"Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." Matt.28:18 -20.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process for bringing into the Catholic Church both those who have never been baptized (Catechumens) and those who were baptized in a non-Catholic Church (Candidates for Full Communion in the Catholic Church). RCIA is also the best way for adult baptized Catholics who have not completed the sacraments of initiation – Eucharist and Confirmation to be received into a life of apostolic action and service.
Each year in September, St. Mary's begins a new session of RCIA, and we invite everyone who would like to join the Catholic Church to participate.. For those who have never been baptized, this process will culminate in Baptism at the Great Vigil of Easter in the spring. Those who are already baptized will be received into full communion with the Catholic Church by a profession of faith at the same Vigil. Finally, the newly baptized adults and those who make their profession of faith will all be confirmed and share in the Holy Eucharist for the first time at the Easter Vigil.
While catachesis work is a part of the process, RCIA is more than a class; it is a gradual introduction to the customs, beliefs, practices, and devotions of Catholicism. Those who participate will be guided by teachers and assisted by mentors to understand the richness of Catholic worship and teaching as a preparation for making a profession of faith at Easter: "I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God."
RCIA is a Year – Round Process in the Parish of St. Mary. Catechesis (instruction) formally begins with the Rites of Acceptance and Welcome in September.