What is RCIA?
RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is the ministry of forming disciples in the truth and tradition of the Catholic Church. The focus of RCIA is centered on Jesus as Lord, Son of the Living One True God, celebrated through sacrament and community. Through weekly gatherings, individuals meet to prayerfully learn and grow in their faith, and at the same time, discern their call of living out their faith.
RCIA exists primarily as catechesis (teaching) and formation of those discerning their call to join the Catholic Church, as well as those who were baptized Catholic and have not received all of the sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Communion). Those who are already fully-initiated Catholics are also invited to be a part of this faith-filled group to fill in gaps in their own religious formation, get a deeper, more mature understanding of their faith than what they received as a child, or simply to rejuvenate their enthusiasm and devotion in their faith.
What is the cost?
There is no cost to participate in RCIA.
Do I have to commit to joining the Church to start the classes?
No, there is no obligation. You can start the classes and, at various points during the program, you will be asked if you would like to continue moving forward in anticipation of joining the Church at the Easter Vigil.
What topics are covered?
Topics covered are listed below, in the schedule. Topics range from the basic logic of believing that God exists, the self-revelation of God in his Son, Jesus Christ, and the revelation of the Holy Trinity, the inward and outward natures of the Church, the Communion of Saints and the Blessed Mother, Sacred Tradition and Scripture, Prayer and Sacraments, the common parts and objects of a parish church, and the Last Things.
Who teaches the classes?
Members of the RCIA team (including clergy) and special invited guest speakers will lead each class. Each class begins with a prayer and Bible reading then we discuss the topic of the day. Questions are always encouraged. We utilize the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church as key sources and teachings of our faith. The RCIA program is the combined team and candidates for Holy Trinity and Saint Peter’s. Almost all classes are held in the rectory basement meeting room of Holy Trinity.
What are sponsors?
Each person coming into the church needs to choose a sponsor (the RCIA team can help if requested). A sponsor vouches for a new person, that they are a genuine candidate of good personal character interested in (or at least curious about) joining. The sponsor also supports the candidate by helping to explain difficulties of the faith, guiding them into a deeper, and a richer experience of developing their prayer life and Catholic devotions, and giving them good example of witness of what it is to live out the Catholic faith. Sponsors are strongly encouraged, but not required, to attend the RCIA classes with their candidate. A sponsor must:
- Be a fully-initiated Catholic person (having received Confirmation)
- Be at least 16 years old, and not a parent or child of the candidate (spouses are acceptable)
- Be a Catholic person who actively participates in the Sunday Mass every week and every Holy Day of Obligation
- Be a Catholic person who receives the Sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter Season, and receives the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least annually
- Be a faithful witness and example of living out the Christian virtues in their life, following the Commandments and precepts of the Church
- Live the Catholic Teaching on marriage and chastity (if single, living chastely and not cohabiting; if married, married in the Church and faithful to the marriage promises)
- Present a letter of good standing from his or her pastor