- Do you have questions about God?
- Do you have questions about faith?
- Has something sparked your interest to discover more about the Catholic faith?
- Were you Baptized as a child, and would now like to prepare to receive Confession, Eucharist and Confirmation?
Adults who wish to explore these questions are invited to contact the Parish Office for more details about the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (R.C.I.A.)
Formation for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults is a process of prayerful discernment, study and dialogue into the mysteries of the Catholic faith and belief in the Holy Trinity.
It is a process of formation through gradual stages, unfolding the Church’s Rites, symbols, and biblical and liturgical signs, and incorporation into the Christian Community of Faith.
From the time of the apostles, becoming a Catholic Christian has been accomplished by a journey and initiation in several stages. This journey can be covered rapidly or slowly, but certain essential elements will always have to be present: Proclamation of the Word, acceptance of the Gospel entailing conversion, profession of faith, Baptism itself, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and admission to Eucharistic communion.
When does R.C.I.A. Formation begin?
Formation Sessions will begin on Sunday September 23rd 2018, following the 10:45 a.m. Mass. We invite you to attend the 10:45 a.m. Mass, grab a donut and coffee and head to the Formation Building for the Sessions that will run from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00-1:30 p.m. each Sunday.
In the Catholic Church we use a process called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (R.C.I.A.) for those who have never been baptized and are seeking to come into the Catholic Church. There are five distinct phases of this process:
- Period of Inquiry – where one becomes acquainted with the Catholic Church and hears about salvation through Jesus Christ. This is a reflective period where individuals look at their own life story and begin to make connections with the gospel. This is a time for inquirers to explore questions they have about the Church. The length of time this takes will vary from person to person. Some may discern that they are not ready to move forward at this time, while others will determine that they want to move to the next stage.
- Period of Catechumenate – This stage comes after one has come to faith in Jesus Christ and desires to become a member of the Catholic Church. Individuals are welcomed formally into the “Catechumenate,” where they will gather with the parish community on Sundays for the first part of the Mass. They will be dismissed after the priest’s homily to spend time with their Catechist and continue a period of study and reflection on the scriptures and how they apply to their lives.
- Period of Purification or Enlightenment – this is a very prayerful time for catechumens. Usually beginning on the First Sunday of Lent they are formally welcomed by the Bishop and are accepted as candidates for the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. This celebration is called the Rite of Election and henceforth catechumens are known as the Elect. During Lent, special prayers called scrutinies are offered for the elect. Scrutinies are prayers for strengthening and purification from any past wrongdoing.
- Celebrating the Sacraments of Initiation – This celebration takes place during the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday when the Elect are Baptized, Confirmed, and receive the Holy Eucharist. At this point the person is fully initiated into the Catholic Church.
- Period of Mystagogy – Newly initiated Catholics continue their education and formation through the post baptismal or mystagogy period. This is a time to reflect on the sacraments and the teachings of the Catholic Church. It is also a time to discern how best they can serve Christ through His church by becoming active in ministry.
If you are already baptized:
If you were baptized in another Christian church, or if you were baptized Catholic, but have not been Confirmed nor received the Eucharist (or Confession), you will follow a process that will invite you into a deeper understanding of the Sacraments and Catholic way of life.
Candidates for reception into full communion with the Catholic Church will undertake a formation program to guide them in understanding the teachings and practice of the Catholic faith. This process may look similar to the one outlined above depending on your formation needs.
We are all at different stages in our faith journey, so this process may take longer for some than others. Candidates may be received into full communion by making a Profession of Faith and being Confirmed and receiving Eucharist. They may also be received into full communion at another time during the year, depending on the readiness of the individual, and the pastoral circumstances involved.
If you are ready to begin the process of learning more about becoming Catholic please come to our initial “Becoming Catholic Inquiry Gathering” on Sunday August 26th at 12:00 p.m. Or you may contact our Adult Faith Formation who will meet with you to determine the next steps for you. Since everyone’s situation is different, the individual circumstances and sacramental needs of each person will be assessed. This is what determines the process to be followed, and can affect the time frame involved.
A Sponsor to walk with you throughout your journey of faith
You will be asked to find a special person called a Sponsor. Jesus taught his disciples the importance of community. It is meaningful that we walk this faith journey with companions. A Sponsor is a practicing Catholic who will serve as a companion, listener, and mentor. Ideally, a Sponsor is someone with whom you can freely share questions and concerns and who will be present along the journey.
Your Sponsor will play an integral role and be present alongside of you throughout the formation process and will stand with you during important moments such as the Rites and at your Initiation into the Church. Please read more information below under “The Role of the Sponsor”.
The Role of the Sponsor:
The responsibility of the sponsor is to help you live the Catholic Christian lifestyle. Their goal is to be a guide, a mentor and encouragement on your journey of faith. A Sponsor is one who is an active and practicing Catholic, someone with whom you can share with comfortably.
If you are not aware of anyone who can act in this role, please be sure to let the Coordinator know your concerns.
Some suggested questions to consider when selecting a Sponsor:
- Does this person live the Catholic faith in an exemplary way?
- Are they comfortable sharing their faith with me?
- Am I comfortable sharing with them?
- Is there founded hope that they will encourage me to walk the journey of faith through the years?
- Will they have interest in walking with me during the months of formation, study and learning in the Catholic Faith?\
- Is this a person who has the ability to stand up with me (literally) during various moments of this formation journey?
Qualifications of a Sponsor (Diocese Guidelines)
- Understand the qualifications and intention of being a sponsor.
- Attained the age of 16
- Is fully initiated Catholic– Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist (Parish will need a copy of Sponsor’s Confirmation Certificate)
- Has no canonical impediments such as
- divorced and remarried without an annulment
- Catholics married outside of the Church.
- Is not the father or mother of Confirmation Candidate.
- Leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken.
Please be mindful of the following paperwork considerations for a Sponsor:
- Sponsor Paperwork
- Please provide copy of Sponsor(s) Confirmation Certificate
- Review “Qualifications of Sponsor” guidelines
Who do I contact?
Please call Sarah Nelson at 719-542-9248 x121 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We want to know more about you!
For questionnaire to complete and print click here.