Frequently Asked Questions about RCIA
What is the RCIA?
The letters stand for Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. It’s the special way (rite) by which persons are initiated, that is, prepared to receive the sacraments of initiation (baptism, confirmation and Eucharist) and become Roman Catholic Christians.
Why do people become interested in the RCIA?
The decision to join the Catholic Church is personal for everyone. Many people choose to join the Church because of a desire for Christ and His Sacraments. Some become interested in the RCIA when they approach a milestone in their life, such as planning a wedding to a Catholic. They would like to start their marriage with both partners being of the same faith. Some, who are already married, find that they would like to be a family that “prays together.” A non-Catholic parent may find his interest in Catholicism growing on the occasion of his child’s First Holy Communion. Others have had a personal experience of faith leading them to find out more. Some are baptized Catholics who never received religious instruction in their youth and would like to share fully in the sacramental life of the Church.
What kind of people are part of the RCIA process?
Any and all people who are interested in or curious about Catholicism can come to the RCIA sessions.
Those who wish to be fully initiated into the Catholic Church may choose to do so after the initial period inquiry.
What are the religious backgrounds of those who become part of the RCIA?
All religious backgrounds are welcome. No formal religious education is required prior to joining RCIA. I was already baptized in a non-Catholic church. Do I have to be baptized again? As Catholics, we confess ONE BAPTISM for the forgiveness of sins. So generally, a person would not be “re-baptized”. Most Christian baptisms done with water and the Trinitarian formula are considered valid in the Catholic Church. Therefore, those candidates would make a Profession of Faith in order to become a Catholic. A copy of the Baptismal certificate is required.
What happens at RCIA?
RCIA is an interactive experience where we get to know each other, learn more about the Catholic faith, and where God is leading us in our lives. We usually start with snacks, followed by our session. These sessions would occur on Wednesday evenings.
What if I’m not sure I want to become Catholic?
For any decision in life, it’s best to be informed about the choices available. What better way than to be part of a group discussing aspects of Catholicism? There is never any pressure to join the Catholic Church at RCIA – only the learning, and to some extent, the living of it.
How do I join the RCIA?