The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, widely known by its acronym RCIA, is the ritual book that has the periods, steps and rites that are to be used during the initiation process. It is the approved ritual text for adult baptisms of the Roman Catholic Church.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming Catholic
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What is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults?
Who is the RCIA for?
The RCIA is primarily for unbaptized adults and children who have attained the use of reason and are of catechetical age. Church law states that children attain the use of reason at 7 years old, and for purposes of RCIA are considered to be adults.
If I am not baptized, where do I need to go to become Catholic?
You may go to the Roman Catholic Church nearest to where you live and ask about the RCIA. At the parish, the RCIA Coordinator will be glad to explain the process that will further you along your journey to become a member of the Catholic community.
Where can I find the Catholic Church that is nearest to where I live?
Visit the Parish finder on the website for the Catholic Diocese of Dallas by clicking the button below, type in your zip code and the results will show you the parishes that are in your area.
What program is used?
There is no program because the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a process which includes 4 periods: Pre-catechumenate, Catechumenate, Purification and Enlightenment and Mystagogy; and 3 steps: Rite of Acceptance, Rite of Election and the Rite of Initiation.
Is there a program that I can take online to become Catholic?
No. The RCIA process takes place within the parish community. There are four ways of training in the Christian life: Word, community, worship and service. The community awaits with open arms in anticipation of helping you to accomplish this training which you cannot get online.
How long does the process take?
Our journey of faith is a life-long process. The RCIA is a beginning of that journey and the process takes as long as it takes for an individual to become skilled in the training of Christian living and is ready to be a disciple of Christ. The timing in the process varies according to each individual in the process.
I am already baptized. Would I have to get baptized again or do they accept baptisms from other denominations?
A valid baptism can only happen once. The Catholic Church recognizes baptisms from many Christian denominations. Baptisms are valid if the baptism took place with water and using the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
My child from a previous marriage lives with her other parent and step-parent, and they are not Catholic. I am Catholic, and my child also wants to be Catholic. What do I do?
The Catholic parent of children between the ages of 7 and 17 is the one to request baptism from their Catholic parish. The other parents must also consent to the child’s baptism and be willing to support the child in living the Christian life. Go to your Catholic church, and discuss your family situation with your pastor.