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RCIA: Adult Inquiry, Baptism and Confirmation


Are you interested in exploring the Catholic Faith? Are you a baptized Catholic who has not received communion or been confirmed?


Adults enter the Catholic Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), a process of education, reflection, and celebration of the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and first Eucharist.


The first step to becoming a Catholic is Inquiry. It's a time to ask any questions you may have about faith and to discuss your life in relation to them: Who is God? Who is Jesus Christ? What is the Church? What do the Scriptures mean, and how do we read them? What are the Sacraments, and what does it mean to celebrate them?


The second period of R.C.I.A. is called the Catechumenate. Catechumen means "one who studies," and this time is dedicated to a more in-depth study of the Scriptures and the specific teachings of the Church. What do the life and teachings of Jesus tell is about how we should live? How does the life of the Church support discipleship in Christ? Catechumenate lasts until the beginning of the season of Lent in late winter. Lent means Spring, and is a period of reflection and preparation for Easter.


With the first Sunday of Lent, we celebrate the third period of R.C.I.A. known as Election or Purification. Participants in the R.C.I.A. process, are now called the Elect. They focus on prayer and interior preparation for the reception of the sacraments during the six weeks of Lent. Themes from the season of Lent increase our awareness of the cost of discipleship, and the commitment each of us is asked to make to the call of one bread, one body.


Election ends with a day of retreat on Palm Sunday, the last Sunday before Easter. The Elect celebrate full initiation into the Church with the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist during the great Easter Vigil on the following Saturday night. Their initiation is part of the whole Church's celebration of new life available to all of us in the resurrection of Jesus. Having passed over into the priestly ministry of God's people, they receive the name of Neophytes, which means "one who is newly planted in the faith."


To learn more or join our Inquiry and RCIA program, contact  Fr. John at (415) 288-3800.

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