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What Is RCIA?

Q. What exactly is the RCIA program?

A. RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is a formal process of faith formation for three types of participants. First are catechumens: those who have never been baptized and are seeking to become Catholic. Second are candidates: baptized Christians who are not Catholic but seek to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. Third are adult Catholics seeking the Sacrament of Confirmation, who receive instruction in the essentials of Catholic faith and life.

RCIA allows inquirers to learn in depth about all things Catholic. To those who aren’t Catholic, it offers the opportunity to make an informed decision about whether they want to enter the Catholic Church. Then, if they decide to continue, it provides for those who complete the faith formation process the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism (if they haven’t yet been baptized); the Eucharist; and Confirmation. Along with weekly sessions of instruction, it also includes several Rites that mark the various stages of the process.

RCIA is a ten-month process, typically beginning in early August and running through early June. The exact dates vary each year according to the date of Easter and other holidays. This coming year, the first session of systematic instruction for RCIA will be on Tuesday, August 6, 2019. The sacraments will be received at the Easter Vigil, April 11, 2020. The last session of RCIA will be on Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

If you or someone you know is interested in the RCIA program, please contact our coordinator, Dr. Paul Thigpen, at

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