Each year on Holy Saturday during the Easter Vigil, thousands are baptized into the Catholic Church in the United States. Parishes welcome these new Catholics through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Listed below are some questions and answers about the process of Christian Initiation.
It is the process through which unbaptized explore the Catholic faith that may lead to a decision to join the Catholic Church through the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
People of other Christian denominations may find the process helpful as well when discerning a possible conversion. People who are already Catholic may find the experience beneficial as well.
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
Those 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 are being “catechized” – learning the Catechism, or the basic points about Catholic faith and life.
The Church will help you focus and intensify your faith as you prepare to commit your life to Christ and 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 Lent, which is the time frame for this period.
The culmination of the whole process! You’re received into the Church during the Easter Vigil Mass, where you’ll receive the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
After reception into the Church at Easter, this period lets you reflect and learn more about the mysteries of the Mass and the Sacraments in which you now participate fully.
Are you interested in learning more about the Catholic faith?
Have you been away from the Church and have questions?
Where do you begin to find answers?
Well, you just begin from where you are now!