Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.”
The Catholic community at Saint Priscilla Parish is always ready to receive anyone truly seeking to find a Christian home in which to grow in their spiritual life. Jesus invites each of us into a relationship with himself. If you are truly knocking on his door seeking to respond to this invitation, we encourage you to read on and consider what your next step might be.
As a person searching for spiritual renewal you may have asked yourself questions like:
If these, or questions like these have been on your mind then the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.) at Saint Priscilla may help you find answers. On our journey of life one of the things God can use to draw us to him are our everyday experiences. The R.C.I.A. process is designed to be that part of our journey where we can begin to view our daily experiences and situations through the lens of the Catholic faith. It is a place in which we can pray and discern, learn about the faith, ask questions, and have a first hand experience of being part of a Catholic Christian community.
What Is R.C.I.A.?
R.C.I.A. is an acronym for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. It is a pastoral process by which a person explores faith and life in the Catholic tradition. The Rite is modeled after the initiation process used in the first centuries of the early Church. It includes a combination of study, prayer, and participation in the liturgy and certian rites at Mass.
Participants, known as catechumens, undergo a process of of conversion as they study the Gospel, profess their faith in Jesus Christ, and are brought into full communion with the Catholic Church through the reception of the Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. R.C.I. A.'s orientation is not just toward a one time event, but is an ongoing interior change of life. While the process is directed toward adults, mature teenagers are also invited to participate.
Why Is RCIA Important?
In the Catholic Church infant baptism is the norm, and through ongoing instruction these children grow in their understanding of the profound graces that are available to them in their faith. Others come into the Church as older children or adults. In these cases there needs to be a process of preparation in order for them to develop a full grasp of the graces of faith and the communion they will experience within the Catholic community.
Where Does RCIA Originate?
In the early Church acceptance into the Christian community was through instruction and conversion of heart that varied in length depending on circumstances. However, it always included, “proclamation of the word, acceptance of the Gospel entailing conversion, profession of faith, Baptism itself, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and admission to Eucharist communion”. (CCC #1229). The R.C.I.A. in use today originated at the Second Vatican Council as a way to restore this ancient process in the Church.
How Is The RCIA Administered?
The format for the process consists of four stages which are designed to form the heart and mind of the candidate in sacred scripture and tradition, apostolic life, the liturgy, the paschal mystery, and living in the Christian community. Liturgical rites are celebrated along the way to mark the candidate’s progress. These rites are a sign of welcome as a step toward becoming a full-fledged member of the Christian community. A team of parishioners administers the process, and each candidate is accompanied on the journey by a sponsor to whom they can turn to for guidance and support.
Is The RCIA Process For You?
Each person is different. At Saint Priscilla, we strive to offer an R.C.I.A. process that is flexible enough to meet each situation. To understand your own circumstances better, ask yourself: