The RCIA, which stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, is a process through which non-baptized men and women enter the Catholic Church. It includes several stages marked by study, prayer and rites at Mass. Participants in the RCIA are known as catechumens. They undergo a process of conversion as they study the Gospel, profess faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church, and receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Holy Eucharist. The RCIA process follows the ancient practice of the church and was restored by the Second Vatican Council as the normal way adults prepare for baptism.
Someone baptized in a Christian church may now wish to be a Catholic. A group similar to the Catechumenate receives instruction, guidance, and support. Reception into the church usually also takes place at the Easter Vigil.
Baptized Catholics frequently discover they have yet to “become Catholic”: some who missed essential religious formation may now be eager to continue the growth that all Catholics should experience. Throughout the year, the parish offers series and sessions for such adults.
RCIA is also offered for children of the age of reason and older but not yet adults.