Our Lady of Lourdes Adult Education Programs
Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the normal way in which adults become full, active, participating members of the Catholic Church.
The RCIA is not just a "convert class" with a new name. It looks different too. Special rites are celebrated during the Sunday liturgies at various times throughout the year. Adults involved in the RCIA may be dismissed each week after the homily and go and reflect on the scriptures they have heard. The RCIA involves the whole parish -- in prayer as the rites are celebrated, in hospitality as new members are welcomed, and in specific ministries like sponsor, team member, or dismissal leader.
The most important thing to keep in mind about the RCIA is this: it is not merely a new way to prepare adults for baptism, baptism is only one step. The goal of the process is full communion which means, "full, conscious, and active participation" in the Eucharist and in the whole life of the Catholic faith community.
The RCIA helps adults to grow in their relationship with God, become familiar with Catholic teachings and practices, get acquainted with people in the parish, and get involved in service within the parish or the wider community.
Many persons who want to join the Catholic Church have already been baptized in another Christian Church. They will not be rebaptized. They will follow a form of these four steps adapted to the particular needs and concerns of Christians from another faith tradition.
The RCIA carries on the Mission of the Church by offering an effective program for education and take on the mind and heart of Jesus Christ according to the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church. It is designed for those who might be interested in becoming Catholic and for those who want to increase their understanding of the Faith in community.