RCIA - Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a faith formation process especially designed for adults exploring the Catholic faith as a way to deepen their relationship with Christ; those interested in learning more about the Catholic Church, those who desire to become Catholic, and those who are already baptized Catholic and desire to complete the Sacraments of Initiation. RCIA is a time of preparation prior to initiation into the Church and includes formation in liturgy, prayer, doctrine, service, Christian morality, and traditions of the Church within a community of people seeking deeper faith. RCIA provides an introduction into the Roman Catholic faith and way of life, through a learning and loving process in which conversion of the heart brings you to Jesus Christ.
Are you interested in learning more about the Catholic Church?
Are you unbaptized but recognize a need for spirituality in your life?
Are you baptized into another Christian faith but seek to join the church started by Christ 2,000 years ago?
Are you baptized Catholic but never received any formal religious education or sacraments?
Are you married to a Catholic and attend Mass, but just don't know what the next step is to become one in the Catholic faith?
We are always looking for individuals wanting to know more about the Catholic faith.
You may have questions about the faith, such as:
• What does the Catholic Church teach?
• Why do Catholics believe that?
• Why all the rituals and traditions?
Do you know a family member or a friend who has asked these or similar questions?
The RCIA Process
Stage One: Inquiry
The first stage of the process, "Inquiry" or the "Pre-Catechumenate" stage, is a time to explore questions about the Church, to begin to form an appreciation for the liturgy and Scripture readings heard at Sunday Mass and gain an understanding of the basic beliefs of the Catholic Church. This takes place in a small group setting in a casual conversational style environment on 2nd and 4th Tuesday evenings at 7:00 PM, or 2nd and 4th Saturday mornings at 9:00 AM.
Commitment is not required in this stage, attendance is voluntary and there is no obligation to join the Church at this time. A person seeking to learn about the Church may remain in this period of preparation for as long as desired, but the opportunity to transition into the more formal instruction of the Catechumenate is offered typically three times per year, when those individuals who feel they are prepared to move forward are called to celebrate the Rites of Acceptance and Welcome into the Order of Catechumens.
Stage Two: Catechumenate
When ready, those desiring to become Catholic and receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion will move into the next phase of RCIA known as the "Catechumenate" stage. The entry into this stage begins with the Rites of Acceptance and Welcome into the Order of Catechumens. People preparing for Baptism during this period are now called catechumens and those already baptized, commitment is required at this stage. Participants attend the 10:15 a.m. Sunday Mass and are dismissed after the homily to “break open” and reflect on the Word of God that was proclaimed at Mass. All of this is done in a relaxed, faith-sharing atmosphere that invites a deeper relationship with God.
Stage Three: Purification and Enlightenment
When participants have completed their formal instruction and are ready to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion, they enter the next stage known as the ‘Purification and Enlightenment’ period. This is a time of prayer, penitential rituals, discernment and spiritual preparation for the sacraments they will receive. This stage occurs once a year during the Lent season and concludes at the Easter Vigil. Commitment in the stage from the participant and Sponsor/Godparent is required, which includes the same commitment as the previous stage as well as participation in a spiritual retreat and various Rites.
Stage Four: Mystagogia
Once fully initiated into the Church, the newly initiated Catholics gather again after the Easter Vigil to reflect on their experience receiving the sacraments. These meetings focus on deepening understanding of the sacraments, spiritual growth, parish life and living morally. Meetings culminate on Pentecost Sunday. Commitment during this stage is encouraged.
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults As Adapted for Children and Teens is also available at St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish for young people age 7-17, who have never been baptized or have been baptized in another Christian faith. This process will take the children through preparation for the receipt of the sacraments of initiation. Children and family are asked to attend Sunday morning 8:30 Mass in which the children are dismissed and brought over for their continuing formation session held in our Parish Hall.
Want To Help?
If you are a practicing Catholic who would like to enrich your own faith while, at the same time, sharing it as a Sponsor, you will provide support, prayer and encouragement for an individual adult along the RCIA journey.
For more information contact (951) 781-9855 extension 29. The RCIA process for adults begins with Inquiry sessions that are held the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at 7:00 p.m. as well as the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month at 9:00 a.m. (except during the month of August). All sessions are held in the Ministry Center, directly across the street from the church.
During the COVID-19 pandemic: Our Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is hosting on-line group on Sundays for those interested in becoming Catholic. If you are interested in joining or have questions, please call 951-781-9855 extension 29 and leave your contact information.
Coordinators for Adult RCIA: Marty & Mary Swanson Contact No.:(951) 781-9855 ext. 29
Coordinators for RCIA adapted for children and teens: Deacon John and Cheryl De Gano Contact No.:(951) 781-9855 ext. 11