RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)
The RCIA describes a process in which men and women are guided and cared for as they awaken in faith and are gradually introduced to the Catholic way of life.
- It is a series of carefully planned stages, marked by liturgical rites in the presence of the whole community.
- It is a process of continuing and deepening conversion into faith and discipleship.
- It is a process that takes the distinctive history and spiritual needs of each person into account.
- It differentiates between the baptized and unbaptized, the catechized and uncatechized.
The goal of RCIA is to care for people in the midst of this life-changing experience.
Journey of faith is embarked upon individually. Therefore, conversion is a journey of Mind, Heart and Spirit. The first step for some is a sense that something is missing – a sense, perhaps provoked by some crisis, that there is more to life. For many others, the journey begins because of a relationship with a catholic-close friend or potential spouse. Still others are drawn by seeing the example of a catholic life well lived like St. Teresa of Calcuta.
Whatever the reason, the process is the first step on a lifelong journey of intellectual, emotional and spiritual conversion. For some it is the completion of an initiation process that was interrupted in childhood. The RCIA recognizes both the ongoing quality and the communal nature of conversion. It provides an intellectual and spiritual framework and faith community in which an individual’s conversion experience can be understood and supported.