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 really want to look into RCIA seriously. I have some background knowledge just from attending a Catholic School. Since I am already baptized, would I have to get baptized again or do they accept baptisms from other denominations?
Because a valid Baptism can only happen once, the Catholic Church respects and recognizes many baptisms of other Christian faith denominations.
My daughter has reached out to me and asked to become Catholic like her dad and his family. She has not been baptized so what do we need to do to start?
The Church teaches that one of the parents of children between the ages of 7 and 17, must consent for the child to be baptized. This means that the Catholic parent must go to his or her Catholic church, or one that is closest to where the child resides, to request baptism for their child. The RCIA coordinator will help you and your daughter begin the process provided that she is seven or older.
My fiancé and I are engaged to be married next year and we would like to attend classes to convert to Catholicism/Confirmation. He was baptized in a Methodist Church and I need to receive Confirmation. What are the steps we need to take?
Depending on any prior formation that each of you may have had, RCIA may not be the process for either of you. Some parishes have Adult Confirmation classes to help prepare for this sacrament. Your fiancé’s preparation for reception into full communion with the Catholic Church would depend on the extent to which he has led a Christian life and has been catechized. You may go to the parish that is closest to where you live to speak to the RCIA Coordinator to help determine which path is best for each of you.
Because your fiancé was baptized Methodist, the Catholic Church considers his baptism as valid and therefore he will come into full communion with the Catholic Church. The term convert is reserved for those converting from unbelief to belief.