About RCIA

Have you ever felt close to God?

Or have you wondered if God even exists?  As Christians, we not only believe that God exists, but that he is truly with us in Jesus Christ.  Christians are in a real relationship with Jesus in and through the Catholic Church he founded.  In fact Catholics know of no other way by which they can be close to God.

What is RCIA?

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process for adults who, after hearing about Christ and his Church, freely seek God and choose to enter a way of faith towards Him.  It is a spiritual journey whereby participants become acquainted with the Christian way of life through encountering the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church, along with acquiring a sense in which Jesus Christ saves us from our sins.

RCIA involves encountering the Word of God, worshipping together, and serving others, all within the Church community.

In a nutshell, RCIA is a time of formation and guidance aimed at training the participants in the Christian life.

How Long is RCIA?

The process of Christian initiation varies from person to person according to the circumstances that surrounds his or her life.  Therefore, the RCIA is suited to each person's spiritual journey.

By means of sacred rites celebrated at successive times, participants are lead into the life of faith, worship, and charity belonging to the people of God.  This ordinarily culminates at the Easter Vigil (the Saturday evening before Easter Sunday), when the rites of Christian initiation are normally celebrated.  However, each person's extraordinary circumstances are fully taken into account, and nothing can be settled beforehand.

Who Participates in RCIA?

Those who feel called away from sin and drawn to God participate in the RCIA.  At St. Joan of Arc, these include:

  • Those who are unbaptized;
  • Those who have been baptized in another Christian community;
  • Those who have been baptized Catholic but have not completed their Christian initiation (i.e. through receiving the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist).

Those who are unbaptized are seeking to become Christians; those who are baptized are already Christians, even if their Christian initiation is incomplete (e.g. they are not in full communion with the Catholic Church).  Initiation into the Catholic Church is the fullest expression of Christianity.

Please contact Brian Hanson at the front office if you would like to inquire more about the RCIA process.