How do I join the Catholic Church? What is RCIA?

Depiction of a Christian sunriseJesus told his followers to go and make disciples of all nations. We believe that it is our privilege and duty as a church to spread the Good News and welcome all who are willing to make a commitment to Christ. We will be most happy to welcome you into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church if you decide that is what you want. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is our modern version of the process used by the very early Church to accept new adult followers of Christ. During the RCIA process you will have a chance to reflect on your faith journey and decide whether to join the Roman Catholic Church. You will also learn the beliefs and practices that are essential to being Catholic.

What if I’m already a Christian? Will you respect my faith? What if I’m already Catholic?

The RCIA is for any adult interested in joining the Roman Catholic Church. If you have not been baptized in a Christian church, you will be baptized when you join the Catholic Church. We recognize most Christian baptisms, so you will not be baptized again if you have already been baptized. If you have been baptized in the Catholic church, but received no religious training and haven’t received any other sacraments, then the RCIA is for you, too.

We believe that everybody is on a faith journey and that many people who wish to join the Catholic Church already have a deep faith. We respect your faith and would like to share what we believe and why we find the Catholic community to be a channel of God’s grace. We invite you to continue your journey of faith with us so that we may all grow closer to God together.

When does the process start? How long does it take? If I start the process, do I have to join the Church? Is there a test?

The RCIA process starts each year in the fall and concludes at the Easter Vigil Mass when our catechumens and candidates are welcomed into the church. It is a joyful celebration! Along the way, you will meet each week with others interested in joining the Church and with members of the Church to share your faith and receive instruction. You will also receive reading material, spend time with your own individual sponsor, and begin to attend weekly Mass.

We want to do everything we can to help you decide whether you are ready to make a lifetime commitment to Christ. You will not be pressured to join the Church or do anything that makes you uncomfortable. You will have several opportunities during the process to make deeper commitments, and you can withdraw from the process at any time. In the end, it is for you to decide – there are no tests.

How do I get started?

Taking the next step in your faith journey is easy. Either call or email Father John Sasse. Their contact information is listed below. A member of the RCIA Team will schedule a follow-up appointment at your convenience. At the appointment, we’ll explain the RCIA process in more detail and answer any questions you have about the process or about joining the Catholic Church. Then, if you want to begin the RCIA process, we’ll gather some basic information from you, share our RCIA schedule, and invite you to our next session. May God bless you on your journey!