R.C.I.A. / Becoming Catholic

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults


What is R.C.I.A?

R.C.I.A. stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the process by which an adult person is initiated into the Catholic Church, through Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion.  Through this process the adult is formed in the Christian faith, with the local parish community serving as both catechists and models. 

When referring to the R.C.I.A process of the Latin "rite," the word "rite" represents the liturgical ceremonies that are celebrated in the presence of the worshipping assembly, these rites marking the beginning of each stage of the R.C.I.A. process.

  • "Catechesis" means "instruction in the Catholic Faith."
  • "Catechist" mean "a person, either from the clergy, religious or a lay person, who instructs others in the Catholic Faith."
  • "Catechumen" means "a person who has never been baptized and who wishes to become a Catholic." During the "catechumenate" process, such a person is called a "catechumen."

 Who is the R.C.I.A. for?

  • Un-baptized adults
  • Adults baptized in non-Trinitarian formula
  • Adults baptized in the Catholic Church, but lack Confirmation
  • Adults baptized & confirmed in the Catholic Church, but lack First Holy Communion
  • Adults baptized in other Christian Churches, in the Trinitarian formula with water

History of R.C.I.A. 

R.C.I.A. has been around since the early Church - and was the method in which the Church prepared un-baptized adults to be received into the Christian Church (which later became known as the Catholic Church).  The R.C.I.A. process was an intense period of study, prayer, and conversion which (in the Church's early days) often lasted up to three years.  During the process, a sponsor would testify to the entire assembly of the conversion, authenticity, and genuine readiness of the individual.  After some time, the process was put aside and in its place private preparation was used. 
Why was this ancient rite restored?
It was restored in the Church to highlight the fact that the newly baptized are received into a community of faith, which is challenged to realize that they too have become different because of this new life in the community.


At Saint Edward, classes are offered annually beginning in the fall. If you are curious about the Catholic faith, the Catholic Church, its ancient and beautiful history or have questions, please, come join us! All are welcome!