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BECOMING CATHOLIC

 

To become a Catholic, 

the Church invites you to participate in the...

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION FOR ADULTS (RCIA)

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a process that prepares adults to become fully initiated members of the Catholic Church.  There is also a process adapted for children, youth, and teens age 7-17 - see below for their process.

Who would take part in RCIA or RCIA-adapted? ​

  • Any Non-Baptized person who desires to join the Body of Christ in the Catholic Christian Faith

  • Baptized Christians from other Christian faiths, validly baptized, who desire full communion with the Catholic Church

  • Baptized Catholics who did not complete their Initiation Sacraments, most often are uncatechized and desire Confirmation and, if needed, Eucharist

  • While the RCIA is geared toward baptism & full initiation or reception into full communion with the Catholic Church, any Catholic who would like a refresher course in our Catholic Faith is welcome to participate.


RCIA will focus on conversion to, and growing in, a personal relationship with God the Father, Jesus, His Son, and their Holy Spirit.  Our time together will also shed light on living the Catholic faith in our daily lives.  

 

This process begins the lifelong learning and growing that is the life of Faith.  You will not come out of this process with a doctorate in the Catholic Faith, but you WILL have what you need to start or continue this journey of faith!

The RCIA Process consists of 4 Periods of conversion.  The Church states that initiation into the Catholic Faith is a ‘gradual process that takes place within the community of the faithful.  It is the community – the parish – the faithful family of God – that assists inquirers of the faith in seeing the ‘value of the paschal mystery’ and provides an ‘example’ that will help inquirers to listen to and respond to the Holy Spirit more generously.

 

First is the Period of Evangelization & Precatechumenate – sometimes called the Period of Inquiry.  This is a time that someone, who might be considering becoming a Catholic Christian – if unbaptized – or becoming Catholic – if already a baptized Christian, non-Catholic, can find out more about the Catholic Christian faith.  This initial part of the process focuses more on introducing and explaining the Gospel of Jesus, cooperating with God’s grace, in the Holy Spirit, that has called them to a journey of faith, and the call to conversion and commitment to the Lord.

 

RCIA-Inquiry here at St. Francis is a time for Inquirers to gather information, get questions answered (to the best of ability) and to come to a decision to pursue, or not, this life of faith.  Inquirers can enter this process at any time during the year.  When, and if, they are ready to move forward into the process, a Rite of Acceptance – for the unbaptized - OR Welcome – for a baptized Christian non-Catholic – is celebrated and they move into the next period of the RCIA.

 

Inquiry sessions begin with an in-person meeting with one of our priests or the RCIA Director and then move to a Thursday evening gathering with other Inquirers – held every other Thursday (2022 -starting 8/4) from 6:30 – 8:00pm.

 

 

Second is the Period of the Catechumenate or Continued Catechesis for Candidates already baptized.  This Period of the RCIA is an extended time where catechumens and candidates are given suitable pastoral formation and guidance in the Catholic Christian faith – aimed at training them in the Christian life.

 

The Church gives four ways that this is achieved –

  • Suitable catechesis – gradual, steeped in the liturgical year, complete, leading to a profound sense of the mystery of salvation in which they wish to participate

  • Become familiar with the Christian way of life, supported by the example and support of sponsors and the entire Christian community, focusing on prayer, witness to the faith, keeping their hope set on Christ, following the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in their everyday life.

  • The Church’s liturgical life – in Sunday liturgy and the liturgical Rites of the RCIA which purify and strengthen catechumens and candidates by hearing the Word of God.  Usually catechumens are dismissed after the Liturgy of the Word at Mass because they, not yet baptized, must await their baptism which joins them to God’s priestly people who exercise their priestly role at Mass.

  • Lastly, but certainly not least in importance, and since the Church’s life is apostolic, they learn how to work actively with others to spread the Gospel and to build up the Church by the witness of their lives and the professing of their faith.

 

The time spent in this period of the RCIA should be sufficient enough for the conversion and faith of the catechumen or candidate to become strong, properly initiated into the mysteries of salvation and led into the life of faith, worship, charity and evangelization that belongs to the people of God.This can take one year or may take several years depending on the participant.

