God calls all of us to salvation; however, our journeys may take many different paths. For some the journey began in Baptism as a newborn child; but for others, the journey could be winding. RCIA is the process for welcoming adults into the faith tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. The program is designed for adults:
· Who have not been baptized in any religion
· Who have been baptized in another faith tradition and desire to be in full communion with the Catholic Church
· Who were baptized Roman Catholic, but did not receive the sacraments of Eucharist and/or Confirmation
RCIA meets weekly on Thursday evenings for an hour and a half. This is usually a nine-month period, but can be extended due to individual need.
The purpose of the process is to form adults in the faith by informing them in Scripture and Catholic Tradition, and by transforming them through a solid relationship with God in prayers and the celebration of Mass.
The Steps of the Process are:
- Pre-Catechumenate: A period of time in which the adult inquire about the Catholic faith, begins to join the parish community at Mass and social occasions, and begins to study the teachings of the Church.
- Celebration of the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumen and the Rite of Welcoming: This is a ceremony that takes place in Church during Mass in which those in RCIA publicly profess their desire to begin a more intense study and practice of the Catholic faith
- Catechumenate: In this stage the candidate delves deeper into the study of Scripture and the Traditions of the Catholic Church. They live the Catholic faith in order to test whether they can make a lifetime commitment.
- Rite of Election of Catechumens and of the Call to Continuing Conversion of Candidates: Another ceremony in which the Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland embraces all those coming into the Church and blesses them as they begin the last stage of their preparation.
- Period of Purification and Enlightenment: This is the final and perhaps the most intense period of preparation as the catechumen/candidate enters into the Lenten season of forty days. It is a time of prayer and fasting so that the spirit will be strengthened and the roots of their faith will grow deeper. Our catechumens are now called “The Elect.”
- Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation: On the night before Easter, the Catholic Church prayers their most beautiful of liturgies as they walk with the catechumen into the waters of Baptism and receive the Professions of Faith of the candidates. The newly baptized become our “neophytes.”
The Period of Post baptismal Catechesis or Mystagogy: A short period of time for each of us to reflect on the miracle that God has given to us.
It may seem complicated, but do not worry, we (our RCIA team and your sponsor) walks the RCIA journey with you. We are there to prayerfully, socially, and faithfully support you.
If you would like to inquire personally...If you or someone you know seems to be feeling God’s call to become a member of the Roman Catholic Church, we welcome you and promise to help you discern what God may be desiring for you. Please talk to Sister Jane at (440) 235-2808 or anyone of our priests or deacons at (440) 235-2222.