Why? Who? How? When?
"Be my soul with the Saints!"
-Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman
God loves all humanity. Therefore, God calls all people into his Church. Christ founded his Church on Peter and the other apostles, so that, as Paul said, the “manifold wisdom of God” might be known to the entire world (Ephesians 3:10). This wisdom of God is that in Jesus Christ all humanity is brought to peace in him. This communion of peace in Christ is known as the body of Christ and also as the bride of Christ. It is also known as the Catholic Church. It is through the Church that God loves and saves the world.
So, entering the Catholic Church is serious business. Joining the Church is not simply one religious choice made among others. Joining the Catholic Church is a life-changing decision made in response to God’s truth, beauty, and invitation. Christ himself established the Catholic Church and gave it to us for our salvation. Becoming Catholic is not something one can take lightly.
And the Catholic Church recognizes this. Thus, the Church offers a path wherein any person from any walk of life may explore, accept, fall in love with, and join the Catholic Church. This path is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). RCIA is a way for those desiring to enter the Catholic Church to explore the Catholic faith in an informative, non-threatening, safe, and fun environment. In RCIA you will begin to learn the teaching of the Catholic Church. However there is a lot more to RCIA than that. You will also come into contact with other pilgrims who are making the same journey. We will provide friends for your journey as well. Early in the process, you will be introduced to your sponsor, a friend and fellow-pilgrim dedicated to giving you his or her support as you answer God’s invitation to become a Catholic. RCIA is about building fellowship built on truth and love. Therefore, we mean to offer you the support of Christian friendship, not just lectures.
RCIA takes time, and that’s a good thing! At Saint Rita, RCIA is based on a school-year model, so our program begins in the fall and proceeds through Easter when the Church normally receives new members and continues through early summer, ending around Pentecost. If you begin RCIA in the fall, however, you needn’t automatically enter the Church the very next Easter. You may, if the Holy Spirit leads you, choose to take more than one year to explore the Catholic Church. The purpose and rationale of RCIA is to allow each person to discern God’s invitation personally and in God’s own time. We are here to help you answer God’s call in an authentic, meaningful, and faithful way.
If you are coming into the Catholic Church from another Christian community, then welcome home! Jesus prayed that we should all be one (John 17), and we give God thanks that he has brought you to our community in faithful response to his will for one, united, and undivided Church. RCIA will help you come into full communion with the Catholic Church by giving you basic Christian teaching from the standpoint of Catholic truth. RCIA will also help you become integrated into the life of our community through friendship and fellowship.
If you discern God’s invitation to become a Catholic, and if now is the time to take that step, then we are here to help you. Feel free to contact us any time with any questions. Helping people come into the Catholic Church is a sacred calling and a heavenly joy! We hope to serve you, and bring you into the communion of Christ’s Church!
The Saint Rita RCIA Team
Our First Session is August 31, 2016 at 7:00pm
in the St. Rita Dining Hall!