RCIA: The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults

Becoming A Roman Catholic

Are you thinking about becoming Catholic? Do you know someone who is? UD Campus Ministry is happy to welcome interested inquirers to assist you in your discernment.  We offer a full range of programs for initiation into the Catholic Church, no matter your starting point.

The information below will help you understand the process; we hope it will help you in your discernment.

The R.C.I.A. is primarily a journey of faith:

"From the awareness of stirring of faith and curiosity within one's heart, to a life of faith, love, and justice lived in communion with Catholics throughout the world."

  • through all those stages of asking and seeking,
  • through beginning involvement with Christian/Catholic people,
  • through hearing the Gospel proclaimed and by faithful reflection and prayer on this Word of God,
  • through study and discussion about the Catholic experience,
  • through doubts and hesitations,
  • through involvement in the works of charity and justice with those already committed to the Catholic way of life,
  • through discernment of God's call for them as individuals,
  • through the steps of commitment,
  • through the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist)

Conversion: A Gradual Process

The R.C.I.A. as a rite, marks stages along the path to full commitment in the Catholic Church; the R.C.I.A. as a process, describes in broad terms what this gradual commitment means.

The R.C.I.A. as formation gradually looks both to the inner transformation of the individual to God's call as given week by week in the lectionary of Scripture readings at the Sunday Eucharist and to the gradual transformation of the person to an active member of the local church wherever he or she lives.

The Five Main Stages of The R.C.I.A.

From the Period of Inquiry to the Period of Catechumenate to the Period of Purification to celebrating the Sacraments of Initiation to the Period of Mystagogy, a Catechumen or Candidate grows in knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith tradition.  More on the Five Stages.

Catechumen or Candidate?

Some on the R.C.I.A. journey are called "Catechumens" and some are called "Candidates."  Find out why.

How long does it take?

"The Rite of Christian Initiation is not a program. It is the church's way of ministering sensitively to those who seek membership. For that reason some people will need more time than others to prepare for the lifetime commitment that comes with membership in the Catholic Church. The usual length of preparation is from one to two years. For those already baptized and who seek full communion in the Catholic Church, the time may also vary. It seems reasonable that catechumens or candidates experience the yearly calendar of Catholic practice at least one time around in order to make an informed decision. The process of spiritual renewal and catechesis should not be hasty, especially for those not accustomed to the fasts and feasts and Sundays and seasons the way Catholics observe them. One of the best time for the sacraments of initiation or the Rite of reception into full communion is the Easter Vigil. Lent prepare catechumens, candidates and the whole community for Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. The celebration of the Easter Vigil dramatically points to the wellspring of the church's life: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ."

What is the first step?

Any student who is thinking about become a Catholic Christian or who would simply like more information can contact any Campus Minister here on the UD Campus.

Or you may contact Colleen Brown here on campus in the Chapel. You may call 937.229.2019 for an appointment or to register as a participant.