What is the R.C.I.A.?
The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is a process for those interested in learning about the Catholic faith who come together on a weekly basis to learn about the scriptures and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, and at the same time, to discover where God is present in their lives.
The process is designed for those adults and children over the age of seven who are:
Baptized in another tradition
Baptized Catholic, but with no further religious training or reception of the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.
There are five steps or stages to the RCIA process. The first is called the Period of Inquiry. This is when people can ask questions to get an idea about Catholicism. They learn about the scriptures and Jesus Christ. This period takes as long as it needs to but is usually around 6 to 8 weeks. If at the end of this time the individual feels ready to enter the next phase they meet with members of the RCIA team and state their intent.
The second stage is the Period of the Catechumenate. For this phase to begin, the individual must have a relationship with Jesus and a longing to continue on this faith journey. They begin to go to Mass on Sunday and further their commitment to the faith. They reflect more deeply about how Catholicism will affect their life. This phase also lasts as long as is needed for that specific individual.
The third stage is the Period of Enlightenment or Purification. This period corresponds with the season of Lent. It is the six week preparation time for Easter. This period begins with the Rite of Election, which is celebrated at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. This rite accepts individuals as candidates for the Sacraments at the Easter Vigil. This rite is usually celebrated the First Sunday of Lent. It is a time of prayer and reflection which should bring about a conversion of heart.
Celebrating the Sacraments of Initiation. The Sacraments of Initiation are celebrated at the Easter Vigil. By the waters of baptism, the individual passes into the new life of grace and becomes a member of the Body of Christ. Those who are already baptized, celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation prior, and receive Eucharist and are confirmed. Anointing with holy oil called chrism seals the initiation by the power of the Holy Spirit and participation at the Eucharistic table marks full membership within the Catholic Church.
The final stage of the RCIA process is the Period of Mystagogy. This period lasts from Easter Sunday until the completion of the Easter Season on Pentecost. This completes the initiation process. Those who have shared in this process are now called Neophytes. During the Period of Mystagogy, individuals are invited to reflect on the Easter joy and to discern in what new ways they are called to live the life of grace and the call to discipleship.
Here at St. Joan of Arc Parish, our adult sessions begin in September and meet on Sundays at the 10:00 am Mass and conclude at 12 noon.
For further information please feel free to contact the
Parish Office at 586.777.3670 and ask for extension 1510
Modeled after the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), the Children’s Catechumenate at St. Joan of Arc Parish is designed for those children new to the Catholic faith. Together with their parents, the children attend sessions which begin in September and are held on Sunday mornings from 10:00 am until 12 Noon. The Children’s Catechumenate walks the children through the five steps of the RCIA beginning with the Inquiry Process, where the families get to know one another and share their experience of God and the church.
Next is the Catechumenate period, where the families continue to learn about the Catholic Church and its teachings. The Period of Purification and Enlightenment follows. This time coincides with the Season of Lent, a time of prayer and reflection that brings about a sense of need for conversion, which in turn leads to the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil. The Period of Mystagogy completes the initiation process and begins after the Easter Vigil and concludes at Pentecost. This is a time of reflecting on the joys of Easter and what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
For further information please feel free to contact
The parish office at 586.777.3670 and ask for extension 1510