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St. Francis de Sales

Becoming Catholic: R.C.I.A
(Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)

RCIAWhat’s YOUR story?

  • “I’m married with a couple of great kids; I have a job I enjoy and a nice home. . .but I  feel as though something is missing from my life.”
  • “I was baptized Catholic and even went to a Catholic grade school, but I got away from my faith in high school and wasn’t confirmed – and I’ve not been back since.  But I think I might want to.”
  • “I enjoy being involved in activities with other people who have direction in their life.  I thought I was one of those people, too. . .but lately, I’m wondering if this is all there is.”
  • “I attended church with my grandmother as a child, but I haven’t participated in any kind of religious activity since then.  I’m wondering if I can recapture some of that childhood joy.”

We all have questions, but few find easy answers.  Jesus simply says:  “Come, follow me.”  We extend this same invitation to you.  As you come to know us, you will discover that although Jesus didn’t offer any easy answers, he did give his followers a framework for living and loving the questions.  The Catholic Church is a community of believers who try to live the values He espoused in a world that often regards those values as absurd. 


Although you might consider the questions you have now your heaviest burden, they actually are your greatest resource! 


We welcome you and your questions.


The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the usual process for welcoming new members into the Catholic Church. Adults who are attracted in some way to the Catholic Church or wish to develop their relationship with Jesus Christ begin the Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate by participating in Alpha. Inquirers who want to learn more participate in the Rite of Acceptance, which declares the desire for Baptism. The parish community affirms this desire and the inquirer becomes a Catechumen.



The Period of the Catechumenate focuses on the truths and teachings of the Catholic faith and allows the Catechumen to grow in understanding, ask questions, pray with Scripture and other devotions, participate in service and social opportunities with the parish, and discern how God loves them and leads them on this journey. The Rite of Election is a diocesan celebration that affirms the request for baptism and reception into the Catholic Church. The Period of Purification and Enlightenment is marked by prayer, study, discernment, and prayers for them by the parish communities. The Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation usually takes place during the Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday when the Elect receives the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. Now the person is fully initiated into the Catholic Church.



As a newly initiated Catholic, the Neophyte continues their formation and education in the Period of Mystagogy. During this period (which continues at least until Pentecost) the newly baptized members reflect on their experiences at the Easter Vigil, the Sunday liturgies of the Easter Season, and continue to learn more about the Scriptures, the Sacraments, and the teachings of the Catholic Church as fully initiated Disciples of the Catholic Church. In addition, they reflect on how they will live to serve Christ and promote the Church’s mission and outreach activities to be disciple-makers.



Christians baptized in other traditions also participate in Alpha and a suitable formation process to help them understand and experience the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church. The preparation for Candidates is different since they have already been baptized and committed to Jesus Christ, and many have also been active members of other Christian communities. These individuals make a profession of faith but are not baptized again. They also receive the initiation sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. The Candidates may be received into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil or at another Sunday during the year depending on pastoral circumstances and readiness of the Candidate.



Baptized Catholics who never received the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist also participate in a period of formation. This is completed with the reception of the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Communion.



Catholics who have been Baptized, Confirmed and made First Communion but then drifted from the faith, may return through the Sacrament of Penance.



Godparents (and Sponsors) are fully initiated practicing Catholics called to show the Catechumens (Candidates) good example of the Christian life, sustain them in moments of hesitancy and anxiety, bear witness in faith, and guide their progress in the baptismal life.


St. Francis de Sales Parish

40 Granville St, Newark, OH 43055

St. Francis de Sales
Newark, OH

Phone:   740-345-9874


© 2021   St. Francis de Sales
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