Summary of the Steps in the RCIA.
You have heard the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Come and see.
You will hear our story.
You may need to ask questions.
You will have a companion to journey with you.
You will be with friends who are on the same journey.
The leader and sponsors will share Catholic traditions, customs
They will help you to explore ways of Praying.
They will help you to explore Scripture.
You will be involved with the worshiping through participation
in the liturgy.
RITES AND CEREMONIES–throughout the process
Rite of Acceptance (Welcome) – you are welcomed into the worshipping community of Saint Patrick’s,- Here you declare your intention to the church that you want to
belong and the Church community accepts you as a member. This means you have a right to all the blessings
anointings and other rites. The Rite of Acceptance( and all other rites) is a significant means of obtaining God's grace
Rite of Election – you are sent to be received by the Bishop and the wider worshipping community.
Now you are elected to the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter.
This ceremony happens at Saint Mary’s Cathedral on the first Sunday in Lent.
You are now at the stage of becoming the church and not just learning about the church.
Scrutinies - These are special public rites celebrated during the middle three Sundays of Lent. At the Scrutiny,
you- the elect- prepare for them by examining your lives to discover the areas that may need healing e.g.
what is weak, defective or sinful. Together with the Church community, you seek strength from Christ to grow in uprightness and goodness
Because you are asking to be receiving the Sacrament of Initiation at Easter, you must have the
intention of achieving an intimate Knowledge of Christ and his church
This is the time to reflect, pray and commit to Christ.The retreat usually is held a few weeks
SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION
You will receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion during the Easter liturgy.
After Easter you will be immersed in the mission of Jesus Christ in the Church.
You are ‘sent’ to begin your lifelong journey of growing closer to God and deepening
your understanding and practice of the faith and growing in the Catholic faith by
praying, attending Mass and becoming active in ministry.
The Catholic Church welcomes those who are searching through the catechumenate (RCIA) process. Based within a parish community the RCIA process is adapted to the spiritual needs and life journey of adults. It is the process by which unbaptised adults are welcomed into the active community of believers in the Catholic Church. RCIA is also the accepted form of preparation for adults already baptised who seek full communion with the Catholic Church.
RCIA is a privileged but challenging formation. Its challenge comes from the following: it must be personal in that it is calling each person to full conversion; it must be truthful in that the message is often countercultural; and, it must be relational in that it demands a deep relationship with the person of Jesus.
RCIA is not a program in the way we normally understand 'program'. It is the work of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is not constrained by time or content. It is not just a specific course given for a specific length of time. It involves each individual on his/her own journey to conversion. For this reason we call it a process, a process which is divided equally across three aspects: liturgical, catechetical and pastoral. In order to develop as close a relationship with Jesus as possible we need all three aspects.
Teaching through the liturgy is one of the best forms of teaching. It is within the liturgy that we pray and participate in the sacraments. Saint John Paul II said: "It is within the sacraments, especially in the Eucharist, that Christ Jesus works in fullness for the transformation of human beings" (CT 23).
The catechetical aspect of the RCIA is the learning of the truths of the Faith based on Sripture and Tradition, as well as growing in understanding of these truths. It is a way to acquaint people with how they should live, and so it is practical should lead to a gradual growth in intimacy with Jesus.
The pastoral aspect is achieved by the support in the group, and the support which the group extends to others in the wider community. This is invaluable in helping each candidate move to deep conversion and to focus on the mission of Christ and become a true disciple.
"This comprehensive formation includes more than instruction: it is an apprenticeship of the entire
Christian life.....which promotes an authentic following of Christ, focused on his Person; it implies
education in knowledge of the faith and in the life of faith, in such a manner that the entire person,
at his deepest levels, feels enriched by the word of God; it helps the disciple of Christ to transform
... in order to assume his baptismal responsibilities and to profess the faith from the heart.
(General Directory for Catechesis, GDC 67)
Call to continuing conversion
The proper goal of our catechesis is not just theorietical knowledge of Christ and his mystery, but as perfect a union with Him as possible.