The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process by which interested adults become full, active, participating members of the Catholic Church. These adults may be:
- those who have never been baptized
- those who have been baptized in another Christian tradition
- those who have been baptized Catholic, but have had little no formation in the faith.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults helps adults to grow in their relationship with God, become familiar with Catholic teachings and practices, get acquainted with people in the parish, and become involved in service within the parish or the wider community.
There are four stages in the process, which extends over at least one Church year, and may take up to three years. For the unbaptized, the first stage, the Pre-Catechumenate, is an inquiry period. In this period of time, inquirers meet with members of the RCIA Team and tell their own stories and connect them with the Gospel story. If they desire to continue on this journey, they enter the Catechumenate stage, where they learn the teachings of the Church and become familiar with Catholic tradition and practices. Lent is a time of prayer and reflection as they prepare to celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist, at the Easter Vigil.
Those already baptized, called Candidates, also enter upon a four stage process: the Inquiry Period, the Formation Period, the Lenten time of Prayer and Reflection in preparation for completing their initiation by celebrating Confirmation and Eucharist, usually on the Second Sunday of Easter.
The fourth stage, during the Easter Season, from Easter Sunday to Pentecost, is the time when these new Catholics meet to reflect on all that they have experienced and to explore and deepen their understanding of the mysteries of the faith.
The RCIA involves the whole parish. As the baptized, we are disciples. We have a responsibility to proclaim the Good News that is the Gospel message. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults provides many and wonderful opportunities to live out our baptismal commitment. We participate in prayer as the rites are celebrated and in hospitality as we invite and welcome new members. Each Catechumen and Candidate is accompanied by a sponsor, a member of the parish who provides support and encouragement on the faith journey. The RCIA Team is a group of parishioners who gather weekly with the Catechumens and Candidates to inform, to share on the Scriptures, and to give witness to their faith.
If you have a friend, family member, or neighbor who may be interested in becoming Catholic, invite them to Holy Trinity. Consider becoming a sponsor or member of the RCIA Team. If you have any question or desire more information, please call Fred Tomkins at 201-602-3487 or Deacon Tom at the Rectory, 232-8137.