Exploring the path of faith and conversion
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (catechumenate) is for those who wish to know more about Catholicism. It is a process by which questions and issues of faith can be explored within the context of listening, prayer, and community. The RCIA is based on the practice of the early church as it welcomed prospective members and formed them to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ as committed disciples.
The RCIA is especially appropriate for those who have never been baptized, but can be adapted to inquirers from other Christian churches or to adult Catholics completing the sacraments of initiation (baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist).
The RCIA involves several stages:
- Inquiry ― probing your experience of God and your questions;
- Catechumenate ― a time of prayer and study about the Catholic faith;
- Election ― during Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter and the sacraments of initiation;
- Mystagogy ― reflecting on everything you have experienced.
The RCIA process describes the conversion to which candidates are called in this way: "They hear the preaching of the mystery of Christ, the Holy Spirit opens their hearts, and they freely and knowingly seek the living God and enter the path of faith and conversion. By God's help, they will be strengthened spiritually in their preparation and at the proper time they will receive the sacraments fruitfully."
The catechumenate begins in late summer, just after Labor Day, but inquiries are welcome at any time during the year. Contact Robin Drayer, Saint Jean's Director of Religious Education and Faith Formation, at 212.288.5082, extension 30, for more information.