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Becoming Catholic

We Are Thrilled You Are Here
Now, Let's Talk About The Process

As a parish family, we rejoice every time a person decides to undertake the process of becoming a Catholic. We welcome you and we are here to help answer all those questions that might result from the call that God is inviting you to follow. Becoming a Catholic is one of life’s deepest and most joyful experiences. Some, thanks to the faith of our parents, have received baptism as children and along the way we discover the God of our parents. Others become Catholics when they are older children or adults.

A person is said to be fully initiated in the Catholic Church when he or she has received the three sacraments of Christian initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. This is achieved through a process of preparation.

The usual practice is that a family will bring the baby to the Church for baptism, initiating the child into the Catholic Christian faith. Later in life, the child will enter various periods of religious formation for the Sacraments of Communion and Confirmation where he/she deepens his/her faith.

An adult or child of catechetical age (age of 7) who is not baptized, enters the Christian Initiation process and through a process of liturgy, catechesis, and formation is prepared to celebrate the three Sacraments of Initiation.

There are also others who have been validly baptized in different Christian denominations that are accepted in the Catholic Church by making a profession of faith at a Mass, followed immediately by Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.

For adults and children who have reached the age of reason, entry into the Church is governed by the Order of Christian Initiation for Adults.

For more information on becoming Catholic, please email Fr. Peter Latouf at hfoffice@holyfamilyorlando.org

Order of Christian Initiation of Adults

Formerly known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), this process is for those individuals who have reached the age of reason (age of 7) who have not been baptized.

Steps in the OCIA Process:
1.   Inquiry:

a.   Period of time to become more acquainted with the Catholic Church and her teachings.

b.   Also a time to hear the Good News of salvation offered to us by Jesus Christ and to look within one’s own life story, seeing connections to or needs for the message of the Gospel

2.   Catechumenate:

a.   Those who have already come to faith in Jesus as Savior and sincerely desire to become members of the Catholic Church

b.   Catechumens gather with the Catholic community on Sundays for the Liturgy of the Word (the first part of Mass). After the homily, they are dismissed for reflection on the readings proclaimed at Mass.

3.   Elect (Period of Purification/Illumination):

a.   Takes place during the six weeks of Lent, leading up to and preparing the Elect for the celebration of the Easter sacraments

b.   Begins with the Rite of Election at the National Basilica of Mary, Queen of the Universe with Bishop presiding

c.   Throughout Lent, special prayers, called Scrutinies, are offered at the Sunday Eucharist for the catechumens and candidates. These prayers are for strengthening in grace and virtue and for purification from all past evil and from any bonds which hinder them from experiencing the love of God.

4.   Reception of the Sacraments:

a.   By the waters of baptism, a person passes into the new life of grace and becomes a member of the Body of Christ.

b.   Anointing with special holy oil called Chrism, which seals the initiation by the power of the Holy Spirit.

c.   Participation at the Table of the Lord in the Eucharist marks full membership in the Church.

5.   Mystagogy:

a.   Those who received the Easter Sacraments are now known as Neophytes

b.   Mystagogy is the period of time from Easter Sunday to the Feast of Pentecost when those who received the Easter Sacraments (now known as Neophytes) reflect on the graces received.

c.   It is a time of discerning how to more fully participate in the mission of Christ of bring the Gospel into the world and being true disciples of Jesus.

For more information on becoming Catholic through the Order of Christian Initiation for Adults, please email Fr. Peter Latouf at hfoffice@holyfamilyorlando.org

Being Received into Full Communion

For those individuals who have already been validly baptized in a different Christian denomination using the Trinitarian formula (“I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”), there is a simpler process of becoming Catholic. In this case, these individuals are brought into Full Communion with the Catholic Church. In order for this to be completed, the baptized person will need to make a public profession of faith and receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. These celebrations are scheduled at various times throughout the year.

For more information on being received into Full Communion with the Catholic Church, please email Fr. Peter Latouf at hfoffice@holyfamilyorlando.org

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