Are you interested in becoming Catholic or learning about the Catholic faith?
Welcome! The Catholic Church’s mission is to offer people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to deepen their understanding and relationship with Jesus Christ.
Becoming Catholic involves a journey of faith, accompanied by the support of a parish community. This process is called Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or RCIA.
During the RCIA process, you meet with others to share, reflect, pray and learn more about the Catholic faith. There are ceremonies or ‘rites’ at each stage to signify the steps along the way.
If you or someone you know would like to know more about becoming Catholic, please contact your local parish.
Christian Initiation is the process through which people become Catholic.
The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is best described as a journey of faith that passes through a number of different phases and focuses on conversion of heart and mind to Christ. It is a gradual journey tailored to the needs of the individual.
Parents are usually asked to take part in a preparation program with their child to understand the sacraments of initiation and the commitment to living faith.
To start the process, you will need to contact your local parish.
For Nicole, preparation for RCIA involved weekly meetings and prayer, and the study of scriptures and Catholic traditions. Nicole describes the process of preparation as an intensely enriching experience that served to deepen her faith.
‘I think you actually feel closer to God … because you’re surrounded by people with really deep faith: people you can talk to about it all the time,’ she says.
Stages to Becoming Catholic
The RCIA process follows these stages of initiation:
Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens:
The first liturgical rite in which enquirers express and the Church accepts their intention to respond to God’s call and follow the way of Jesus Christ.
Period of Evangelisation & Pre-Catechumenate:
A time of enquiry and introduction to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. An opportunity for the beginnings of faith.
Election or enrolment of names:
The liturgical rite during which the Church formally approves the catechumens readiness for the Sacraments of Initiation.
Period of the Catechumenate:
The period of time for growth in faith and conversion to God through prayer, catechesis* and fellowship.
*catechesis = the passing on of the faith
Period of Enrolment & Enlightenment:
This period usually takes place during the liturgical season of Lent. It is a time of more intense spiritual preparation for reception of the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter.
Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation:
This is the most important of all transitional Rites, because it is when the elect are fully incorporated into Christ and the Church by Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist at the Easter Vigil.
Period of Mystagogy & Neophyte* Year:
Mystagogy, or post-baptismal catechesis, is an important period of time for the newly initiated to reflect on their Easter experience.
*neophyte = “newly planted”, the first year of being Catholic
To find out more or start the process of becoming Catholic as an adult, you should contact your parish office.