The RCIA process at St. Anthony’s Church is an ongoing process which consists of four stages.  Typically, sessions begin in late August/early September.

    1. The Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate
    A time of fixed duration or structure, for inquiry and introduction to Gospel values, and an opportunity for the beginnings of faith.
    RITUAL CELEBRATIONRite of Acceptance: Marks the first step into the Catholic Church. The inquirers receive the sign of the Cross on the ears, eyes, lips, shoulders, heart, hands and feet, as they now join in the joys and trials of the Christian mission.
    Rite of Welcoming Candidates (baptized)
    1. The Period of the Catechumenate
    A time in duration corresponding to the progress of the individual for the nurturing and growth of the catechumens’ faith and conversion to God; celebration of the word and prayers of blessings to assist in the process.
    RITUAL CELEBRATIONRite of Sending/Rite of Election: Celebration of God’s call through the Church to the initiation sacraments celebrated at the Easter Vigil. The Bishop accepts the candidates for the sacraments
                    Call to Continuing Conversion (baptized)
    1. The Period of Purification & Enlightenment
    A time immediately preceding the elect’s initiation, usually the Lenten season preceding the celebration of initiation at the Easter Vigil; it is a time of reflection, intensely centered on conversion, marked by celebration of the scrutinies and presentations.
    RITUAL CELEBRATIONEaster Vigil-Full Initiation into the Catholic Faith (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist)
    1. The Period of Mystagogy

    A time, usually the Easter season, following the celebration of initiation, during which the newly initiated experience being fully a part of the Christian community by means of pertinent catechesis and particularly by participation with all the faithful in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration. The newly baptized (Neophytes) continue to meet until Pentecost.
    Rite of Full Communion into the Church (baptized)

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  • How Does One Become Catholic?
    Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

    The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) was designed specifically for the initiation of the unbaptized persons. The rite also supports preparation of baptized uncatechized (no formal religious training). Children who are unbaptized and have reached the age of reason (age 7) will follow a similar RCIA process that is adapted for children (sometimes referred to as RCIA). 
    (See next page  “FULL COMMUNION”  for previously baptized in another Faith Tradition)

    The initial Inquiry period consists of gathering for the first several Sundays. At each gathering, the Inquirer has an opportunity to ask questions about the Catholic faith and prayer-fully discern if one desires to move to the next step. There is no fixed duration or structure for Inquiry. Each individual follows the call as they are introduced to gospel values and the beginnings of faith. The Inquirer prayerfully reflects on how God has been active in their lives and has drawn them to this new place in their journey with the Lord. 

    Every effort is made to make sure new members feel at home and welcome. St Anthony Church is continually renewed when new members join us. The enthusiasm of those seeking to become Catholic is contagious and we are always grateful for their witness as we journey together on the path that Jesus set before us. 

    During the catechumenate the unbaptized (Catechumen) and baptized uncatechized (Candidate) participate in Catechesis where various topics on Catholicism are studied as it pertains to the scripture readings for that Sunday. 

    The Catechumens & Candidates also participate in the Liturgy of the Word each week on Sunday morning. The catechumen gathers for the first part of the Sunday Liturgy or Mass. After the Scripture Readings and the homily (the priest’s talk on how the Scriptures can be applied to our daily lives), the Catechumens and Candidates withdraw to another area where they, along with their catechist (trained facilitator), further explore the scriptures and their relevance to the lives of the catechumens and contemporary life in general. 

    During the RCIA process, the group becomes bonded with one another and a rich sense of community is established. The process leads to full membership in the Catholic Church with the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist (Holy Communion). 

    FULL COMMUNION WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH - If one has been previously baptized in another Christian faith tradition, he/she is not re-baptized. That baptism is accepted as valid if the Trinitarian formula (“I baptize you in the name of the Father, the son, and the Holy Spirit:) was used with water either poured over the head of the person or baptism by total immersion.  Candidates (already baptized) will join the Inquirers at their Sunday gatherings for instruction and reflection.  The Candidate (previously baptized person) makes a “Profession of Faith,” usually during the Easter season, and then receives Confirmation and Eucharist (Holy Communion.)   We the community are called to show by example how to live the Gospel. 

    The Sacraments of Christian initiation - Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist—are celebrations of conversion and discipleship. They celebrate our committed response that helps make present the awareness of God’s abiding and reconciling presence that is available to all. They demand we recognize that we live out of a center deeper and fuller than our very selves: God. Living from that center empowers us for lives of charity, service, justice and compassion. 
    What do all those RCIA terms mean? 
    Here is a list of RCIA definitions. We hope it helps in better understanding the process. 
    Candidate: A person in the catechumenate who has been baptized, either in the Catholic Church or in another Christian Church, but who has not celebrated the sacraments of Confirmation and/or Eucharis (First Communion) 
    Catechumen: The name given for the entire process of praying, learning, discussing and reflecting, which culminates in initiation into the Church at Easter. 
    Elect: A catechumen or candidate who will receive the sacraments of initiation in a short time.
    Election: A liturgical celebration in which the bishop or one of his priests accepts the catechu-men as ready and worthy to take part in the sacraments of Baptism, confirmation and Eucharist at Easter. 
    Godparent: A person selected by the one to be baptized or confirmed who is a friend or helper as he/she learns to become a Catholic.
    Inquirer: A person who sincerely wants to ask questions and learn about the Catholic faith
    Neophyte: A newly baptized person. The word means a “new shoot”. 
    Mystagogy: This refers to the time between Easter and Pentecost when the new Catholics share their faith with others in the community. 
    Rite of Acceptance: Marks the first step into the Catholic Church. The inquirers receive the sign of the Cross on the ears, eyes, lips, shoulders, heart, hands and feet, as they now join in the joys and trials of the Chris-tian mission.
    Rite of Election: Celebration of God’s call through the Church to the initiation sacraments celebrated at the Easter Vigil. The Bishop accepts the candidates for the sacraments.