RCIA - Rite Of Christian Initiation Of Adults
The next session of RCIA begins September 15, 2019.
What is RCIA?
The Second Vatican Council recommended that the Church renew its way of receiving adult candidates. A revised rite called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) was approved by Pope Paul VI in 1972 and has become the norm for the Church. RCIA stresses formation in doctrine, liturgy, Church life, and service and involves the larger Church community in welcoming, instructing, helping, and praying for Candidates.
How Do I Register for RCIA/RCIC?
1. Register by phone
Please contact Sr. Donna at or (843) 884-5587, or you can reach Lola Reilly at (843) 972-8531.
2. Download, complete and send the Registration Form to the parish
office. RCIA/RCIC Registration, Attn: Sr. Donna Lareau, 1149
Russell Drive, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464.
Stages of RCIA:
The Period of Inquiry: 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. Your main task here is to explore and develop your faith enough so you can make an informed initial decision about entering the Catholic Church. The final decision won't come for a long time, when you actually enter the Church at Easter and receive the sacraments of initiation. This stage ends with the Rite of Welcome.
Catechumenate: 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 catechism, or the basic points about Catholic faith and life. You focus on catechesis in this stage: learning about the faith, how to live as a Christian, and developing your interior life. Your job now is to come into closer contact with the Living God and learn more about the Catholic Faith. This stage ends with the Rite of Election which typically takes place on the first Sunday of Lent.
Enlightenment and Purification: The Church will help you focus and intensify your faith as you prepare you 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 of this period. This stage of intense reflection calls you to deeper conversion in preparation for your renewal at Easter. This is what the season of Lent is for, but it has a special intensity for you this year as you're entering the Church and receiving the sacraments of initiation. The Church uses three profound and beautiful passages from the Gospel of John to focus this preparation effort.
Initiation: 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. (If you've already been baptized, you won't be baptized again.)
Mystagogia: After reception into the Church at Easter, this period lets you reflect and learn more about the mysteries of the Mass and the Sacraments that you now participate in fully. Specific catechesis on the Mass, the Sacraments, and especially the Eucharist are the focus of this stage. The Mass and the Eucharist are the "source and summit" of the Christian life in the Catholic Church, and this period is designed to help you understand, appreciate, and live more deeply this center of Catholicism.
RCIA can also serve as a focus for ongoing conversion for all members of the Catholic Church. As Catholics see new candidates learning the doctrine, they are encouraged to study their faith. As they participate in the liturgical ceremonies welcoming new members, they can renew their own commitment to Christ. As they see the newly baptized begin ministries of service, they are encouraged to serve more generously. And those who act as sponsors, teachers, and "prayer partners" for the candidates have abundant opportunities for personal growth. All are welcome to come and continue to study and develop their faith.