Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
THE character of the church is to welcome all people, especially people who are searching for a deeper connection in their lives. Often people are not sure whether it is even God they desire to know. It can be a vague yet distinguishable yearning for something beyond one's self. At other times it is a more articulate desire to relate to, to know about and to investigate God and the people who believe.
The Church welcomes all people who genuinely search for God. The Catechumenate community is an ancient tradition in the church that accompanies and supports people who enquire. There is never any pressure to join but only a respectful relationship that allows each person the freedom to experience their own spiritual journey.
This ancient way of discernment, guidance and formation is more recently termed the RCIA, an acronym for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
The RCIA is the process by which unbaptised adults and children over seven years of age are welcomed into the active community of believers in the Catholic Church. The RCIA is also the accepted form of preparation for adults already baptised who seek full communion with the Catholic Church.
There are five stages to the journey. Each one concludes with a community ceremony (Rite) which acts as a starting point to the next stage. At each Rite, the candidates affirm their intention to proceed to the next stage while the community commits to supporting them on their journey.
Stage 1: Enquiry (Pre-Catechumenate)
Candidates make initial enquiries about the Catholic faith and ends with the Rite of Acceptance.
Stage 2: Catechumenate: Formation in Christian Life
A period of learning the teachings of Jesus through the Gospel and reflecting on how Catholics bear witness to their faith. This stage ends with the Rite of Election at the Cathedral with the Archbishop.
Stage 3: Purification & Enlightenment: Preparation for Easter
This is the time immediately preceding the elects' initiation, usually the Lenten season preceding the celebration of this initiation at the Easter Vigil; it is a time of reflection, intensely centred on conversion, marked by celebration of the Scrutinies and Presentations, and of the preparation rites on Holy Saturday.
Stage 4: Triduum & Reception of Sacraments
This is the liturgical rite, usually integrated into the Easter Vigil, by which the elect are initiated through baptism, confirmation, and the eucharist.
Stage 5: Mystagogy: Deepening the Faith & Lifelong Formation
Having received the Sacraments at the Easter Vigil, the new Catholic reflects on the direction of their lives. They are also sent to witness for the Good News. This usually marked by a Missioning Ceremony.
Who will Walk with You on this Journey?
Welcome... the door is open.
The Catholic community of St Catherine of Siena Parish is ready to welcome and accompany you on your journey toward Christ as a member of the Catholic Church.
It is the Holy Spirit who has led you this far and it is the Holy Spirit who will invite you to open your heart and your life to God.
Members of St Catherine of Siena Parish will assist you on your journey. The Parish Priest, the Parish Deacon, the RCIA Team, and all of the Catholic community will be your companions and your guides.
As your journey progresses, yoou will also meet with our Bishop and the wider Catholic community.
It's an incredible journey that you are called to undertake under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It's a life-transforming journey... a journey that begins with the first step of contacting the Parish Priest or the RCIA Coordinator.
The door is open... the Catholic community is ready to welcome you! COME and SEE!
Meet the Team
This group of individuals are entrusted as catechists, mentors and leaders for those who have approached us, seeking the sacraments of initiation and reception into full communion with the Catholic Church. Through their constant support and willingness to share their faith, they are living witnesses of the Good News. Deacon Chris currently coordinates our Parish RCIA Team.