Becoming Catholic/RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)
Are you interested in becoming Catholic? Are you searching for:
- A deeper relationship with God?
- A sense of belonging in a faith community
- A greater fulfillment of your mission in life?
- Are you yearning for something more in your life?
- Are you unbaptized but recognize a need for spirituality in your life?
- Are you baptized Catholic or baptized into another religion but never received any formal religious education?
Thank you for stopping by to learn more about becoming a Catholic Christian. No doubt, God has already been at work in your life, drawing you closer to Himself and His Church. If you would like the opportunity to become acquainted with the Catholic community, meet with others who are exploring the possibility of becoming Catholic and grow in your own relationship with God, Holy Family welcomes you. No matter where you are in your journey of faith, we are here to meet you there and walk with you.
RCIA, which stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, is an extended period of evangelization (developing a relationship with Jesus Christ), catechesis (instruction in the faith), and spiritual formation (deepening in faith) in the Roman Catholic Church. Although it is primarily the process by which people become full members in the Catholic Church, RCIA welcomes inquirers at all levels of knowledge, faith, and intent–in other words, you do not need to feel like you’re ready to become Catholic before you begin RCIA. Ultimately, though, the process culminates in the reception of one or more of the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist, and full membership in the Catholic Church.
To register for classes or to just learn a little more, contact Lori Pieri.
What do I do until RCIA sessions begin?
RCIA is a year-round process, although formal sessions begin in the fall (September) each year. Jesus is not confined to our timetable. You can call the church anytime to set up a meeting with one of the priests or the RCIA Coordinator. While RCIA is still the best way of investigating the Catholic faith and moving toward becoming a Catholic, there are several things a person can do prior to RCIA to honor Christ’s call and to help enrich the journey:
- Pray. Incorporate prayer into your daily routine. Prayer is an opening of the mind and heart to God. It is a conversation with the God who made you, loves you infinitely, and wants to converse with you.
Step 1: If prayer is new to you, start by saying a simple prayer like “Jesus, I want to know and love you more.” each morning when you wake up. Gradually, add more content. Simply speak to God from your heart.
Step 2: Begin incorporating some basic prayers of the Church into your daily routine, like the Lord’s Prayer, the Glory Be (Doxology), and, if you are comfortable with it, the Hail Mary. Some Common Catholic Prayers are encouraged for you to not just say them, but to pray them!
Step 3: For those more familiar with Christian prayer, you may want to explore the Liturgy of the Hours, which are the daily prayers of the Church. You could also familiarize yourself with and begin praying the Rosary.
- Read the Bible. Like with prayer, make reading and meditating on the Scriptures–even just a few verses–part of each day. If you don’t have a Bible, use an online Bible.
Step 1: If you haven’t read the Bible before, start with one of the Gospels–Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John–which are accounts of Jesus’ earthly life.
Step 2: After you’ve become familiar with the Gospels, we would suggest reading Genesis (the first book of the Bible) and Romans.
Step 3: If you’ve read the Gospels, Genesis, and Romans, it may be time to obtain a Catholic Bible and begin familiarizing yourself with the different books.
- Attend Mass. You don’t have to be Catholic to attend Mass! Yes, it can be confusing, especially if you have never been before, but there is great value in coming and encountering Jesus in the Mass. The Breaking Bread book which is located in each pew can assist you with the parts of the Mass, but do not worry if you are unsure what to do, just follow what others do regarding standing, sitting, kneeling. The only thing the Church asks of non-Catholics is, when it comes time to receive Communion, feel free to come forward. When you near the front of the line, please indicate that you are not Catholic by crossing your arms over your chest. This will signal to the person distributing Communion to offer you a simple blessing. Holy Family offers Sunday Masses at 5pm on Saturday, and at 9am, 11am on Sunday.
- Talk with Catholics. No one does Christianity on their own! If you know faithful, practicing Catholics, talk with them! Tell them of your interest in Catholicism, and don’t be afraid to identify any doubts or hesitations you may have. Ask them why their Catholic faith is so important to them. Ask them to pray for you.
- Read the Catechism. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the standard book which presents Catholic teaching in summary form.
- Call the Adult Discipleship office to set up a meeting with Lori. A one-on-one meeting is a great way to talk and ask questions relevant to your life.