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RCIA means Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. This program is an overview that begins with its history and follows the process up to Pentecost.

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  1. 1. Saint Paul Ministries<br />www.saintpaulministries.net<br />RCIA<br />Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults<br /> Come and See<br />
  2. 2. 45 Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” <br />46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” John 1:45-46<br />Philip a believer found Nathanael a non-believer and led him to Jesus.<br />Someone or something has peaked your curiosity about the Catholic Church, maybe a spouse, a friend or the Holy Spirit has led you to investigate the church.<br />We are here to help you along the path you have chosen to journey.<br />The Holy Bible : Revised Standard Version Second Catholic edition (2006), with the ecclesiastical approval of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Thomas Nelson Publishing for Ignatius Press.<br />
  3. 3. You have already made the first step on your journey by inquiring about Catholicism.<br />The RCIA team is not here to convince you to become a Catholic only you can do that for yourself.<br />The team is here to present information and answer your questions but not to make decisions for you.<br />Let us begin with the background of RCIA.<br />Every year thousands of people are received into the Catholic Church.<br />In the past, “inquirers” were normally prepared to become Catholics by a priest in small groups or through individual instruction. <br />
  4. 4. They then received the sacraments at any time of the year once they had completed their studies.<br />In 1971 the Second Vatican Council revised the process.<br />The RCIA, while new in a sense, was not really new.<br />The purpose was to re-establish the spirit of early Christianity.<br />The RCIA process is a series of rites, and ceremonial practices, conducted within the context of learning about the faith and spiritual formation.<br />They lead the individual toward full membership into the Body of Christ, the Church.<br />
  5. 5. There are four stages in the process.<br />1. Precatechumenate which is a time of inquiry and evangelization.<br />2. The Catechumenate which is a period of serious and dedicated structure.<br />3. A Period of Purification and Enlightenment which coincides with Lent.<br />4. Mystagogy, Revealing The Mysteries, which last from Easter to Pentecost.<br />You will look more deeply into the sacraments and how they affect you in your daily life.<br />You might ask, “How long will this take?”<br />
  6. 6. RCIA is not a race to a finish line, it is a journey toward a goal.<br />The focus should be on adequate preparation, understanding and the conversion of your heart.<br />The Precatechumenate is a wonderful time of asking any question about Catholicism that comes to mind.<br />Don’t think that all Catholics sitting in the pews know the answer to every question, they don’t.<br />
  7. 7. On occasion you might stump your RCIA team member with a question but I guarantee you that they will find the answer for you.<br />It is a good time to begin attending Mass but you are not allowed to receive the Eucharist or Communion until you have more training but you can go up to the Priest or Eucharistic Minister and receive a blessing.<br />
  8. 8. If you are thinking about converting from other forms of Christianity you will hear more Scripture at Mass in a three year period than you have heard before.<br />Catholicism is a Bible based religion and typically the first reading along with the Psalm come from the Old Testament and the other two readings come from the New Testament.<br />
  9. 9. Should you decide to go on with your studies you will become either a catechumen or a candidate within the Catechumenate group, the second stage in the process.<br />You will need a sponsor and that decision is not to be taken lightly.<br />You will need to chose a Catholic preferably of the same sex, at least 16 years old, who is a practicing Catholic in<br />good standing with the church. <br />The catechumen (non baptized) will typically have the godparent for baptism also be their sponsor for Confirmation.<br />The qualities the sponsor should possess are that they are someone you admire because of their unquestionable Catholic faith which they live as closely to Gospel teachings as possible.<br />
  10. 10. Also remember that you may not choose a parent to be a sponsor or godparent.<br />The sponsor needs to be a person with whom you can share your faith, and other personal aspects of your life.<br />It is possible that you may not know such a person if that be the case let the parish priest or Coordinator know, they can assist you in your search.<br />Candidates are those who have been baptized in other denominations whose baptism is recognized as valid by the Catholic Church.<br />Candidates, having been baptized, participate in the “Rite of Welcoming.”<br />
