Adults entering the Catholic Church, or those just thinking about it, follow a process known as the RCIA: the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The process begins in late fall and has several distinct stages:
Inquiry: The initial period before you decide to enter the Catholic Church. You're asking questions and checking it out, but aren't yet ready to commit.
Catechumenate: Unbaptized persons who decide to enter the Church and are being trained for a life in Christ are called catechumens, an ancient name from the early Church. In this stage, you're developing your faith and learning the basic points about Catholic faith and life. Baptized persons from other Christian denominations, desiring full Communion with the Catholic faith, are called candidates.
Purification and preparation: The Church will help you focus and intensify your faith as you prepare to be received into the Church at Easter. If you're following the RCIA process, you'll go through a beautiful series of Gospel-based meditations during the 40 days of Lent, which is the time frame of this period, leading to Holy Week.
Initiation itself: The culmination of the whole process! You're received into the Church during the Easter Vigil, where you'll receive the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. (If you've already been baptized, you won't be baptized again.)
Mystagogy: After reception into the Church at Easter, this period lets you reflect and learn more about the mysteries of the beautiful liturgies and ritual of the church, and the Sacraments that you now participate in fully.
Have questions or need more information about RCIA? Please call Chris Chaisson at 603-724-1825.