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Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
The RCIA Process is the church’s welcoming to those who are not Catholic and wish to be . . . and those who were baptized in the Catholic faith but have not had other formation and are seeking to celebrate the Sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation (the RCIA Process includes an adaption for children)
Four words help to describe RCIA: Community,Journey, Prayer and Service.
The initiation of adults is about the Church initiating new members into itself, and therefore it must take place in community. It is never a private process. “ . . .the Initiation of adults is the concern and business of all the baptized” (RCIA, #41). Although the RCIA involves many parishioners in various ministries (sponsors, catechists, prayers, etc.), everyone in St. Michael’s Community is responsible for ministering to the those who are seeking to be part of the Roman Catholic tradition by the witness of their lives and by our hospitality, encouragement and prayerful support.
Journey. RCIA is first and foremost a faith journey process. The process of conversion takes time. For this reason there is nothing instant about RCIA. The commitment to gospel values and perspectives is a personal journey which is never accomplished by an educational program alone. The catechumens (non-baptized) and the candidates (baptized and seeking Eucharist and Confirmation) gather with the Catholic community at the 9:30 AM Mass on Sundays for the first part of the Mass, during which, together, we hear the Scriptures, respond to them, and reflect on the meaning of God’s Word for us personally and as community through the homily. After the homily, the catechumens and candidates are dismissed, and with their Catechist (facilitator), continue a process of reflection and application of the Scriptures to their own lives. Their experience will be a gradual catechesis which will cover church doctrine, traditions, custom and practices which will be revealed through the Word of God.
The RCIA community prays together during sessions and on retreats, and together learns about different forms and styles of individual and communal prayer. Prayer, both as individuals and as members of a worship community, is at the heart of the RCIA Process.
Catechumens and candidates are encouraged to reflect on their gifts and talents and share them with the larger community. The service component will hopefully inspire candidates to put their faith into action and live a life committed to the values and actions of Jesus Christ.
|For more information please contact:
Janice Gatons, Coordinator of the RCIA Process, at 322-4505, ext. 241.