Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)
This is the time of the year [Fall] when adults, who are not fully initiated members of the Roman Catholic Church, are invited to discern the possibility of becoming fully initiated. Those who are not fully initiated would be those who were baptized in another Christian faith tradition, but have not yet received eucharist or confirmation in the Catholic Church. Those not fully initiated would also include those who have not been baptized in another Christian tradition and would like to be baptized, confirmed and receive eucharist in the Catholic Church. The process used to complete the initiation of adults into the Catholic Church is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (sometimes known by the letters RCIA).
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops in their publication Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults states: “The rite of Christian initiation presented here is designed for adults who, after hearing the mystery of Christ proclaimed, consciously and freely seek the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts. By God’s help they will be strengthened spiritually during their preparation and at the proper time will receive the sacraments fully”.
The process of becoming a fully initiated adult in the church requires free choice on the part of the adult, a free choice that needs to be informed. The journey towards full initiation begins in September and continues until Pentecost, meeting weekly. It is for this reason that we begin asking people now to consider becoming a fully initiated adult – allowing them time before the process formally begins to pray in order to more fully understand where God is calling them, and time to ask questions of other members of the church so that their decision is well informed.
As a parish community of faith our desire is hopefully to see our church and this local community continue to grow through additional members. You are being asked to seek out those adults in our midst, and in our neighborhoods, who are not fully initiated and invite them to consider it. Is your spouse a fully initiated member of the church? If not ask them to pray about it and consider it. How about your adult children? Your best friend? Please ask them!
(From bulletin, July 6, 2008)