Becoming Catholic – Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Each year on Holy Saturday during the Easter Vigil, thousands of men and women are received into the Catholic Church in the United States. Parishes welcome these new members through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and at a liturgy bringing men and women into full communion with the Catholic Church. Listed below are some questions and answers about RCIA. For more information or questions please contact Kyle Murphy at kmurphy@ihmindy.org.

Frequently Asked Questions


WHAT IS RCIA?

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the Catholic Church’s way of initiating new members. The Church welcomes new members and tries to provide an appropriate spiritual formation for each interested individual. Most Catholics are born into Catholic families and gradually come to share in the full sacramental life of the Church. Others, previously baptized in other Christian Churches, have become Catholic by making a solemn profession of faith, being confirmed, and sharing in Eucharist with the Catholic Community. Some individuals who have not been baptized, have been initiated through a process that leads to Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the Church’s annual celebration of the Easter Vigil.


WHO MAY ATTEND?

RCIA is primarily for:

  • Unbaptized individuals who would like to become fully initiated into the Catholic Church.
  • Baptized Christians who seeks to be fully initiated into the Catholic Church.
  • Baptized Catholics who have not received the Sacrament of Confirmation.


HOW LONG IS RCIA?

RCIA is a process of conversion and prepares one to embark on a journey of faith that leads to a lifelong commitment as a Catholic. The usual length of preparation is approximately one year. However, some people may feel they need more time to prepare. In most cases, the initiation of new members is celebrated at the Easter Vigil.


WHAT ARE THE STEPS OF RCIA?

  • The Inquiry – a time for searching for God, sharing your faith, and asking initial questions and seeking answers about the Catholic faith.
  • The Catechumenate – a time to study the Church teachings more formally.  
  • Purification & Enlightenment – during Lent, this is a time of prayer and deeper reflection as one prepares to receive God’s new life at the Easter celebration.
  • Mystagogy – a time after the Easter celebration to deepen one’s understanding of what it means to “become” Eucharist and live Christ’s mission in our world.


WHEN DOES RCIA BEGIN?

RCIA meets once a week from 7p-9p September through May. All are welcome!