“The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is designed for adults who, after hearing the mystery of Christ proclaimed, consciously and freely seek the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts. By God’s help they will be strengthened spiritually during their preparation and at the proper time will receive the sacraments fruitfully.” (RCIA, #1)
To begin learning more about the Catholic faith or ask to be a part of the local initiation process, please contact Fr. Leo Reinhardt. (Call the Parish Office 315-536-7459.)
Some words on initiation from our former Parochial Vicar, Fr. Jeff Tunnicliff:
“I believe that we are all searching for “something” in life. We search because we seek fulfillment. Many people try to find fulfillment in material things. Material things may bring us pleasure in the short-term but they cannot bring us true fulfillment for we are not created to be of this world. We are created in the image of God. We are to seek the things of above. Our finding fulfillment depends on us finding God as the center of our lives.
“Each person has their own relationship with God, their own story to tell. There are people who have been life-long practicing Catholics. There are people like me who were raised Catholic but were then away from the Church for a number of years before returning. There are people who have already become Catholic. There are people who belonged to other churches and now find themselves exploring the Catholic faith. There are people who were never baptized or raised with any faith.
“Perhaps you are not Catholic, or you know someone who isn’t, but would like to become Catholic. Whether baptized in another denomination or never baptized we have a something to offer. We call it RCIA, which stands for Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.
“The obvious question is what is RCIA. It involves small group or individual meetings to learn about what it means to be Catholic. But it is not a classroom exercise with a test at the end. It might seem at times like learning in a classroom but it isn’t about passing a test. It is about developing and/or deepening a personal relationship with the Lord.
“A person might wonder if they are ready to enter. You don’t have to be sure to begin the process. In fact, part of the purpose is to help each person discover what God is calling you to do. The gatherings help you discover what it means to be Catholic so that you can decide for yourself.
“The process begins before you ever talk to anyone about RCIA. It begins when your searching leads you to explore what the Catholic Church has to offer. Perhaps the Holy Spirit inspires you to come to church or perhaps a family member or friend invites you. Whatever draws you in, you find something you want to learn more about. Then, it is time to reach out to our parish staff or clergy to talk about your desire.
“It is not a difficult process. There are no written tests.
“How does one know if they are ready to begin? Readiness is not determined by what one knows but rather by what one feels in the heart. One may never seem quite sure but in faith we encourage you to step forward. It cannot hurt to begin the process to see what God might be calling you to.”
You are encouraged to attend any of our events (before, during, and after the initiation process). Call to let us know of your interest. The schedule we follow is:
- Pre-evangelization: We will give you material to read and introduce you to an active member of the parish who can accompany you on your journey of discovery.
- Evangelization: from September to Advent. Weekly classes begin. You will be officially introduced to the community, its ministries, the tenets and practices of the faith and encouraged to ask questions.
- The Catechumenate: from Advent through Lent. You officially declare you want to enroll in preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation (Rite of Enrollment). During the first weekend of Lent, the “Rite of Election” is a formal ceremony in which you are accepted by the community.
- The Period of Enlightenment: A time of intense study and reflection on the gift of our Savior and our response to Him. At the Easter Vigil Mass the Sacraments of Initiation are bestowed on those who have chosen to receive them. It is a time of great celebration, individually, and for the community.
- The Mystogogia: During the Easter season those who newly received the sacraments at the Easter Vigil reflect on how the sacraments are changing their lives and commit to sharing the Good News by selecting areas of ministry.
There is also a process for youth (RCIC) needing the Sacraments of Initiation, which closely resembles the RCIA.
Is God calling you? Contact us!