St. Thomas More Church / Munster, Indiana


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Rite of Christian Initiation


The R.C.I.A. (or Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program is designed to help those who may be outside the Catholic Church but desire to become full members of the Church.

Converting to the Roman Catholic faith is a big decision. Roman Catholicism uses the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is designed for adults who want to become Catholic and for those baptized Catholics who have not been fully initiated into the Catholic Church.

Thousands of people convert to Catholicism. They convert for various reasons, but they all usually go through the same procedure.

To become Catholic, you don't have to be any certain age. People can convert at any age and time during their life. Before converting, you should immerse yourself in knowledge. Entering a new religion isn't anything to be taken lightly.

Most Catholic parishes have classes to prepare people to convert to Catholicism. These classes are called Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA. The conversion to Catholicism is a gradual one. Students are asked to pray and study scriptures. Also, they learn the catechism.

RCIA classes are usually held every week. At these classes, you will learn the fundamentals of Catholicism. As you continue, you will see there is much to learn about being a Catholic. The RCIA contains five phases.

The Period of Inquiry - This is when people can ask questions to get an idea about Catholicism. They learn about scriptures and Jesus Christ.

The Period of the Catechumenate - The candidate reflects more deeply about how Catholicism will affect his or her life.

The Period of Purification or Illumination - This period corresponds with the time of Lent. It is the six-week preparation time for Easter. It becomes the praying time for those who are to become Catholic known as the Elect. The period is begun by the Rite of Election, usually celebrated at the Cathedral Church with the Diocesan Bishop. This rite accepts them as candidates for the Sacraments by the Bishop, representing the fact that this decision is not theirs alone. Normally this rite takes place on the first Sunday of Lent. Special prayers are offered to support the Elect.

The Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation - The Sacraments of Initiation are celebrated at the Easter Vigil. The Easter Vigil is an extended night watch of prayer, singing, and hearing the Word of God. By the waters of baptism, a person passes into the new life of grace and becomes a member of the Body of Christ. Those who are already baptized, have the Sacrament of the Reconciliation prior, make a Profession of Faith, are given Holy Communion, and are confirmed. Anointing with Holy Oil called Chrism seals the initiation by the power of the Holy Spirit and participation at the Table of the Lord in the Eucharist marks full membership in the church.

The Period of Mystagogy - This period lasts from Easter Sunday until the completion of the Easter season. That is fifty days later on Pentecost Sunday and completes the initiation process. Those who have just shared in the sacraments of initiation are now called Neophytes and during this period of Easter joy they reflect on what they have just gone through and look to the future as to how they can now share in the mission of Christ who came to bring salvation and life to the whole world. This period reminds the whole church that life in Christ constantly calls us to grow and to look for new ways to live the life of grace, personally and together.

Sessions will be held every Tuesdsay from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. beginning around the end of September. Classes will continue until the Vigil Mass of Easter in order to give those interested enough information about the Church so that they may decide whether or not they wish to become Catholic.

The R.C.I.A. program also is well-suited to those people who may have been baptized Catholic but never had any formal training/education in the faith and/or for those who wish to know more about their Catholic Faith.

For more information about the R.C.I.A. program, feel free to call Fr. Declan or Deacon Joe at 836-8610. If they are not in, you may leave voice mail and someone will return your call

The R.C.I.A. program will begin on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. R.C.I.A. will meet every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. in the Conference Room.

Additionally, beginning on the First Sunday of Advent, November 29, 2020, those involved in the program attend the 10:00 a.m. Sunday Mass. After the homily, catechumens are dismissed to "Break open the Word." This is an important part of the process as well.

You may view a syllabus of this year's program here.





Additionally, if parents have children or young teens who are not baptized or who are baptized but have not received First Penance, First Communion, or Confirmation, the RCIC program (Rite of Christian Initiation for Children) is for them.

Email Emily Hackett for further information. She is responsible for the RCIC program.