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Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)

 

"Follow the pattern of Sounds words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us." - 2 Tim 1:13-14

 

Introduction

All of us by nature of our creation in the image and likeness of God embark on a journey of faith the moment we our conceived. This journey will take many turns and be influenced by many things, but through it all an opportunity exists to authentically experience a deeper conversion to Jesus Christ.

An important point to understand about our journey of faith is that is it lifelong meaning it is a continual process of conversion and renewal with every step drawing into a more intimate union with Jesus Christ. Hence it is important that when discuss something like the RCIA, i.e. the Catechumenal process, we understand that the RCIA is not a class. The reality is that the entire Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a journey of faith aimed at assisting an individual to freely and lovingly seek a deeper relationship with Christ and come home to the Catholic Church.

 

Mission

The mission of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults also known as the Baptismal Catechumenate is to draw the individual into the mysteries of Jesus Christ and in turn into full communion with the Catholic Church. Important in this practice is revealing the reality of the Gospel as truth. The Gospel of St. Mathew (28:17-20) serves as one of the biblical sources for the catechumenal process. The "Great Commission" calls the Apostles to proclaim the Gospel and Baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

"But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, 'Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. This is a desert road.' And he rose and went. And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a minister of Candace the queen of the Ethiopian’s, in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, 'Go up and join his chariot.' So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, 'Do you understand what you are reading?' And he said, 'How can I, unless someone guides me?' And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him." - Acts 8:26-31

 

The Gift of the Catechumenate

The Baptismal catechumenate serves as the foundation for adult catechesis. In particular, the aim of the Baptismal catechumenate is to draw the individual into the mysteries of Jesus Christ. Important in this practice is revealing the reality of the Gospel as truth. The Gospel of St. Mathew (28:17-20) serves as one of the biblical sources for the catechumenal process. The "Great Commission" instituted by Christ calls the Apostles to proclaim the Gospel and Baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The journey of the Baptismal catechumenate is called to be life-changing. What this means is those who are inquiring about the Catholic Church are discerning a potential life-altering event. The inquirer (un-Baptized Christian Catechumen), or (Baptized Christian-Candidate) is discerning whether the unique nature of the Catholic Church resonates spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and personally in light of Jesus Christ.

 

The basic maturity which gives rise to the profession of faith is not the final point in the process of continuing conversion. The profession of baptismal faith is but the foundation of a spiritual building which is destined to grow. The baptized, moved always by the Spirit, nourished by the sacraments, by prayer and by the practice of Charity, and assisted by multiple forms of ongoing education in the faith, seeks to realize the desire of Christ (General Directory for Catechesis, 56).

Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the Kingdom . . . in the Church’s preaching this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and his Gospel. Also, Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion. It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life. (CCC 1427)

Christ’s call to conversion continues to resound in the lives of Christi ans. This second conversion is an uninterrupted task for the whole Church who, “clasping sinners to her bosom, is at once holy and always in need of purification, and follows constantly the path of penance and renewal. This endeavor of conversion is not just a human work. It is the movement of a “contrite heart,” drawn and moved by grace to respond to the merciful love of God who loved us first. (CCC 1428)

 

"And this hope will not leave us disappointed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. At the appointed time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for us godless men. It is rare that anyone should lay down his life for a just man, though it is barely possible that for a good man someone may have the courage to die. It is precisely in this that God proves his Love for us: that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Rom 5:5-8

 

RCIA Resources

RCIA Catechesis in the Period of Post-Baptismal Catechesis or Mystagogy
On Not Using Lectionary-Based Catechesis
Liturgical Elements fo the RCIA Catechumenate Period
Catechesis in the RCIA Catechumenate Period
Precatechumenate Catechesis and Apologetics
Using the RCIA as a Model of Instruction
The Catechumenal Model as the Basis for Adult Faith Formation
How the World Lost Its Story
What is the RCIA supposed to be?
Brief History of the Baptismal Catechumenate
RCIA Intake Form
3-Cycle Structure
14-Week Catechumenate "Doctrine Cycle"

 

Helpful Links

 

 

 


Contacts:

Marlon De La Torre, MA MEd.
Department Director for Catechesis
817-945-9350

Melissa Loza
Administrative Assistant
817-945-9356

 

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