Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults and Children
Welcome to RCIA/RCIC at Peace of Christ Parish!
R.C.I.A. stands for the "Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults,"or RCIA. The RCIA, a program of the Catholic Church, is oriented towards those who are searching and inquiring about the Catholic way of life. While this program is oriented for adults, it accepts teenagers who are mature enough to participate in the RCIA. There is also a program adapted for children of age seven and up. This program is called the "Rite of Christian Initiation of Children," or RCIC. Visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website (U.S.C.C.B.) Contact Melissa Mang at 288-5000, ext. 121 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For RCIA online lessons, please visit this website: My Catholic Life
Stage One: INQUIRY
Candidates for R.C.I.A. are on individual journeys, taken up in a gradual process that looks different for each person. The "inquiry stage" can last many years for some people, so there is no official start or end date to this. We do, however, begin a more formal introduction to R.C.I.A. in the early Fall. After a week of introduction, we begin a four week journey designed to help inquirers cultivate a living and personal relationship with the Lord. The teachings give a clear understanding of the Gospel, and each night helps to foster a relationship with Jesus and a greater sense of belonging to his Church. Through prayer and fellowship, each member grows in friendship with those in the small group and R.C.I.A. participants realize more fully the beauty of the Church and the certainty of God's unconditional love for them personally.
Stage Two: THE CATECHUMENATE
If and when a candidate is ready to take the next step, he/she enters the next stage of initiation into the Church, the Catechumenate. There is no commitment required to participate, but here the candidate is expressing a much deeper interest/desire to join the Catholic Church and our parish community. In this stage, there is a much more detailed explanation of the Church's teachings and a deeper focus on the need for moral conversion to Christ. The faith is presented, week by week, in the context of the Church's liturgy (i.e. Sunday Mass). R.C.I.A. candidates attend the first half of the 9:45am mass, then process out for the day's instruction.
Rite of Sending is Sunday, March 5th, 2017, 9:45am @ St. Ambrose Church.
Rite of Election is the same Sunday, March 5th, @ 2pm at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Stage Three: PURIFICATION AND ENLIGHTENMENT
After a period of study and discernment, those who are discerning a genuine call and are ready - exhibiting authentic conversion to Christ and his Church - will then be invited to take the final step before entering into communion with the Church. These weeks leading up to Easter serve as an intense period of reflection, repentance, and prayer. This period is designed to prepare the R.C.I.A. candidates' hearts to receive Jesus and begin living a sacramental life of faith. This stage of the process serves as the final period of discernment before making a full commitment to follow Christ in communion with his Bride, the Church.
Three Scrutinies (for catechumens seeking Baptism) are as follows:
Sunday, March 19th, 9:45am @ St. Ambrose Church
Sunday, March 26th, 9:45am @ St.Ambrose Church
Sunday, April 2nd, 9:45am @ St. Ambrose Church
Stage Four: SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION
The high point of the R.C.I.A. process is the reception of Jesus in Holy Communion. Each year, at the Easter Vigil, those who are ready to enter into full communion with the Church will receive the three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism (for those who haven't already been), Confirmation, and First Eucharist.
This year, the Easter Vigil is Saturday, April 15th. RCIA candidates and catechumens will be initiated/welcomed into full communion of the Catholic Church, 7:00 pm at St. Ambrose Church.
Stage Five: MYSTAGOGY
The final stage of R.C.I.A. is a period of reflection and prayer as new Catholics begin to live the mysteries of a sacramental life. The actual process of this mystagogy stage is an entire year of deeper study and prayer as they are now living a sacramental life of grace. However, our formal time together ends on the Feast of Pentecost. With other parishioners, our new brothers and sisters will take part in a six-week journey that takes them deeper into the meaning and practice of Christian discipleship. This is a final period of preparation to live a faithful and dynamic Catholic life, as well as another opportunity to grow in friendships with fellow parishioners and build up our Church community.
There are a number of different people that this information could apply to:
- you may have been baptized into the Catholic Church, but never received any religious education and never received the sacraments of First Eucharist or Confirmation.*(see above notice)
- you may have been baptized in another faith and now would like to join the Catholic Church.*(see above notice)
- you have never been a part of any religion and now feel the need to belong.
If any of the above statements apply to you, then this process is for you. This program is offered in a hybrid format with in-class sessions on Wednesday evenings at St. James School.
For more information on how to register for our programs, please contact Melissa Mang, Catechetical Director/Youth Ministry at email@example.com or by phone at 288-5000 ext. 121.