RCIA – An Initiation to Journey in Faith…
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When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher) “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” -(John 1:35-39a)
Our Lady of Fatima Catholic church welcomes you as you seek to enrich your faith life and explore the possibility of becoming a Catholic Christian. Our Catholic Community shares and celebrates this journey with you, through a process called: The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
What is RCIA?
Catholicism is a way of life and becoming Catholic is a journey in faith. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process, rooted in history, which seeks to do more than simply give interested persons information.
Becoming Catholic involves entering relationship with a community of God’s people. Our hope is that you will enjoy a deeper relationship with God as you also become acquainted with members of Our lady of Fatima Catholic Community and the Church throughout the world.
This is a unique time for you. You will no doubt notice how your own life experiences and beliefs have brought you to this point as you listen to God’s invitation. At the same time, members of the parish are praying for you, and sharing their own life stories as Catholics.
Who is RCIA for?
- Unbaptized children over the age of 8, teens or Adults never baptized who might desire to become a Catholic.
- Adults or children over the age of 8 baptized in another Christian church who might desire to become a Catholic.
- Adults baptized Catholic who have not received full reception into the church through the Sacraments of Eucharist or Confirmation.
- Adult Catholics who would like to update or deepen the knowledge of their faith.
How long does it take? The Rite of Christian Initiation is not a program of exact timing. It is the gradual process of a spiritual journey which may take a short period of time or several years. At Our Lady of Fátima Catholic Community we normally offer the RCIA program from the early fall through the winter with the Sacraments of Initiation being received at Easter. The period of Mystagogy is the four weeks following Easter.
What if I was baptized in another church? Once your baptism is verified, you will not be baptized again. In the Rite of Initiation, those who have received baptism will make a profession of faith in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and will receive the sacraments of First Eucharist and Confirmation.
What is the first step? If you are seriously considering becoming a Catholic or would simply like more information about the Catholic Faith, please contact our Faith formation director at (949)492-4101 ext. 102.
What is the process? The Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) is the process by which an interested person becomes a member of the Catholic Church. This is a gradual process within the community of the faithful. It is a spiritual journey. The RCIA, as a rite, marks the various steps on the way to full commitment within the Catholic Church. It includes five specific periods.
The Period of Inquiry:
This initial period allows the individual to become acquainted with the Catholic Church, to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ and to reflect on one’s own life and the stirrings of the heart.
The Period of Catechumenate:
Following the Rite of Acceptance/Welcoming (first stage of commitment) this period is for deeper individual conversion and for more in-depth orientation to the Catholic faith.
The Period of Purification and Enlightenment:
Beginning with the Rite of Election this is a period of more intense spiritual preparation and is intended to purify the mind and heart, and to deepen their knowledge of and relationship to Christ.
The Paschal Triduum with the Sacraments of Initiation:
Celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ in the Paschal Triduum at Easter offers the appropriate time for the reception of the individual into the Church with the sacraments of Baptism, First Eucharist, and Confirmation.
The Period of Mystagogy:
After the completion of their Christian initiation in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist the individual enters a period of deepening of their understanding of the mysteries of these sacraments, and to enhance their understanding of their new faith. It is a period of deepening their Christian formation and incorporation into the full life of the Christian community.
Some Things to Consider:
Sponsors /Parents of children over the age of 8: Each Inquirer shares their journey with a Catholic “sponsor.” This individual is a baptized and confirmed Catholic who is at least 18-years-old and is actively celebrating the sacraments. They attend class with you, but that is not as essential as attending Mass with you each week and helping to acquaint you with Our Lady of Fátima Catholic Community. If you know of someone with whom you would like to share this experience, please mention this to the RCIA coordinator when they call. At the same time, there are volunteers waiting to serve in this capacity, if you would prefer to have a sponsor from our parish family. We are happy to arrange this for you.
Parents that have their child in RCIA, must attend class and Mass each week so they can acquaint with Our Lady of Fátima Catholic Community.
Attendance:Classes are taught by volunteer, except during holiday break. Each year many lifelong friendships develop in the class, as we gather to learn and pray together. We recommend that you try to miss no more than two classes in the year. While it is possible to read and make up a session, it is important to be present for the discussions and worship that give the message its fullest impact. This is also true for weekly attendance at Mass on Sundays, a habit which will characterize your life as a Catholic.
Photos and Privacy:To help learn one another’s names we will ask you for a photo. This can be done at class, or you may bring a favorite to be scanned. We would like to share these pictures with the community by posting them in the back of the churches so that our community may pray for you and your journey. If you would prefer that your picture remain private, we will respect that decision.
Cost:You will be provided materials to help you in your studies. There is no charge for the classes, but if you are able, a gift to help provide the books and supplies for you and others in need is appreciated.
Process Classes begin usually the second week in September and continue into the Mystagogia phase a few weeks past Easter, with some holiday breaks. The classes are hour and a half long, on Sunday. This is the formation of the process. The spiritual formation of the RCIA program is the Sunday dismissal, where students are dismissed from Mass and adjourn with a leader to discuss the scriptures for that Sunday. Participation in both parts of the program is essential. We ask that you make a serious commitment to the program, both the academic and spiritual components. Your participation in RCIA does not require your confirmation, and you are free to discontinue your participation at any time. Please know that regardless of your decision you are always welcome at Our Lady of Fátima.