradition + The 7 Sacraments

This is only a portion of what you will learn. Of course, the RCIA process is about more than learning facts about the Catholic Church; it is meant for you to internalize the material. By professing your faith as a Catholic, you are doing more than saying that you know this information; you are saying that you believe this information. RCIA is meant to be more than Catholicism 101. It is meant to help form the foundation of your life in the Catholic Church.

The Learning Process

While attending your RCIA sessions, you will be guided by the RCIA Team and other teachers. Sure, it is simple enough to show up each week and sit quietly in the back of the room. Or, you can engage yourself in the discussions, and you may learn more than you could have imagined. The leaders of the RCIA program were chosen for a reason - their wisdom and maturity in the Catholic faith. Use them as a resource. Do not be afraid to ask questions. They are there as a resource to you.

The RCIA process is a time of growth and learning. Much of this must be accomplished on your own. The leaders of your RCIA program can only point you in the right direction. Only you can make this a fruitful process. Study what you learn each week, spend time in prayer, asking God to open your heart to all that He is showing you, and read the Scriptures. They are a way for us to gain more depth and understanding of who God is and what He can do in our life.

RCIA - Becoming Catholic

We All Have Our Reasons

Are you considering becoming Catholic? What has led you to that decision? We all choose to become Catholic for our own personal reasons, but we can share in the same journey. Here are some common reasons people join the Catholic Church through the RCIA process:

Whatever your reason for becoming Catholic, we are glad to have you.

Why Become Catholic?

Becoming CatholicLike I said, we all have our reasons. But, there a number of great reasons for taking a deeper look at the Catholic faith. For me personally, there are a number of reasons that really keep me in the Catholic faith. The beauty of the Catholic Church is that there is a "oneness" amongst Catholics that I have not experienced anywhere else. As I have traveled around the country, I have visited a number of Catholic parishes. At each parish, it amazed me how welcomed I felt. It was a community like none other.

Being someone who enjoys diving into the depths of his faith, I have found the history of the Church to be inspiring as well. For instance, the papacy can be traced all the way back to St. Peter himself. When Christ said that He would build His Church with Peter as its rock, that continues today with Pope Benedict XVI. Like any organization, the Catholic Church has seen its share of ups and downs, but it remains today as one of the world's greatest institutions.

I appreciate the ritual beauties of the Mass, and all of the Catholic Sacraments. Some say that the Catholic Church is old-fashioned; I say that the Catholic Church holds fast to the same beliefs that it has held for centuries. It refuses to pander to modern society.

Whatever your personal reasons for becoming Catholic may be, I am sure that God put them on your heart for a reason.

Becoming Catholic - The RCIA Process

To become Catholic as an adult, one needs to go through the RCIA process. RCIA offers the information and training to help you become Catholic, and become a better Christian. Beyond simply taking classes, the RCIA program is meant to stretch your faith and challenge your misconceptions. It is a time of fasting, prayer, and deep study. Sure, you can simply go through the motions, but, what would be the point in that?


For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Deacon Ed Reising at 513-941-3661, ext. 12, or at mailto:edreising@stjosephnorthbend.com