The R.C.I.A. is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and is the process by which:

  • a person who is not a baptized Christian can become Roman Catholic;
  • a person who is baptized in another Christian denomination can be received into the Roman Catholic Church; or
  • a person who was baptized in the Roman Catholic church can complete their initiation through the sacrament of Confirmation.

The R.C.I.A. starts with a period of Inquiry which is a time for sharing the Gospel and the good news of Jesus Christ. During this period you will have experienced the beginnings of faith, begun the practice of prayer and have a sense of the church. You will have time to ask questions and to find out what it means to encounter the living God and you will get more acquainted with the Catholic Church and with the St. Basil’s community.

The transition between the Inquiry and Catechumenate periods is marked by the Rite of Acceptance or Welcome depending on whether or not you are already baptized. The Catechumenate is a time of pastoral formation or apprenticeship. It is a time for learning about the Word of God through Scripture and also about basic teachings of the Church on the sacraments, Church tradition, prayer, the saints, social justice, etc.

The final period of preparation is the period of Purification and Enlightenment and is marked by the Rite of Election, which is celebrated during the first Sunday of Lent. This is a time of spiritual preparation and coincides with the season of Lent, the six weeks before Easter. It is a time of prayer, meditation and preparation for the final rites of initiation and the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion, which take place on the evening of Holy Saturday, during the Easter Vigil.

The final part of the journey within the R.C.I.A. is the 50-day period that is between Easter and the feast of Pentecost. This is known as the period of Mystagogy. It is a time for the newly baptized and received and for all of the faithful to deepen their understanding of the Easter mystery by reflecting on the Gospel and by sharing in the Eucharist (communion).

Although the formal initiation process ends with the Easter Vigil and the period of Mystagogy through to Pentecost, the learning process that you have started with the R.C.I.A. will continue throughout the rest of your life. Your growth and development as a Roman Catholic does not end with Baptism and Confirmation, but continues to broaden and deepen with attendence at Mass, continued prayer and study of Scripture. We invite you to become involved in the St. Basil’s community through various ministries that serve the community and through regular involvement in continued learning opportunities. Are You Interested in Finding Out More? If you are interested in finding out more about our R.C.I.A. program, please fill out the form below and arrange a meeting with our R.C.I.A. Program Coordinator. We would love to hear from you.

Photo courtesy of Maria di Paolo

All photos courtesy of Maria di Paolo