Q: I am interested in the Catholic Church and would like to know more about becoming Catholic. Where do I start?
We welcome, journey with and teach all those who seek to follow Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church with a process known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
Q: I have not been baptized. Is the RCIA for me?
Yes. The RCIA is for adults of at least eighteen years of age and leads you to Baptism.
Q: I was baptized but never received my First Holy Communion or Confirmation. Is the RCIA for me
Yes. Baptism with water and in the name of the Trinity—The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—is considered a valid baptism and is not repeated. You are already Christian and should look forward to completing the sacraments of initiation which are Confirmation and Holy Communion.
Q: I was baptized and received Holy Communion, but not Confirmed. Is the RCIA for me?
No. Those who need only Confirmation can contact Mary Ann Exler at email@example.com or call the parish office at (856) 629-0411 for information on Confirmation Classes.
Q: When does the RCIA meet?
After your initial interview, you will begin to meet with welcoming members of the RCIA team at 10:00 am on Sunday mornings to ask questions about the Catholic faith, tell your own stories and connect them with the faith stories found in scripture, explore your relationship with God and continue on your faith journey. This period of the RCIA is called Inquiry or the Precatechumenate.
Q: Do I have to wait until September for meetings to start?
No you do not have to wait. We welcome you at any time of the year.
Q: What’s next?
If you become firm in your desire for initiation and decide that you would like to begin more formal study of the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church, you are admitted into the next step through a special ceremony called the Rite of Acceptance in the Order of Catechumens. In this ritual the Church symbolically claims men and women for Christ by signing them with the cross. A slightly different ceremony called the Rite of Welcoming is held for those who are already baptized, but who seek to become fully initiated. After celebrating the Rite of Welcoming or the Rite of Acceptance at Mass with the parish community you are in the period called the Catechumenate. A sponsor will accompany you as you learn what it means to be Catholic and discover the rich tradition of our Church.
We then begin to meet on Wednesday evenings at 7:00.
Q: How long does RCIA take?
A person is fully initiated in the Catholic Church when they are Baptized, Confirmed and receive First Holy Communion. The ideal time for the reception of these sacraments is the Easter Vigil in the spring of each year. Depending on your readiness and unique circumstances, your initiation may be prior to or later than next Easter. The entire journey takes about a year, give or take a few months. Everyone is on a personal journey of conversion. We will walk with you on yours.
Q: What else is involved?
You will worship with the parish community at Mass on Sundays or Saturday evenings and be immersed in parish social and service activities. There are additional Rites to celebrate along the way where you will receive graces and blessings from God, affirm your intention to continue toward full initiation in the Church and receive the promise of your sponsor and the entire parish community’s support.
A: What happens after I am initiated?
The time between Easter and Pentecost (fifty days after Easter) is a special opportunity to reflect on the commitment which you have made to the Lord, to the Church and to the local parish community. This time of unfolding the meaning of the initiation sacraments is the third period called Mystagogia—a Greek word meaning enter the mystery.
Q: How do I learn more about the RCIA?
Contact Maryann Mohan at RCIA@saint-charles-borromeo.org or call the parish office at (856) 629-0411. She will be glad to help you get started! Plan on meeting with Maryann for about an hour at the parish to have your questions answered and the process explained.