Becoming a Catholic

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a process of initiation into the Catholic Community of Faith. This is for persons who are seeking baptism in the Catholic Church or full communion with the Catholic tradition through the Profession of Faith, reception of Eucharist, and Confirmation. It is a process that enables the study of the Gospels, Catholic teaching, Christian values, and the development and deepening of a life of prayer and action with the support and involvement of the parish community.

The Institute for Catholic Formation offers a hybrid learning experience for those wishing to learn more about the faith. Through a series of Zoom meetings, online formation, and face-to-face experiences at your local parish, you can learn more about the Catholic Church and, if you decide to, join the cohort at any time.

If you are interested and you believe your parish hosts RCIA classes, you would need to contact your parish. If you wish to join the Institute's RCIA Collaborative, join below.

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What is the RCIA?

The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults), also called the Catechumenate, is a process of initiation into the Catholic Community of Faith for persons who are experiencing a conversion in their lives and seeking either Christian baptism in the Catholic Church or full Communion with the Catholic tradition of Eucharist and Confirmation.

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Understanding the Rites

There are several rites (rituals/ceremonies) for those in the RCIA process.

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Learn about the Sacraments

At the Easter Vigil, the Elect receive the sacraments of initiation - baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. By baptism, they are received into the royal priesthood of believers; by confirmation, they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and share in the outpouring of grace that came upon the apostles at Pentecost. They then receive the Eucharist, sharing for the first time in the body and blood of Christ, the heavenly food that strengthens us to carry out Christ's work in our own time and place. For our Elect, the sacraments of initiation are not the end, but the beginning of new lives of faith and service.

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An RCIA Program Unlike Any Other

The Institute for Catholic Formation is pleased to have the Credo program, presented by the Dominican Friars Thomistic Institute, as part of our RCIA studies.

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Prayers for Those Discerning

Pray for the wisdom of the Lord for those who are still deciding their path.

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Resources for Parish RCIA Teams

Many of these can be ordered from Liturgical Training Publications.

Guide for Training Initiation Ministers: An Introduction to the RCIA

by Michael Ruzicki

This practical guide provides parish leaders with the tools needed for facilitating and training all those involved with the adult Christian initiation process. Designed as a companion to An Introduction to the RCIA: The Vision of Christian Initiation by Ronald J. Lewinski, the enclosed training sessions explore the vision, theology, and purpose of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults in a lively, interactive, and faith-filled way.

Supplemental resources are available for download online, and the enclosed DVD includes thirteen videos that will deepen and enlighten participants’ understanding of the RCIA process. Order from LTP

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults: Study Edition

This study edition enables everyone involved with the RCIA to have a “working” copy of the entire document. With ample margins for notes, sturdy but flexible binding, clearly numbered paragraphs in the introduction and texts, this edition is for study, reflection, and preparation of liturgy. Order from LTP

Q & A on the RCIA: A Guide to Understanding Christian Initiation

by Rev. Paul Turner

This book provides a quick reference for any member of the RCIA team and parish staff. It is divided by the four periods of the catechumenate process for easy reference. It gives practical guidance and wisdom to help direct initiation ministers. Order from LTP

The Catechumenate and the Law

by John M. Huels

Everyone who works with Christian initiation will encounter a predicament that only a knowledge of canon law can resolve. This helpful book reviews the various aspects of Christian initiation that are affected by the Church’s many sources of canon law, including the canons, the rite itself, and various documents from Vatican II and from the Bishops of the United States. Order from Amazon

An Introduction to the RCIA: The Vision of Christian Initiation

by Rev. Ronald J. Lewinski

This book articulates a clear and concise vision of the RCIA as well as practical suggestions for implementing the principles found in the ritual text. This is a ‘must have’ resource book for any person involved with the Catechumenate (RCIA). Order from LTP

The Role of the Coordinator in Christian Initiation: A Pastoral and Practical Guide

by Dr. Donna M. Eschenauer

This book leads coordinators through the text of the RCIA as it presents an overview of the steps and the periods of the process. Besides providing the vision of Christian initiation, this resource gives practical steps at the end of chapters with concrete ways to implement the rite.

The appendix offers samples of forms to use. This is a ‘must have’ resource book for any person involved with the Catechumenate (RCIA). Order from LTP

Year-Round Catechumenate

by Mary Birmingham

The RCIA describes an initiation process that exists at the heart of the Church’s life and on the same schedule as the Church: every day, all year long. While that may sound overwhelming and unimaginable, Birmingham carefully explains how it is not only possible but also the best stewardship of the gifts and talents of initiation ministers. She then walks the reader step by step through the periods and rites of the RCIA, providing helpful insight along the way. Order from LTP

The RCIA: Transforming the Church

by Thomas H. Morris

The most up-to-date resource book on the RCIA available that offers general guidelines and practical directions on specific areas of pastoral concern. This is a ‘must have’ resource book for any person involved with the Catechumenate (RCIA). Order from Amazon

Guide to Adapting the RCIA for Children

by Rita Burns Senseman

This book is the perfect resource for anyone involved in the Children’s Catechumenate. Order from LTP

Guide for Celebrating Christian Initiation with Children

by Rita Bruns Senseman, Victoria M. Tufano, D. Todd Williamson

This resource explores how to celebrate the rites of Christian initiation in ways that are appropriate to children. This book provides a historical overview of the development of the initiation of children. It shows how to prepare children and their families for full participation in the rites. Order from LTP

Sunday Dismissals for the RCIA

by Mary K. Milne, O.S.U.

This practical book takes to heart Jim Dunning’s statement, “Don’t dismiss the dismissals.” It offers parishes a loving way, based on the Scriptures of each Sunday, to send their catechumens from the assembled community. Order from Liturgical Press

The Living Word, Leading RCIA Dismissals: Year A, B, C

by Victoria Tufano, Biagio Mazza, Mary A. Ehle, Leisa Anslinger

This is an easy-to-use resource that provides initiation ministers with the pastoral tools needed to lead dismissal sessions with unbaptized adults preparing for full initiation. The step-by-step format makes leading the dismissal catechesis an easy and prayerful experience. Order from LTP

RCIA Glossary

Becoming a Catholic via the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults doesn't need to be confusing. Get a leg up on the terms you'll be learning as you go through initiation.

Learn the Terms