  11. 11. Catechumens are those who have never had a valid baptism. <br />They participate in the “Rite of Acceptance.”<br />Both of these rites take place at Mass, catechumens proclaim their readiness to accept the Gospel and the candidates declare their intent to be received in to full communion with the Catholic Church.<br />
  12. 12. Both the candidates and the catechumens are signed with the cross on their forehead, ears eyes, lips, chest, shoulders, hands, and feet as a sign of their willingness to bear witness to Christ with their whole lives.<br />The catechumenate is now considered part of the church.<br />As the journey continues, it continues with the traditions of the church.<br />In the early Church those who were not fully initiated into the faith were not allowed to remain at Mass after the Liturgy of the Word.<br />Many parishes continue this tradition by “dismissing” catechumens and sometimes candidates before the Liturgy of the Eucharist.<br />Accompanied by a catechist, their teacher, they go to reflect on the Scriptures that have been proclaimed while the Mass continues.<br />
  13. 13. The period of Purification and Enlightenment usually starts the first Sunday of Lent and ends with Easter Vigil. <br />Lent is a time to prepare ourselves spiritually through repentance to celebrate the paschal mystery. <br />During Lent you will be more spiritually centered and preparing to share in the Eucharistic banquet at Easter Vigil night Mass.<br />This stage begins with the Rite of Election which normally occurs on the first Sunday of Lent.<br />The anointing of the catechumens will help strengthen the catechumen with Gods grace during this intense period of examination. <br />
  14. 14. The 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays of Lent celebrate the Scrutinies or penitential purification rites.<br />The readings for these scrutinies are the Samaritan woman which is read on the third Sunday, the man born blind is read on the<br />fourth Sunday, and the story of Lazarus is read on the fifth Sunday.<br />The Catechumens have learned from the church as their mother, the mystery of the deliverance from sin by Christ.<br />The presentation of the creed is made after the first scrutiny and the Lords Prayer after the third scrutiny but this varies by parish. <br />
  15. 15. The catechumens will join the rest of the congregation and recite the prayers for the first time at the Easter Vigil Mass.<br />This period ends on Holy Saturday night as you are initiated fully into the Catholic Church and into the Body of Christ at the Easter Vigil Mass!<br />The final period of Christian initiation is called Mystagogy.<br />These ancient prayers express the beliefs that we hold true as Catholic Christians. <br />We are handing on our tradition to those who are going to be “reborn” through the water and the spirit.<br />
  16. 16. Mystagogy comes from the Greek language and means “interpretation of mystery.”<br />This time after Easter is an important time for all of us but especially for the neophytes (the newly baptized and initiated) it is a time when you explore the experiences of the Easter Vigil through the Sacraments and ministry of the Church. <br />
  17. 17. You will look more deeply into the sacraments and how they affect you in your daily life, how they strengthen you for the journey through this life and into the next.<br />Our ministry, through the sacraments, and the modeling of Christian behavior is the sharing of our experiences with Jesus Christ.<br />Easter weekend will not be a graduation<br />ceremony; it will be your initiation into the beginning of the longest part of your spiritual journey - the rest of your life! <br />It was you who chose to be a part of this Catholic assembly, and it is your choice to continue on this road knowing that God will be accompanying you on your life’s journey.<br />You now belong to the one Church found all over the world.<br />
  18. 18. Keep in mind that this outline will vary from parish to parish because of the parish’s need to advance or slow down the program to meet the needs of the participants or the availability of space and time.<br />Rest assured all necessary material and questions will be covered prior to the completion of the initiation sacraments.<br />Also keep in mind that<br />it is your responsibility to grow in your faith.<br />Knowledge of faith is not like an injection given at one point in time, faith development is a life-long continuing process best developed by becoming an active and involved member in the Body of Christ at your local Church.<br />Don’t just warm a pew, warm hearts of others for the glory of the Lord.<br />
  19. 19. Saint Paul Ministries<br />www.saintpaulministries.net<br />FREE high resolution PowerPoint of this and other presentations visit <br />www.SaintPaulMinistries.net<br />