The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is the process by which people become full members of the Roman Catholic Church. Full membership in the Catholic Church involves a total formation process, which includes the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. It involves a journey of faith and conversion in which a person is introduced to the beliefs, life, liturgy and apostolic work of the Catholic Community. It also involves coming to know Jesus and His invitation to discipleship.
For more information, please Contact Us at the Church Office at (212) 288-6250.
Who is it for?
The RCIA is designed primarily for those desiring Baptism. Since baptized Christians from other denominations may be seeking membership in the Catholic Church, the RCIA process is adapted to their needs as well. The RCIA process is also open to baptized Catholics who would like to complete their initiation as members of the Church and are seeking Confirmation.
How does it operate?
The process of full initiation into the Church has five stages, beginning with the Period of Inquiry. This is a time for questions, finding out more about the Church and the life of faith. Normally it lasts for 8-10 weeks, but may be extended as long as an individual desires. Not all inquirers decide to enter the Church or to complete their initiation. This is entirely up to the individual.
The Period of Catechumenate follows. Candidates for initiation who wish Baptism, full communion with the Church or Confirmation will use this time to deepen in the life of faith and discovery of the power of God’s love for them. It is a time to listen and reflect on the gospel of Jesus in the light of one’s own life history.
The Period of Purification and Enlightenment begins on the first Sunday of Lent. It is a continuation of the reflection on Scripture and one’s own life. The focus now is on Lenten themes. Candidates will be encouraged to deepen in prayer, works of charity and sacrifice.
Full initiation into the Catholic Church takes place at the Easter Vigil through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Christians of other denominations already baptized are received into full communion with the Catholic Church at this time.
The last stage is Mystagogia, a time of 50 days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost when the new Church members become better integrated into the community of faith, reflect further on their understanding of the Easter sacraments and discover how they can participate in the apostolate of the Church into which they have been newly welcomed. This final period reminds the newly initiated that the initiation process is just that: initiation not graduation and commitment to a lifelong journey of conversion.
How does the RCIA begin?
The RCIA process at St. Monica Church is geared toward those who have never been baptized, have been baptized Catholic, but have never received the sacraments of the Eucharist or Confirmation or are baptized members of other Christian denominations who would like to come into full communion with the Catholic Church. More information to be published shortly.
How long does it take?
Classes start at the end of 2016 and end the week of Holy Week. All the sacraments are celebrated in unison with the parish community on Easter Vigil – the eve before Easter Sunday. The group meets at the Parish House to inquire into the Catholic faith, to come to know Jesus through the Gospels, to pray and to prepare for the Easter Sacraments.