RCIA at St. Anthony of PaduaThe process of becoming a member of the Catholic Church is officially known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or “RCIA.” This program is intended for unbaptized adults or those baptized in another faith who wish to become Catholic. RCIA is also for Catholic adults who want to receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and Communion.
The RCIA process begins each fall and continues with participants becoming full members of the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil. This timeframe consists of five unique stages:
- The RCIA process begins by contacting the parish to express a desire to join the Catholic Church, followed by a meeting with the RCIA Director.
- The next stage is the Inquiry (starts in September) where those interested can learn about the Catholic faith and then decide if they want to continue on and be welcomed into the Church at the Rite of Acceptance.
- The third stage is the Catechumenate, where participants begin to attend Mass as a group. At this stage, those who are unbaptized become known as “Catechumans” and those who are baptized become known as “Candidates.” Then, on the first Sunday of Lent, they are presented before the Bishop at the Rite of Election and Enrollment.
- Following the Rite of Election and Enrollment, the participants enter the stage of purification and enlightenment. It is at this time that they begin to prepare for receiving the Sacraments at the Easter Vigil and their Rite of Reception into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church.
- The final step is called Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit. At this stage, the Neophytes (newly baptized) and the Candidates become active members of the parish and the Sacramental life of the Church.
Our RCIA Application Form is available on-line for interested individuals to complete.