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RCIA Registration Form

Ascension of Our Lord invites all:
Non-Catholics who want to become Catholic or learn more about the Catholic Church
Adult Catholics but not Confirmed And all Catholics who want to learn more about their Catholic faith or would be willing to be a sponsor for a RCIA candidate by being a part of their formation and learning about the faith.

Becoming Catholic

"Since the beginning of the Church, adult Baptism is the common practice where the proclamation of the Gospel is still new. The catechumenate (preparation for Baptism) therefore occupies an important place. This initiation into Christian faith and life should dispose the catechumen to receive the gift of God in Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist." (Catechism of the Catholic Church) Most Catholics trace their religious roots back to their baptism as an infant into the Catholic Christian community. They grew up in Catholic families and after proper preparation, came to share in the full sacramental life of the Church through the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation. Baptized Christians and unbaptized adults enter into the Catholic Church by undergoing a period of formation in the teaching, spirituality and life of the Church called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

WHAT IS RCIA?

In the recent past, adults seeking reception into the Roman Catholic faith underwent a series of instruction classes. Often these classes involved a 'one on one' meeting with a priest who explained the basic tenets of our faith. The second Vatican Council (1962-65) decreed that all church parishes begin a special catechumenate program to be called RCIA or Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. This catechumentate program has roots that reach back into the 3rd and 4th centuries of our Church when the catechumenate was an important and daily part of the life of the Christian community. The goal of the RCIA is to foster or deepen one's conversion in the community of the Church to Jesus Christ and the kingdom he proclaims. It includes sponsorship by Catholics in the local parish, prayer, worship, teaching the gospel, catechesis, (handing on the tradition of the Church) and direct contact with the community. The RCIA is a spiritual renewal, not only for those seeking to beco me Catholics, but also for the welcoming community.

WHO IS THE THE RCIA?

The RCIA describes the initiation of adults as a 'spiritual journey.' This journey is divided into five distinct stages:

1. Inquiry period: During this time, the basic gospel message is proclaimed, and inquirers are able to reflect on their lives in the light of the message of Christianity. This is the time to ask questions about Christ and the Church. It is a time of crossroads in a person's religious life, of decision whether he or she wants to enter the catechumenate.

2. Catechumenate: A period of 'apprenticeship' during which the catechumens change their minds, hearts and lives through lessons, liturgy and Scripture. With the help of a sponsor and members of the parish, they experience the Church as a community of the faithful: its spirit, work, prayer, creed and mission.

3. Period of Purification and Enlightenment: This coincides with the season of Lent and involves the final preparations for the sacraments of initiation at Easter. Together, the elect and the community journey toward Easter by deepening commitments to the Lord and praying for the removal of any obstacles to spiritual growth.

4. The Sacraments of Initiation: In the most elaborate and joyous celebration of the Church year, the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) are conferred upon the elect. Those already baptized are received into full communion with the Church through the reception of Confirmation and Eucharist. The entire community of the faithful joyfully welcomes the neophytes and joins in a renewal of their own baptismal vows.

5. Mystagogia, or Post baptismal Catechesis: This period lasts from Easter to Pentecost and completes the initiation process. It is a festive season for the Church. The neophytes penetrate the deeper meaning of the Easter sacraments and begin thinking about how they will share in the mission of the Church through service. It is, finally, a reminder to everyone that conversion is a life-long process.

WHO IS THE THE RCIA?

The following comprise the RCIA:
1. Any adult not yet baptized and who wishes to become Catholic.
2. Any adult baptized in another Christian church who wishes to become Catholic.
3. Any Catholic who, after a time of inactivity in the Church, wishes to rededicate him or herself as a Catholic.
4. Any adult, baptized Catholic, who has not yet celebrated Eucharist and/or Confirmation and wishes to do so. NOTE: Those already baptized as Catholics will receive the sacrament of Confirmation from the archbishop at the Cathedral on Pentecost Sunday.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME A CATHOLIC?

The RCIA is not a program. It is the means by which the Church ministers to those who seek membership, and it recognizes that some will need more time than others to prepare for the lifetime of commitment that comes with initiation into the Church. The usual length of preparation is from one year to two years. In all cases, initiation takes place at the Easter Vigil each year.

MORE INFORMATION

Contact Father Walter 985-652-2615