RCIA Process – St. Joseph Roman Catholic Parish
Welcome to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This program is designed for you or someone you know who is:
- interested in the Catholic Faith
- interested in learning more about becoming Catholic
- have been baptized Catholic but have not been Confirmed in the Catholic Church
- have been baptized but have not received First Communion in the Catholic Church
You have taken the first step in developing your faith through prayer, learning, and contemplation to enter into the Catholic Church and be introduced gradually into the Church’s teachings, beliefs, worship and the Christian life. On that note, you will find a list of guidelines and requirements as you journey through St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church’s RCIA process. Should you have any questions or concerns, we will be very happy to assist you.
What is RCIA?
RCIA is primarily for adults who are considering becoming Catholic and preparing them to make a conscious choice whether or not they desire to receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion offered by the Catholic Church. St. Joseph Catholic Parish welcomes those who want to join in this process that consists of series of classes presentations while exploring the Catholic Faith. The search for the true faith is a lifelong journey and that many of us even those who have been Catholic their entire lives are now ready to ask new questions, to seek ways to open their lives more fully to Jesus Christ and to find out what it means to be Catholic.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR THOSE RECEIVING SACRAMENTS: (Please obtain the following documents as soon as possible).
If you have been Baptized Catholic or in another Christian tradition:
A current copy of your Baptismal Certificate (stamped with the parish seal) must be included with this form.
If you have NOT been Baptized:
A copy of your Birth Certificate is required to be fully initiated into the Roman Catholic Church.
If you have already received your 1st Holy Eucharist within the Roman Catholic Church:
A copy of this certificate is required if not already noted on your Baptismal Certificate (usually found on the back of the certificate).
If you are married in a Catholic Church and want to participate in the Confirmation process:
A copy of your church marriage is required.
For more information, please call the parish office at (602) 996-5120.
The RCIA process is composed of four stages:
1. Inquiry or Pre-Catechumenate
This is a non-structured setting when a person is introduced to the Catholic Faith and any or all questions are welcomed and answered. In an atmosphere of open dialogue and mutual respect each person is encouraged to learn without any pressure or commitment about Jesus Christ and the teaching of His Church’s beliefs and practices.
Sessions are held on Sunday from 10:30 A.M. – 12:00 PM. Please call the Parish Office for information about the next sessions.
2. Teaching the Catholic Faith
This is the beginning of the formal instruction known as ‘catechesis’ as the participants desire, and the Church accepts their desire to respond to God’s call to follow the way of Christ. This process introduces the ‘Catechumenate’ the historical events of Scripture and presents them how the teachings of the Catholic Church flow from the Bible. This stage is especially helpful to those who are preparing for the sacraments of either Baptism, Confirmation and/or Holy Communion.
3. Life of Prayer
Beginning Ash Wednesday and throughout lent is the time of intense spiritual preparation centering one’s conversion through prayer, fasting, and turning away from sin. This is also called the stage of ‘Purification and Enlightenment’ when the Catechumenate are prepared to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and/or Holy Communion. Additionally, on the celebration of the Mass on the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent, the Church assembly joins in the celebration of the Scrutinies with the Elect. It ends with the Easter Vigil, when the Mass is celebrated the Saturday night before Easter Sunday. It is during this Mass that the participants received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion.
4. ‘Mystagogy’ or Post-Baptismal Sessions
Fifty days after Easter, the participants are now integrated into the community and continuing to reflect on the graces received in Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion. It is a time to look at how Christ calls each one to a lifelong journey into the Catholic Church and to follow His call to life of service and stewardship.
Adult Confirmation/First Holy Communion
For adult Catholics preparing for Confirmation and/or First Communion, please call the parish office to receive your formation in preparation for both Confirmation and First Communion. Sessions are usually brief (eight sessions) and attendance is required. If you are unable to attend the class, please call the parish office at (602) 996-5120. Those who miss more than one session, it is suggested that they consider taking part in the program later when they are able to schedule regular attendance.
You can begin the process with the following:
2. Obtain a copy of your Baptismal certificate from the church where you were baptized and bring it with you to the first class. The Baptismal Certificate can be obtained by calling the church where you where baptized. It is helpful to provide them the following information: your name, your parents’ name, approximate date of baptism, etc. If you need assistance, please call the parish office.
3. If you belong to another parish, obtain a letter from the pastor of your home parish granting you permission to participate in this process.
4. Married persons must be in a valid sacramental Catholic marriage to participate in the Confirmation process. A copy of your church marriage is required.
5. If you’d like to have your non-sacramental marriage convalidated or you’re in need of an annulment, please let us know and make an appointment with our Coordinator of Marriage Preparation as soon as possible. We are here to help you, but please be aware that this process normally takes 9 months of marriage preparation.
6. You will be asked to have a sponsor during your process of Confirmation. Invite a Catholic whom you admire, and who has already been fully initiated into the Catholic Church to be your Confirmation sponsor. It is best to choose someone who is willing and able to attend some or all of the sessions with you, and it is requested that this person not be your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife. If your sponsor is married, they must be in a valid Catholic marriage. A proxy can stand in for a sponsor who is unable to be present at your Confirmation. If you do not know someone who can serve as your sponsor, we will be happy to find someone from our community to walk with you in this journey.
7. It is important to have a confirmation name - the name you choose to be confirmed under. You may choose to take a saint’s name or a blessed and of Biblical person.
8. Pray daily for God’s immeasurable grace and attend Mass every Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation.
We are here to help you and together we pray as you contemplate to take this final step of full initiation into the Catholic Faith. For more information, please call Susan Sage at the parish office at (602) 996-5120.