Our Catholicity is more than just a series of actions or rituals. It's more than a collection of prayers or obligations. It's even more than our scripture and symbols. Our history, our belief, our sacraments are rich in meaning, definition, and purpose. By joing the Catholic Church, you will unite with a Christian family of faith throughout the world and throughout all time. We want you to have the full benefit of a spiritual and rational understanding of the creed you will profess, the sacraments you will receive, and the relationship of faith you will be forming. Our relationship with God is always a process, an encounter that we engage throughout our entire life. RCIA is also a process, offering both information and formation.
The RCIA is a faith process to initiate adult candidates into the spiritual life of the Roman Catholic Church. The Second Vatican Council decreed in December of 1972, that the catechumenate, the formal stage of preparation for entrance into the Church, be restored. One revision was that the sacraments of initiation were always to be understood and celebrated for both adults and children in the traditional order: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. In addition, these sacraments are to be celebrated within one liturgy which becomes the Church's expression and understanding of the salvation event.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a process — a spiritual journey in which those involved come to understand the Catholic Christian way of life. The RCIA process involves the entire parish community, welcomes prospective members and strives to provide spiritual formation for those wishing to join the Catholic Church. This journey of faith begins each year at St. Matthew on the Monday following Labor Day and concludes with the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday evening.
The RCIA program is for adults unbaptized, baptized, or non-Catholic Christians who seek full communion with the Catholic Church, as well as baptized, but uninstructed Catholics. The classes are weekly and last about one hour. During the weekly meetings the candidates are accompanied by Catholics who share their knowledge and love of the Church. These various presentations by Catechists (priests, deacons, lay ministers) are the foundations of the faith journey as outlined in the Catechism for Adults. Through the various rites in the program, the parish as a whole supports, prays, and celebrates this journey of faith with these candidates.
Non-baptized adults seeking full initiation into the Catholic Church. Catechumens prepare for the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
A) Baptized Catholics who, for various reasons, have not had any formal religious education and seek to complete their initiation and prepare for the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.
B) Those who have been baptized in other faith traditions and are seeking reception into full communion with the Catholic Church, who will make a Profession of Faith and prepare for the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.