The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) group meets weekly to support those who are interested in learning about the Catholic faith and may be considering becoming members of the Catholic Church. Our sessions generally start with a time of prayer, a scripture reading and reflection. This is followed by teaching on the Catholic faith and a time for discussion.

The RCIA Process

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a gradual process through which those interested in becoming Catholic are received into the Church. It is intended for those who have never been baptised or for those baptised Catholic who have never received further formation in their faith. There is no set time frame for this process. For some it may take as little as a year, for others considerably longer. The aim of the entire process is a gradual deepening of one’s personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The emphasis is on conversion and a commitment to the Catholic way of life.

It starts with a period of time (the pre-catechumenate) during which those who make initial contact with the Church are welcomed and encouraged to ask questions about the Catholic faith and life. They are encouraged to talk to members of the parish community and are very welcome to attend events that take place in the Parish. During this time there is initial introduction to Scripture and the Good News of Jesus Christ along with learning some basic Catholic prayers. Enquirers are encouraged to reflect on their own faith journey and experiences.

Later, should enquirers wish to continue on their journey into the Catholic Church they enter into a period known as the catechumenate. During this time they are introduced to the breadth of Catholic teaching and are nurtured in their spiritual growth through participation in prayer, liturgies and other Catholic devotions. They are encouraged to take an active part in the activities of the parish community. They have a sponsor who plays an important role in supporting them on their faith journey and helping them grow in the Catholic way of life.

The third stage of the process is the Period of Purification and Enlightenment. This is a period of spiritual preparation during Lent for those who wish to receive the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) at Easter and become full members of the Catholic Church.

Those newly received into the Church continue to meet for several weeks following their initiation. During this time (called mystagogy) those newly initiated are supported to deepen their understanding of the sacramental mysteries. It is a time for deepening the Christian experience, for spiritual growth, and for entering more fully into the life of the community.

Diagram of the RCIA Process

RCIA Sessions Sample Plan