 

Catechumenate sessions will be held here at the parish on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 – 8:00pm throughout the calendar year.  Depending on their level of catechesis and readiness, a participant may take more, or less, time in this period, but ideally, this period lasts for about a year before they move on to the next period and preparation for the rites of initiation.  This new year-round catechumenate session begins this year – 2022 – on September 13th.

 

 

The third period of the RCIA is called the Period of Purification and Enlightenment and begins with the First Sunday of Lent and the Rite of Election or Call to Continuing Conversion.  This period is a time of more intense spiritual preparation with a focus on a more interior reflection that lasts the whole season of Lent.  Lent is a time, for the entire Church, of reminder of our baptismal call, repentance and turning back to God and renewal to prepare to celebrate the Paschal Mystery, in which those in this period of the RCIA prepare to take part in the Rites of Initiation.  They purify their minds and hearts and search their consciences to do penance and enlighten their minds and hearts with a deeper knowledge of Christ the Savior.  The particular rites and presentations of this period move the now, Elect, and the candidates toward the culmination of this period which are the celebration of the sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday.

 

The Sessions of this Period take place on Sundays, as those preparing for the Sacraments more and more take part in the worship life of the parish community, dismissed after the Liturgy of the Word at the 9am Mass to break open the readings of that Sunday and delve even more deeply into the Season of Lent and the preparation of their hearts and minds to what is to come.Sessions are approximately 9:30 – 10:45am on the Sundays of Lent.

 

 

The LAST period of the RCIA is the Period of Postbaptimal Catechesis or Mystagogy.  This period is expressly for those who celebrated the sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil.This is a time for the community and those newly initiated or those received into full communion with the Catholic Church to grow in deepening their grasp of the paschal mysteryand in making it a part of their lives through meditation on the Gospel, sharing in the Eucharist, and doing works of service and charity.This time should strengthen them as they begin to walk in the newness of the Christian life with this community of faith.The word Mystagogy comes from a Greek word meaning This time should lead them from the external signs and rituals of the liturgy to the inner, spiritual meaning of the divine life that they signify.They unpack and explore the spiritual treasures contained in the sacraments.

 

The Sessions of this period will take place on Sundays between the 9am & 11am Masses during the whole of the Easter Season culminating on Pentecost Sunday when a Parish celebration will be held to welcome them more fully into this family of the Parish.

 

While the last two periods of the RCIA are quite specific in length as they are geared to those preparing to receive and then have received the sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil, the length of the first two periods are quite geared to the needs of each participant!

We have, in the past, held to a school year-like model for RCIA – begin in September then receive Sacraments the following Easter Vigil and continue for a short time in Mystagogy and done.

 

This new approach is moving our RCIA process to a Year-round Process – essentially serving inquirers whenever they contact the parish – as the Spirit calls them to Him and the Church!

 

 

RCIA Adapted for Children – age 7 – 17 follows all of the same periods as the Adult RCIA but is geared to the age group of the participants and the maturity of the faith already present in their lives!  Many factors affect where a child interested in the RCIA-Children is placed in the process!  If you have a child you would like to participate or who, themselves, wishes to participate in the RCIA Adapted for Children, contact Cheryl Lee to set up a meeting date & time to start the process.  Forms may be downloaded from the link below.

 

 

 

Need more information?  Or to schedule an intake visit…

contact Cheryl Lee @ 231-947-4620, ext. 222

see Inquirer forms below

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RCIA PROCESS FORMS

        RCIA Adapted for Children (age 7 - 17) Inquirer FormClick HERE   

        RCIA (Adults) Inquirer Form - Age 18 & up - Click HERE 

 

You can fill out the forms and drop them off at the Parish Office

or scan and email it to cheryl@sfparish.org 

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SCHEDULES

ADULTS

RCIA Inquiry session schedule - Click HERE

RCIA Catechumenate session Schedule - Click HERE

ADAPTED FOR CHILDREN

Schedule to be determined

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2015  |  St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church  |  Traverse City, Michigan