What is R.C.I.A?

R.C.I.A., Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, is primarily a journey of faith. It is focused on conversion, whereby the Catechumens or Candidates enter into an extended period of formation and conversion through prayer and reflection on the Gospels. It is also a communal journey in which the church community ritually celebrates conversion at various points during the journey.

The R.C.I.A. is not a program but a sacramental process in which the catechumen receives the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. The catechumen is fully initiated into the Catholic Church. Candidates are men and women who are baptized Christians but not Roman Catholics. The candidate will receive the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist bringing them into full communion with the Catholic Church. Also receiving the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist is the Baptized but uncatechized adults and children of catechetical age (Catholic or Non-Catholic.)

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 R.C.I.A. and at the Easter Vigil liturgy.

The R.C.I.A. process at Holy Family begins each September and continues until May of the next year. In addition to attending weekly classes the group has a retreat and goes on a pilgrimage to the Santuario de Chimayo, NM.

Anyone who is seriously thinking about becoming a Roman Catholic-Christian or who would simply like get more information can call the R.C.I.A. Coordinator Carol Martinez at 719-250-9073.


How is R.C.I.A. implemented

The R.C.I A. is addressed to the following groups:

  • Unbaptized Adult Converts
  • Unbaptized Children of Catechetical Age (above age 7)
  • Baptized but Uncatechized Adults and Children of Catechetical Age(Catholic or Non-Catholic) Preparing for Confirmation and Eucharist
  • Baptized Christian(Non-Catholic) Candidates for Reception in the Full Communion of the Catholic Church

The R.C.I.A. contains four main periods

  • Pre-Catechumenate (Also known as the time of Evangelization or Inquiry)
  • Catechumenate
  • Purification and Enlightenment/Scrutinies
  • Mystagogy

The R.C.I.A. contains 3 major Rites

  • The Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens/Rite of Welcome
  • During this Rite, the inquirer stands amidst the parish community and states that he or she wants to become a baptized member of the Catholic Church. The parish assembly affirms this desire and the inquirer becomes a “catechumen.”
  • The Rite of Election (and call to Continuing Conversion)
  • The Rite of Election includes the enrollment of names of all those seeking baptism at the coming Easter Vigil. Typically, on the first Sunday of Lent, the catechumens, their sponsors and families gather at Sacred Heart Cathedral. The catechumens publicly express their desire for baptism to the Diocesan Bishop. Their names are recorded in a book and they are called “the elect.”
  • The Rite of Initiation
  • The Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation takes place during the Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday when the catechumen receives the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. Now the person is fully initiated into the Catholic Church.