RCIA is what we call a "Discipleship Process." That means that whatever and however you got into the classroom, only a personal and lifelong commitment to Jesus Christ will get you into the Roman Catholic Church. We are here to help form disciples of Jesus Christ and not just members of a club or clique.
Everything starts with the Inquiry sessions in August. Thursday evenings from 7:00pm to 8:30pm We gather in a small group format (more emphasis on discussion, less on instruction) to cover a particular theme for that day and to help you figure out where you are in your faith. This is a weekly meeting with two trained leaders for 8 sessions.
At the end of Inquiry (September 22) we help evaluate where you want to go next: Do you want to begin the formal process to enter into the Catholic Church or do you need more time? This means that you must be intellectually, emotionally and spiritually ready to begin. This is a time of discernment that involves some key criteria, like
The Catechumenate begins on September 25, 2016 at the 9:00am Mass. It is there that you enter the formal process of becoming Catholic. At Mass, in front of the whole parish gathered, we do the Rite of Acceptance, which is prayer and a series of blessings over you to help you in this time of spiritual growth. At this moment, all of the unbaptized are now known as Catechumens, people who are seeking to study deeply the Gospel of Jesus Christ in his Church.
Immediately following the homily on September 25 at Mass, you will be dismissed to the chapel and begin Breaking Open the Word (BOW). BOW is a spiritual and intellectual formation in Scripture and the liturgy of that Sunday. This begins our formation process.
Every Sunday at the 9AM Mass you will go to BOW at 9:30 till Mass is over. Then will you go straight into the Catechumenate classes. This is less small group discussion and more lecture and Q&A. In these sessions we walk through the life and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. This is your chance to plunge into Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church and soak up all you can in these sessions. This will last from 10:15am (after the 9am Mass) to 11:15am.
If you are not baptized: You will enter the Church on Easter Vigil. Saturday night at 8:00pm starts the grandest of all the Masses, the Easter Vigil Liturgy. At this Mass you will be Baptized, Confirmed, and given Holy Communion, making you a fully initiated Roman Catholic!
If you are already baptized: You will enter the Roman Catholic Church the following Sunday, on the Feast of the Divine Mercy. At this Mass you will do a Profession of Faith, be Confirmed, and then receive Holy Communion, making you a fully initiated Roman Catholic!
You are now a neophyte, a new creation in Christ Jesus! We offer 5 sessions called Mystagogy, which is a fancy Greek word that means "the Mysteries." The Sacraments are the great mysteries of divine grace breaking into the world, so we spend the time learning how to live from this sacramental, biblical worldview. These sessions continue after the 9AM Mass, but there will no longer be BOW. You will now go to Mass and then afterward head to class till 11:00am (shorter!).