The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults [R.C.I.A.] is the way adults come to learn about and experience Catholocism and become initiated into the life of our Church through the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion.
The RCIA is not something new. It is a return to the earliest traditions of our Church which took place between the second and the fifth centuries of the Christian era! The RCIA takes place step by step in the midst of the Christian community. The whole community is called to reflect upon the value of their faith, to renew their own conversion, and by their example, to lead those who are searching to be open to the presence of the Spirit in their lives.
We begin with a period of inquiry and maturing. This is a time for hearing the first preaching of the Gospel and of prayer. The end of this period is marked by the first stage or step which is celebrated by the whole community.
The second period is called the Catechumenate. This is a time of more intense preaching and teaching of the Gospel, prayer, spiritual direction, catechesis - the handing on the specific Roman Catholic traditions and personal contact with members of the larger Christian community. This period ends with "The Rite of Election" when the catechumens are ready to respond totally to God's call of faith through the sacraments of initiation, baptism, confirmation and eucharist.
The third period takes place during Lent. It is a time of purification and enlightenment or illumination for a more profound spiritual preparation. Its focus and conclusion is the Easter Vigil celebration and the sacraments of initiation. The final period takes place during the Easter Season. The newly baptized are able to deepen their experience of the sacraments and of being new members of the Christian community.
After becoming fully initiated into the CAtholic Church, we enter into the fourth period of mystagogia where we unpack the Easter experience and have further discussion on how to continue living a faithful Catholic life.
Over the past years, the Newman Centre Parish Community has been richly blessed by the Catechumenate experience. We have welcomed many adult Catholic into our parish community. Their whole journey toward Easter faith has allowed each of us to recommit ourselves to Christ. The catechumenate process recognizes that conversion to Jesus Christ and membership in the Church is still a radical step. It demands courage to "die" to old ways, and it sometimes causes pain and bewilderment to family and friends of other faiths. The entry of a new member into the Church is a cause of rejoicing, however, for the whole community.
If you are interested in becoming a Catholic, and a member of the Newman Centre Parish Community, please contact Fr. Peter Turrone using the contact form to make an appointment. You will then be referred to the RCIA team.
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