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BECOMING CATHOLIC (RCIA)

ABOUT THE RCIA PROCESS

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To view a recently held webinar hosted by SJV staff regarding the RCIA process, please click here!

What is RCIA?
RCIA refers to the process by which adults come into the Roman Catholic Church. “RCIA” is short for “The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.”

Who is RCIA for?
RCIA is for adults or children over the age of 7 who are either (1) unbaptized, (2) baptized in a Christian but not Catholic Church, or (3) baptized Catholic but never received Eucharist or Confirmation.

What does the RCIA process look like?
There are four "periods" in the RCIA process: (1) the pre-catechumenate, (2) the catechumenate, (3) the purification and enlightenment, and (4) and the post-baptismal catechesis or "mystogogy."

The pre-catechumenate period begins when a person first expresses their desire to begin their journey of becoming Catholic. The goal of this period is for an initial conversion that causes a person to feel called away from sin and drawn towards Christ.

The catechumenate begins after the celebration of the Rite of Acceptance (usually in the Fall). This is an extended period during which the candidates are given suitable pastoral formation and guidance, aimed at training them in the Christian life. During this period, candidates attend weekly classes on Thursdays at the Parish. 

The period of purification and enlightenment begins with the Rite of Election, which customarily coincides with the beginning of Lent. This period lasts throughout the season of Lent and is a more intense time of spiritual preparation consisting more of interior reflection than religious instruction. It is intended to purify the minds and hearts of the Elect as they search their own consciences and do penance.

Finally, the Elect are accepted into the Catholic Faith during the Easter Vigil, where they receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist). The period after they are received into the Catholic Church is the post-baptismal period or "mystogogy." This is a time for the community and neophytes to continue to grow and deepen their grasp of the Catholic faith.

Who should I contact?
If you or someone you know fits these categories and is interested in learning more about our beautiful faith or in becoming Catholic, please contact Mary Anne Monroe, Director of Religious Education, at mmonroe@sjvgladwyne.com or 610-642-0938.