Becoming Catholic

September 22, 2012fatima

Are you interested in the Catholic Faith?

The information provided here has been prepared for both future candidates and sponsors by providing you an overview of several facets of the journey of conversion, and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the process of coming into the Catholic faith.

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

RCIA or Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a journey of conversion within the living community of faith RCIA culminates in the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist

RCIA is for:

  • Adults who have not received the Sacraments of Initiation.
  • Adults who have been Baptized Catholic or in another Christian tradition and have not received Confirmation or First Communion.
  • Adults who have been Baptized Catholic and have made their First Communion but have not been Confirmed

Adults prepare for initiation through a process of prayer, rituals, reflection on the word of God, and teachings of the Church.

This program begins Wednesdays in the fall of each year and continues beyond Easter. If you are interested in learning about the Catholic faith contact the parish office to register. You will require a copy of your baptism certificate if you were previously baptized.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is RCIA?

The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is the process by which adults are initiated into the Catholic Church. The RCIA process is conducted by a team of lay church members and clergy over a nine-month period which begins each September and continues through Easter.

RCIA is not a course or class in Catholicism. RCIA is rather a guided process by which those interested in the faith are initiated into the Catholic church.

Who can participate?

There are generally 3 categories of people that particiapte in RCIA:

  1. The RCIA process is open to all those individuals who are unbaptized and who express a desire to study Catholic Christian beliefs and practices.
  2. The program is also open to those individuals who have been baptized in another Christian denomination and who wish to explore membership in the Catholic Church.
  3. Finally, the RCIA is open to Catholics who have been baptized but who have not received the other entry sacraments of Confirmation and/or Holy Eucharist.

Is there any cost to participate in RCIA?

No, there is no charge to participate in RCIA

Am I obligated to become Catholic if I go through the RCIA process?

There is no obligation for participants to become members of the Catholic Church. Anyone seeking information about the Catholic faith is welcome to attend our sessions.

Participants will be encouraged to ask questions and dialogue with the material. There are times during the RCIA process for you to explore your intentions and continue to discern God’s call. Everything shared during the sessions will be treated with confidentiality and respect.

What if I was baptized but not as a Catholic?

You will be glad to know that the Catholic Church universally recognizes most Christian baptisms. You are welcome to explore the Catholic faith with us, and if and when you so choose, you can prepare to join the Catholic faith through the RCIA process. Prayer, discernment and reflection are part of the RCIA experience.

Am I expected to go to church on Sundays before becoming Catholic?

Yes, part of the process of conversion is to begin attending mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.

What materials are needed?

All needed materials will be provided for you. You will receive a Bible and other related materials as tools for reflection.

I would like to hear about some of the experiences of the other catechumens and candidates?

The experiences of other candidates and catechumens are as varied as the people themselves. Everyone has their own story, their own journey. RCIA candidates come from all walks of life, all backgrounds and all ages.

We invite you to come to our sessions and visit with any of our leaders, sponsors and candidates. We are eager to share our own experiences.

I am engaged to a Catholic. Can I become Catholic in time for the wedding?

That depends on when the wedding is. RCIA candiates generally enter fully into the Catholic church during the Easter vigil each year.

I am engaged to a Catholic. Does it mean I have to join RCIA?

No. You don’t have to be Catholic to get married in the Church. The decision to join the RCIA is one that you should make for yourself, because it is something you want to do, not because you feel you have to.

I’m Interested – What’s the next step?

If you’ve made the decision to begin the RCIA process, your next step will be to contact the parish office, and ask for an application form.

Once you’ve completed and returned your application form to the parish office, a priest will contact you and have you come in for an initial interview to get to know you better, and explain more fully what to expect.

Please Contact Our Lady of Fatima Parish Office for more information.