RCIA: Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

  • Have you been wondering about Catholicism?
  • Have you thought about finding out more about how to become a Catholic?
  • Are you married to a Catholic and want to see if Catholicism is for you too?
  • Are your friends or family excited about the Catholic Church and you want to know why?

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults might be for you if you are:

  • unbaptized and have no religious training
  • baptized Catholic but have not received any other sacraments
  • baptized in another faith but want to investigate Catholicism.

RCIA is a gradual process designed for adults who, after hearing the mystery of Christ proclaimed, consciously and freely seek the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts. By God's help, they will be strengthened spiritually during their preparation. At the proper time they will receive the sacraments fruitfully.

Conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit and St. Mark's RCIA stands ready whenever you are. One would begin the process after an initial interview with the RCIA coordinator. The process is designed to teach you about the church and its teachings but you are also given whatever time you need for those teachings to make sense in your life. When you are ready, the culmination of the process is the reception of the three sacraments of initiation - baptism, confirmation and communion - and integration into the Body of Christ. The initiation of catechumens is a gradual process that takes place within the community of the faithful. By joining the catechumens in reflecting on the value of the Paschal Mystery and by renewing their own conversion, the faithful provide an example that will help the catechumens to obey the Holy Spirit more generously.

RCIA is the work of the entire parish. There is an RCIA team and catechists who share their faith but the living out of that faith is evident in the entire community who helps by their example of life. The rite is suited to a spiritual journey of adults that varies according to the many forms of God's grace, the free cooperation of the individuals, the action of the Church, and the circumstances of time and place.

The RCIA conversion process is personalized and individualized based on many criteria that adults are affected by in their daily lives and in their spiritual lives. Thus the process can respect each person's faith journey and take a different amount of time for each participant.

For more information, contact Jane Leonard at the parish office (603-432-8711).

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