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Becoming Catholic / RCIA

If I am interested in Becming Catholic (aka RCIA), what is my first step?

Please contact Jen Mayer, Coordiantor of Adult Faith Formation, either at 410-647-4892 or using the contact a staff member page to set up a time an informal interview. In this interview, she'll talk to you about your religious background and any areas of concern you may have. She can also answer any other questions you may have about the process.  Also, over the course of the year, we offer periodic Becoming Catholic Q and A nights so people considering the process can learn more about what is involved - you can also attend one of these nights to get the process started.

Who is the Becoming Catholic/RCIA process for?

Becoming Catholic (formally known as RCIA, which stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is a process the church uses to prepare adults to enter the Catholic Church. It aims to address

  • Those who are not baptized,
  • Those who were baptized Catholic as babies, but who have not celebrated 1st Eucharist/1st Communion and Confirmation, and
  • Baptized Christians of another denomination with little church background who wish to become Catholic.

It is a process of discernment, meaning that if you begin the process and discover that you are unable or no longer interested in continuing, you are not obligated to finish.

Please note that we offer a modified process for well-formed baptized Christians. This modified process is most appropriate for those who consider themselves to be disciples, are comfortable in Catholic Liturgy, who have an established prayer life, and who mainly need to know "what is different" about being a Catholic Christian. This modified process occurs when we have several people come forward who would benefit from it. So if you think this modified process might apply to you, please contact Jen Mayer to let her know of your interest.

How is Becoming Catholic/RCIA Organized?

Our main track of Becoming Catholic/RCIA has four phases:

  • An initial phase of where a person considering becoming a Catholic Christian can ask questions and we can review the basic story of Jesus' life and how that matters to each of us. This phase in formally known as inquiry, but can be viewed as a getting to know Jesus phase.
     
  • A teaching phase, that begins after a person decides he or she is interested in knowing more about Catholicism and the Church. This phase is known as the catechumenate, because people preparing for a baptism are called catechumens.

     

  • A preparation phase, which helps the person who has decided they would like to enter the Catholic church and receive sacraments prepares to receive those sacraments. This phase has an emphasis on prayer and reflection, and is known as the period of purification and enlightenment.

     

  • Finally, there is a reflection phase, after the person has received sacraments in which they further reflect on the mysteries of faith. This phase helps people integrate what they learned beforehand with their lived experience. This phase is known as Mystagogy, which refers to reflection on the mysteries.

     

Our Modified Track for well-formed baptized disciples is more streamlined, corresponding primarily to the teaching phase.

When Does RCIA Meet?

WE will have Becoming Catholic Q and A nights on August 10 and 24, 2017  (at 7 PM in the youth room) so people considering the process can learn more about what is involved.   Generally, the main track of RCIA will attend meet on Wednesday nights from 7 - 8:30 PM in the youth room (beginning Sept 12). As part of the process, we also will attend one of the Sunday masses together (We will decide which one works best as a group). 

Our Modified Track of RCIA (or Baptized Christian Disciples) sets it's meetings by consensus of the group, meaning we work out dates and times when everyone can make every session.

Would my Divorce and Remarriage Affect my participation in RCIA?

Divorce alone is usually not an issue for RCIA.  See this link for information about divorce, remarriage, and RCIA.