This is the name of the program that non-Catholics enroll in to study the Catholic Faith. There is no commitment to join the Catholic Church if at the end of the program they are not ready.
This program is also available for Catholics who have been away from the Church and wish to return.
Just call the rectory for more information at 570-347-9421.
RCIA: Sometimes they just need an invitation to “come and see.”
A recent study of conversion reveals the three most common elements that influence people to become Catholics, a world view of Christianity; a felt need for spiritual life; and, perhaps most important, a bond with someone within the Church.
Sometimes people who are searching for a meaning in life do not need arguments for the existence of God or reasons why it is good to be a churchgoer.
Our approach must be similar to that used by Jesus. His approach was always personal and direct. He accepted people as they were. He never overburdened them, but he invited them to take the next step in their spiritual journey. We must develop that sensitivity to others people's journeys by listening to their questions, sharing our faith, bringing them to God in our own prayers, and knowing when to invite them to the the next step. For some people the next step might be the one that Jesus offered Andrew, “come and see.”
You might ask: “Why should we do this? Why can't we just leave people to make up their own minds?” As baptized members of the Church, we have received the commission: “go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). It is vital that we share our Christian faith. Many who are searching for God do not have the confidence to come and knock on the Church door. We have to reach out to those who struggle to find meaning in their lives.
There are not one way streets when it comes to human interaction. At first glance, adult Christian initiation seems to focus solely on those seeking admission to t he Church, as if they had everything to learn from us and we had little to gain from them. But their initiation challenges all of us to look again at our own commitment. We must be willing to undergo a transformation ourselves, for each new member changes the existing relationship of a group. The initiation process asks us to consider seriously who we are, what we value, who we could become as the people of God.
RCIA is also good for fallen-away Catholics who want to come back to the Church and learn about the Catholic Faith. Got any good candidates or Catholics in mind? Why not ask them! More to come about when the RCIA program starts.
THE PROCESS FOR THOSE JOINING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH "What Do You Ask of God's Church?"
During one sunday Mass, you hear a knock at the door of the Church. The celebrant goes to the door and welcomes a group of people. He invites them to come forward and asks them, "What do you ask of God's Church?" Each persons answer is different but reflects the same desire for faith and community.
What is going on? This is the first step in the initiation of new adult members into the Church. Each step brings the people closer to being acceoted as full members of the community.
People who are considering joning the Catholic Church enter the pre-catechumemate. They are welcomed into the community and begin to get to know the Catholic Church.
Those who decide to go further embark on a course of preparation known as the catechumenate. This is celebrated by the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumen's, part of which is described in the beginning of this article. Thus begins the Catechumens separation from a non-Christian existance to Christian life or from one form of Christian klving and worship to embrace the Catholic Tradition.
Although they are not yet full members of the church, catechumens begin right away to live the christian life. Individual, personnel sponsors offer moral support, guidance, and example. While being instructed in the Faith, catechumens join the parish community in orayer and wirship. and participate actively in the life of the Church.
When the catechumens are ready to respond fully to God's call to conversion and faith, the church invites them to the next step in this process in initiation: the Rite of Election. This ceremony takes place in the first Sunday of Lent and marks the entry of the catechumens into their final forty days of preparation, the origin of the season of Lent.
The final stage, incorporation into the community, takes place during the solemn Vigil of Easter, when the catechumens receive the sacraments of initiation-Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. This step is not the end, however, but the beginning of their journey in faith as Catholics.