How does St Mary’s attract inquirers each year for those who want to become Catholic?
The short answer is you! St Mary’s has many inquirers year after year, and it is thanks to your cooperation with the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we as a parish community open our hearts to welcome new members. The invitation to inquire about the Catholic faith happens in our families, in the workplace, in gatherings with friends and neighbors, and in our daily contacts. As we begin a new year of RCIA let us give thanks to God as He continuously strengthens each of us who seek to do His will in offering a gentle, humble, and clear welcome to the Catholic faith. "Go out into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)
Who is RCIA for?
1. Persons in need of Baptism.
2. Persons baptized in another Christian tradition who desire to become Catholic.
3. Persons baptized Catholic in need of First Communion and/or Confirmation.
What is RCIA?
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process established by the universal Church for individuals to become Catholic and receive any of the sacraments of initiation - Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. This initiation process also involves a parish community experiencing a renewal in faith as it prepares and welcomes new members into the Church. The Rite speaks of conversion as a "spiritual journey." Centered on fostering a deep relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church He founded, this journey takes place through distinct stages over a period of time suitable to bring about a thorough catechesis, significant experience of the parish community, and commitment to the liturgical and moral life of the Catholic faithful. The RCIA process is a restoration of the ancient catechumenate, arising within the first three centuries following the era of the Apostles. It was the early Church's way of Christianizing the pagan Roman Empire. The Second Vatican Council called for the restoration and use of this venerable and powerful method of initiation for the worldwide Church.
How long is the RCIA process?
The time varies depending upon a number of factors such as the individual parish, pending validation of a marriage, or the individual's own spiritual journey. However, the normal RCIA process is rarely shorter than six months or longer than three years. Here at St Mary's we begin classes in the fall, and end a few weeks after the candidates have been fully received into the Catholic Church at the celebration of the Easter Vigil Mass.
When and where are the RCIA classes?
Classes are held in the St Joseph Center Teacher Lounge on Thursday evenings from 7:00PM-8:30 PM. The classes run from around the September time frame to Easter.
If I am already Catholic, how does this apply to me?
Most Catholics have had an individual in their lives who has made an impact on their Catholic faith. You could be that person! Individuals seeking full communion with God in the Catholic Church need an RCIA Sponsor or Godparent to assist them on their spiritual journey. Sponsors and Godparents will be witnesses to the faith assisting in the evangelization process along with furthering their own education and deepening their own conversion to Jesus Christ in His Church. By mentoring a person in their spirituality they play a critical role in welcoming them into an existing parish community through the various liturgical celebrations, parish activities, faith sharing, and communal service ministries here at St Mary's.
If you feel the Holy Spirit is calling you to this exciting and life-changing opportunity, please contact Parish Office.