No matter what your situation, we’re here for you.
Perhaps your family or cultural background is Catholic but you weren’t involved, or you may have not have had any faith background but are now exploring. Have you been reading about the Catholic faith, exploring Catholic websites, or maybe attending young adult groups like Theology on Tap or The Point?
The best place to start is to find a Catholic church nearby where you live or work. It will offer an inquiry process called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults or ‘RCIA.’
In the Roman Catholic Church, life is lived, faith is learned and celebrated, and growth happens within a community, called a parish. You see, God designed us for one another, not to ‘go it alone,’ and God models perfect loving community for us in the mystery of the Trinity.
Have you already been attending a Catholic parish church alone, or with a friend? If you like the church community or parish you have been attending, talk to the parish priest about your interest in becoming Catholic.
An Encounter with Christ
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is an encounter with Christ. Seekers who come to the Church have been guided by the Holy Spirit to discover what it means to follow Christ as a Catholic.
Those entrusted to journey with these seekers (the people who will be running your RCIA course) give witness to the Faith. These witnesses are also called to deepen their own faith as they experience the Holy Spirit working in the lives of you, those seeking initiation.
In the Introduction to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, we find the basic theology of the Rite which lies in the conversion of the heart. The conversion of heart comes from the proclamation of the Gospel.
The initiation is a gradual process. There is no “one size fits all” program as the process is led by the Holy Spirit.
It takes place within the community of the faithful. The parish community is not only the place, but the means of catechesis. It is important to include as many members of the parish in the process as possible so that seekers can be invited to experience all aspects of parish life.
It is always an occasion to reflect upon the Paschal mystery. We tell the story of Jesus. We share our personal stories ‐ the joys, the moments when we experience the life of the risen Christ, but also, the demands, the moments when we are called to die to self for Christ. We share the complete story of our Christian faith as lived out in our lifelong journey to become more faithful disciples. We listen to the stories of those who seek Him and help them to find the Paschal mystery in their lives.
It renews the faithful as they offer an example that will help seekers to obey the Holy Spirit more fully. The whole Christian community is called to witness to the life of Christ by constantly turning more and more towards Him and His Church as they follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit in their own hearts.
It is suited to the spiritual journey of adults and demands an adult approach to formation (unless it is adapted for young people.) Adults learn in a variety of ways, so instructors try to be aware of this and to change the way the message is shared. So it varies according to:
- how God leads the seeker,
- how the seeker responds,
- the work and prayers of the Church, and
- the circumstances of time and place.
For RCIA teachers:
RCIA resources from the Archdiocese of Edmonton
This is a unique resource created especially for the Archdiocese of Edmonton in 2018. If you are new to an RCIA team or not, this resource is for you.
The Rite of Christian Initiation in 10 simple leaflets, complete with links to the Archdiocese forms and policies:
- First Step (Inquiry)
- First Rites and the Catechetical Team
- Second Step
- Rite Of Call and Sacraments
- Lent and the Rite of Election
- Easter Vigil
TeamRCIA.com is an online resource for Catholic parish ministers and volunteers who want to form Christians for life.
They provide accessible and relevant resources through articles and conversations initiated by five leaders in the US church, who have been serving in RCIA ministry for more than two decades. TeamRCIA offers a variety of online training for church ministers and volunteers, through webinars, e-mail courses, downloads, and discussion forums, led by experts in the field of parish ministry.
There are membership levels, but free basic membership provides access to numerous articles:
We invite you to join the conversation by clicking on the comments link on any of their blog posts.
TeamRCIA also makes printed resources available to RCIA ministers and pastoral leaders, and publishes original material that helps ministers serve the mission of the church.
Baptized in another Christian tradition?
Occasionally, someone from another Christian tradition already knows our Lord Jesus—through baptism, liturgy, Scripture, and community—and wishes to make their home with the Catholic Christian community. That person might enter the Church sooner than a person who is not yet baptized.
However, Scripture itself uses the phrase “in the fullness of time” to express the need for patient discernment in all matters of living a life of faith.
Call your nearest Catholic parish today, and begin this awesome adventure!