RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, is an adult faith process designed for those interested in becoming Catholic. RCIA is much more than going to classes on Catholicism. It is undergoing a conversion to a new way of life in Christ. It is important to understand that RCIA is a “process”, not a “program”; it is for and about people: people on the move, people being remade in the image of Christ, people being reborn in the Spirit, people on a journey toward faith. RCIA is the Church’s way of forming disciples of Jesus Christ and the way the Catholic Church welcomes its newest members.
RCIA is a 4-step journey. We begin in September with the “Pre-Catechumenate (Inquiry)” period. It is a time for you to hear the Word through scripture study and to build relationships with God, the RCIA family and your parish community. During the second period (beginning in mid-November), “Catechumenate (Catechesis)”, you learn about the Catholic faith through more formal instruction; you join with the parish community in worship and get to know the larger parish family. “Purification and Enlightenment (Continued Conversion)” coincides with Lent and is a time of conversion as you prepare for your initiation into the Catholic faith.
When you make this faith journey toward full initiation into the Catholic Church, you will be received into the Catholic faith at the Easter Vigil. At this time, you are made one with the body of Christ through the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist (and baptism if we have a Catechumen). This is probably one of the greatest nights of your life. It is the pinnacle of the conversion journey, but not the end of your journey. We must go forth and continue the mission of Jesus Christ. After Easter and continuing through May, we move into the 4th phase of RCIA, “Mystagogia (Integration)”, which is the time to move forward together and grow toward a deeper understanding of God’s Word, of the Sacraments, and of the lived Christian life. This step continues for the rest of your life.
If you are interested in learning more about the RCIA process at Saint Ambrose of Woodbury, please contact Nancy McGrew at 651-768-3023.