Welcome to the RCIA page of our website. The Catholic community at St. John the Beloved Parish is always ready to receive anyone truly seeking to find a Christian home in which to grow in their spiritual life. Jesus invites each of us into a relationship with himself. If you are truly knocking on his door seeking to respond to this invitation we encourage you to read on and consider what your next step might be.
As a person searching for spiritual renewal you may have asked yourself questions like:
What is it that is attracting me to the Catholic faith?
How will my life be different by becoming part of a Catholic community?
In what ways will the Catholic faith help me to strengthen my relationship with Jesus?
Is God really calling me to take this step at this point in my life?
If these, or questions like these have been on your mind then the RCIA at St. John’s may help you find answers. On our journey of life one of the things God can use to draw us to him are our everyday experiences. The RCIA process is designed to be that part of our journey where we can begin to view our daily experiences and situations through the lens of the Catholic faith. It is a place in which we can pray and discern, learn about the faith, ask questions, and have a first hand experience of being part of a Catholic Christian community.
Just What Is RCIA?
RCIA is an acronym for The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. It is a pastoral process by which a person is brought into full communion with the Catholic Church through the reception of the sacraments of initiation; baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. It is oriented not just toward a one time event, but an ongoing interior change of life. While the process is directed toward adults, mature teenagers are also invited to participate.
Why Is RCIA Important?
In the Catholic Church infant baptism is the norm, and through ongoing instruction these children grow in their understanding of the profound graces that are available to them in their faith. Others come into the Church as older children or adults. In these cases there needs to be a process of preparation in order for them to develop a full grasp of the graces of faith and the communion they will experience within the Catholic community.
Where Does RCIA Originate?
In the early Church acceptance into the Christian community was through instruction and conversion of heart that varied in length depending on circumstances. However, it always included, “proclamation of the word, acceptance of the Gospel entailing conversion, profession of faith, Baptism itself, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and admission to Eucharist communion”. (CCC #1229). The RCIA in use today originated at the Second Vatican Council as a way to restore this ancient process in the Church.
How Is The RCIA Administered?
The format for the process consists of four stages which are designed to form the heart and mind of the candidate in sacred scripture and tradition, apostolic life, the liturgy, the paschal mystery, and living in the Christian community. Liturgical rites are celebrated along the way to mark the candidate’s progress. These rites are a sign of welcome as a step toward becoming a full-fledged member of the Christian community. A team of parishioners administers the process, and each candidate is accompanied on the journey by a sponsor to whom they can turn to for guidance and support.
Is The RCIA Process For You?
Each person is different. At St. John’s we strive to develop an RCIA process that is flexible enough to meet each situation. To understand your own circumstances better, ask yourself:
Are you a person in need of baptism?
Have you been baptized in a Protestant denomination but now seek membership in the Catholic Church?
Are you someone who was baptized in the Catholic Church but have had no further formation in the faith?
No matter where you are on your journey of faith there is a place for you at St John the Beloved. To find out how you may participate in the RCIA process contact Deacon Tom Bailey. 302-999-9761, or firstname.lastname@example.org.