What is R.C.I.A./R.C.I.C.?
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Children
It begins Sundays in September from 5pm-6pm in St. Francis Hall.
Is something missing in your life? Is that restlessness one that can find its rest only in the living God? Do you find the search for material things, for recognition or prestige, for romance, for adventure all leading to dead ends or at least less satisfying than advertised?
If so, you may want to learn more about the One who made you in his image and likeness. You may learn that the creator knows your true needs -- needs which cannot be satisfied with lesser things, with things that keep changing from one illusion to another.
The God who created you and loves you as no one else can wants to share that true love to fill the void left by false promises.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, which is better known as RCIA, is a process designed for three different groups of people: 1) adults who are not baptized and would like to join the Catholic Church, 2) adults who were baptized as children into the Catholic faith, but who have not completed their initiation in the Church because they have not celebrated their First Holy Communion and/or Sacrament of Confirmation, and 3) adults who have been validly baptized in another Christian denomination and who now want to be received in the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church welcomes people of all faiths and backgrounds into the RCIA process. Different parishes organize this process in slightly different ways. At MHT the class members meet beginning in early September. Those who decide after careful discernment that they do, in fact, wish to become Catholic will be formally brought into the Church at the Easter Vigil (the night before Easter Sunday). To be considered a "fully initiated" Catholic, a person needs to have been baptized, to have made his or her First Communion in the Catholic Church, and to have celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation. Each of these Sacraments of Initiation is celebrated at the Easter Vigil. The RCIA process is designed to deepen your relationship with Jesus Christ in your pilgrimage.
How the Process Works
Here at MHT, the regular RCIA program will meet every Monday at 7:00 p.m. from September until April. Our culminating event will be the celebration of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist for all our new members on the vigil of Easter.
In the summer, we will also have introductory Sunday classes after the 10 a.m. mass on the first Sunday of May, June, July, and August. There is no need to register or call ahead -- just come to the library in St. Francis Hall (the small building right next to the church).
During our RCIA sessions, topics like Jesus, the Bible, the Sacraments of the Catholic Church, prayer, Church history, and liturgical year, social justice, and service issues, are presented. The speakers from our RCIA team welcome questions, and our parish staff is always available to answer questions as well. We love questions -- even the tough ones! We want to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision -- and one that you are comfortable making -- about whether or not you truly wish to be fully members of the Catholic Church. If, after you have asked some questions and done some reflecting and praying, you realize that this is not the right faith for you, we will certainly wish you well as you continue your journey. We believe that the grace of the Holy Spirit and a well-formed conscience will lead you correctly.
Those who wish to continue then move into the "Catechumenate Phase," a term from early Christianity. In the Catechumenate Phase, the RCIA teams seeks to make sure that each person understands the nature of the commitment they are about to make and the particular sacraments that they will receive at the Easter Vigil.
Other Things You Might Want to Know
Cost: There is no fee for the Rite of Christian Initiation process.
Sponsor: Everyone who celebrates the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation needs a godparent/sponsor. A sponsor is a Catholic adult who has already been confirmed and who agrees to support you as you prepare for Baptism or Confirmation. Ideally, you and your sponsor will continue that relationship even after Easter. If you do no know anyone who could serve as your sponsor, we will be happy to provide one for you. On the other hand, you are very welcome to invite a friend or relative to be your sponsor (although parents cannot be sponsors). Spouses and significant others are extremely important to this process -- that person often may be the reason you wanted to convert to Catholicism in the first place! We definitely recognize this and welcome their participation in any of the sessions they choose to attend.
What If You Are Already Baptized?
Generally speaking, a person who has already been baptized in a Christian faith tradition will make a profession of faith and receive First Communion and celebrate Confirmation through the RCIA process (This is because the Catholic Church accepts the validity of all Trinitarian baptisms). If you have never been baptized, however, or if you were baptized in another denomination that does not use what's called the "Trinitarian formula" for baptisms, you will be baptized at the Easter Vigil. If you're uncertain about your baptism, just ask us.
For more information please contact Mr. Bill Harper at 706.922.7823 or email@example.com.