Becoming Catholic

Do you ever ask yourself…

  • What am I looking for?
  • What is the meaning of life?
  • How can I become part of something bigger than myself?
  • How can I be a better person?
  • Does God have something to say to me?
  • How can I know the right path for me?
  • What can I do about the loneliness I feel?
  • How can I make a positive difference in this world?
  • How can I come to know God’s love?

If you have questions, we have answers.
Catholicism is a way of life. Becoming Catholic is a journey in faith. The Catholic Church has a process for bringing, or initiating adults and young adults into the Catholic Church. The process is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).


 

How Does It Work?

You come with your own life experience: your parents and siblings, your education and work, and your present family and relationships. You bring your own particular story – your concerns, your hurts, your struggles, your hopes and dreams. You may have had a strong relationship with God for a long time, or you may be seeking such a relationship. You may have had some connection with the Catholic Church or other faith traditions. Your own life experiences are both welcomed and valued.

There is no obligation to make any kind of commitment nor is there pressure on anyone to become Catholic at any time during your journey. We respect the conscience and decision of every inquirer.
RCIA provides an opportunity for adults to explore the Catholic faith and to discover what Catholics believe.

 


Thinking about becoming Catholic?


 

“I attended my first RCIA meeting at St. Joseph’s…and I’m sure glad I did!! I had no idea that RCIA could be like it is. Simply put, it is like a family. I could feel the warmth right from the first meeting. The honest caring and interest of the RCIA team was very evident and they all made me feel instantly at ease.” – Marty Ogilvie


What Is RCIA?

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (often abbreviated RCIA) is the process through which interested adults are gradually introduced, or re-introduced, to the Roman Catholic faith and way of life.

Come and See: The RCIA Process
  • 1. Inquiry Phase

The church offers an invitation to initial conversion. There is no obligation involved in attending these meetings. This period is generally informal and less structured. Participants are given plenty of opportunity to ask questions on anything they wish so that they can begin to discern whether they want to continue learning about the Faith.

  • 2. Catechumenate/Candidate Phase

This phase is more structured. Candidates are asked to attend regularly. This is not yet a commitment to actually join the church – it is simply a promise to study more actively.

  • Step 1: Rite of Acceptance – Candidates accept an invitation to study the faith more actively and the people of the church accept to journey with them.
  • Step 2: Rite of Election – This is a period of intensive personal conversion and study of what it means to live actively as a follower of Christ in the Catholic Church.
  • Step 3: Easter Vigil – Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation . This takes place on “Holy Saturday”, the evening before Easter Sunday. It is at this service that those who wish to do so, are received into the Church through the ‘Sacraments of Initiation” – Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.

Throughout the Journey, topics of study are: many and are focussed on: the “Four Pillars” of the Catholic Church. Those are:

  • The Creed
  • The Sacraments
  • The Ten Commandments
  • Prayer
  • 3. Mystagogy

Mystagogy is a fifty day period which lasts from Easter Sunday until Pentecost Sunday. This period focuses on helping the new ‘Catholics’ to become more integrated into St. Joseph’s parish and into the larger Catholic Church so they will feel comfortable in their new home. The conclusion of the Mystagogy period marks the end of initiation process.