The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) here at Holy Family is a year round process. We believe that when a person answers the call of God, we should not make them wait until it is convenient for us, but to meet them where THEY are!
Who is involved in the process?
People involved in the process include coordinators, spiritual advisor, catechists, of course the candidates themselves and their sponsors and/or parish companions. They learn from each other and over the course of the journey form a close community.
The purpose of any process of Christian Initiation is to allow people the opportunity to deepen their encounter with Christ and the Catholic community. More is involved than merely learning a creed. In this process, candidates are invited to share in the beliefs, life, liturgy and works of service of the church. In this way, the entire parish community is involved in the process by their witness and activity as well as their welcoming stature towards the prospective new members.
The time for persons seeking baptism is at the Easter Vigil. Christians from other faith traditions seeking entrance into the Catholic Church are invited to full communion throughout the year.
The RCIA Process
The RCIA is a four-step process designed to initiate people into the Catholic Church. The process is implemented at the parish level. The steps include:
Pre-Catechumenate: RCIA officially begins when a person contacts a parish and expresses interest in learning more about the church. This is known as the period of inquiry. During this period, people ask questions about the faith, doctrines and teachings of the Catholic Church.
The Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens completes the first stage or period of the initiation process. During this rite, candidates state their intention to join the faith and are publicly welcomed as people who are journeying to become members.
Catechumenate: In the second stage, candidates (those already baptized in either a Catholic or Protestant church) and catechumens (the unbaptized) receive formal training in Christian living and learn more about Scripture and church doctrine. Candidates and catechumens attend weekly sessions pertaining to doctrinal teachings of the church. In addition, they gather weekly at Mass to hear Scripture and gather afterward with a catechist for discussion.
The Rite of Election usually takes place the First Sunday of Lent. At this time, the catechumens are called by name to sign the Book of the Elect and candidates are called forward. The diocesan bishop usually presides at this celebration.
Period of Purification: This is a period of purification and enlightenment — a time for reflection and prayer. The candidates, now called the elect, purify their minds and hearts by celebrating three purifying rituals known as the Scrutinies.
The Sacrament of Initiation is celebrated at the Easter Vigil. The elect celebrate the sacraments of baptism (for the unbaptized), confirmation and Eucharist.
Period of Mystagogy: This period continues during the Eastertide (50 days of Easter) when the neophytes (newly initiated) gather weekly to deepen their grasp of the great paschal mystery. While the traditional Mystagogy ends at this time, it is best to continue through the anniversary of the initiation. This period helps neophytes understand and live out their new lives as part of the Body of Christ.
For More Information Contact:
Fr. Raul Caga
Holy Family Catholic Church
5125 S. Apopka-Vineland Rd.
Orlando, Fl. 32819