Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the Church's ritual process for calling adults to a conversion of mind and heart and preparing them for a full and active life in the Church as disciples of Jesus. During the process, adults participate in liturgical rites that both mark the progress of their journey and form them more deeply by God's grace. The culmination of that ritual process is the celebration of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
Unlike our usual understanding and ritual that takes place at a specific moment, the RCIA is spread over a longer period. The process of becoming a mature Christian involves more than just learning about the faith of the Church. Becoming a Christian presumes a relationship with God who becomes the ground of our being. To be a Christian means that we have claimed the values of the Gospel as our own and have committed ourselves to the teaching of Jesus. The RCIA aims to transform the entire person into an individual who has truly put on Christ Jesus. Obviously, this kind of conversion of the whole person takes sufficient time to mature.
For whom is the RCIA intended?
Unbaptized adults seeking to receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist (Holy Communion).
Baptized adults from another Christian tradition who wish to become members of the Catholic Church
Adults who were baptized in the Catholic church at a young age and who now wish to complete the sacraments of Initiation by receiving the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.
What does the Initiation process involve?
Although the full process of becoming a Catholic is referred to as a rite, it involves more than liturgical ceremonies. A number of elements form the whole process. Key among these elements are evangelization, engagement with the community, catechesis, formation for mission, and the sacraments of Initiation.
It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you. He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is he who provoked you that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is he who reads in your heart your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle
St. John Paul II