The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the process by which one is initiated — baptized, confirmed and receives the Eucharist — in the Catholic Church. Those interested in joining the Catholic Church can contact the Office for Divine Worship.
From the Policies and Procedures of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Book IV: The Sanctifying Office of the Church, Section 100: The Sacraments of Initiation.
There is no greater joy for a parish community than to experience the initiation of new members at the Easter Vigil. On this night, the community encounters the risen Christ in the initiation of new members; they hear the Easter Gospel proclaimed anew as they see men and women rise with Christ to a new life of grace.
The font of baptism is like a tomb; in these waters, Christians imitate the death of Christ as they leave behind their old selves.
The font of baptism is like a womb; here new Christians, freed from the power of darkness, are chosen by God as sons and daughters, who claim eternal life as their promised inheritance.
This sacramental sharing in Christ's dying and rising becomes the pattern for the Christian's life1. Conversion of mind and heart, a sufficient acquaintance with Christian teaching, as well as a spirit of faith and charity2, obviously take time to achieve.
The formation envisioned in the order of initiation must be spread over a time frame that allows for a consistent hearing and reflection on the word of God, spiritual counsel or direction, a thorough catechesis, learning to pray with the Church, sharing in the Church's apostolic work and through association with the faithful learning from them the values, morals and spirit of the Catholic community.
The process of Christian initiation then is not just one more thing a parish is expected to provide. It lies at the heart of its vocation. The ministry of evangelization and initiation influences every area of parish life and indeed provides a theological and sacramental vision that holds all the rest together. The Office for Divine Worship supports the Ministry of Initiation of Adults with resources, counsel and programs.
- Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1212-1419
- RCIA #120