What is RCIA?
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, also called The Catechumenate, is the Catholic Church’s process for initiating individuals into the full life of the Church.
What does “initiation” mean?
Full initiation into the Catholic way of life means to have celebrated the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Eucharist with the Church community.
Who is this process designed to serve?
For the unbaptized:
Unbaptized adults who wish to become members of the church.
Unbaptized children, ages 6 and older, whose parents wish to have them become members of the Church.
Unbaptized teens, who wish this for themselves, and who have their parents’ permission and support.
Those baptized in another Christian faith, who wish to become Catholic: The Catholic Church recognizes and accepts baptism celebrated in other Christian communities, if that baptism was with water and performed “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Such an individual becomes Catholic by making a profession of faith, a statement of oneness in belief with the Catholic Church, then celebrating the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist with the parish community.
Uncatechized Catholics: those adults or children who were baptized Catholic at a young age, but were not “catechized,” that is, were not taught the faith and have not yet celebrated the sacraments of Confirmation and/or Eucharist
“Inquirers:” individuals who would like to find out more the Catholic Christian way of life, or who have questions they would like to ask about our faith
How long does the process take? The process of initiation into the Church’s life is understood as the continuation of one’s spiritual journey that began with the beginning of life itself. Thus, each person’s journey with God is unique and sacred. An individual’s readiness for initiation is a matter for personal prayer and reflection, recognizing God’s work, and the influence of the events of daily life.
Some general guidelines are: For “uncatechized” children or teens the Bishop of Dallas requires that children attend classes for two years (school year schedule) before celebrating First Eucharist and/or Confirmation. Parents, catechists and the children themselves determine whether or not the children are ready after this period of formation.
For adults, the length of time depends on the extent of an individual’s prior Christian formation, familiarity with Catholic teaching, prayer life, and practice, and—above all—the work of the Holy Spirit in that person’s life and his/her response.
How do I get started? Contact Dan Scofield via email.
You are also welcome to attend any one of the sessions that is scheduled.
Sessions for Adults*: Wednesday evenings: 7:00 p.m.
*Adults who are unable to attend on Wednesday evenings, can attend the adult class on Sundays.
Please speak to the Director of Christian Initiation if you have special circumstances.
Sessions for Children and their Families**: Sunday mornings: 10:15 – 11:45 a.m.
**Parents are expected to attend classes with other parents, while their children are in sessions. Families attend Family classes together once a month.
See the current 2014-15 schedule for information about a particular Sunday, since the Sunday schedule is often adapted for special events.