What does it mean to be Catholic?
Catholic Christians are disciples of Jesus Christ. They enter the Church through Baptism, by which their sins are forgiven and they are made children of God. They grow in their Christian faith life– developing their relationship with Jesus Christ–through participation in the sacramental life, regular prayer, charitable works, and moral discipline. This is the work of the Holy Spirit who has been poured into their hearts at Baptism (Rom 5:5).
The Journey of Faith
Jesus Christ calls each of us to enter into a personal relationship with him. Our Lord Jesus Christ offers us his friendship, compassion, and forgiveness. In drawing closer to Christ many people experience a great sense of joy and inner peace as they discover God’s infinite love for them. The Holy Spirit brings us enlightenment as he strengthens and consoles us. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process of preparing unbaptised adults for membership in the Catholic Church. The RCIA is a spiritual journey—gradually coming to know and love Jesus Christ and all that he has revealed to us about God and ourselves. Through the careful guidance of committed Catholics, one learns to live the life of a committed Christian disciple.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
This process of Christian initiation has several stages and ritual steps, leading up to the reception of all three sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist, usually at the Easter Vigil, and finishing with Pentecost.
The RCIA is for adults who are not yet baptised. Occasionally baptised adults who are yet to receive Confirmation or the Holy Eucharist may receive some of the same catechetical, liturgical, and pastoral instruction found in the RCIA process. Since the process runs according to the development of one’s faith and personal conversion it can take a matter of months or years, depending on the individual person.