The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a process with a fourfold purpose:
- For the unbaptised, the process provides the spiritual background and support to become a fully initiated Roman Catholic.
- For those baptised in another Faith, the process provides a new environment for conversion.
- For those baptised as Catholics, who have not received First Eucharist or Confirmation, the process prepares them to become active members of the parish community.
- For those interested Catholics who wish to deepen their faith.
The RCIA, as it is today, dates back to 1972 and was prepared by the Vatican Council. It is very similar to the way that people became Catholic in the early days of the Church.
This process is unlike conversion programs of the past. The RCIA is an ongoing four-step process within parish life. It is designed to welcome new members into the Church, and at the same time, to lead every Catholic parishoner to deeper belief and renewal of his or her Christian Faith.
The process involves, in most cases, a weekly gathering of candidates. Here, each candidate is encouraged to study and discuss the basics of our Christian Religion with the members of the RCIA Team.
In addition to spiritual guidance, each candidate has added support of a program sponsor, (a layperson and member of our parish) who assists with the many practical aspects of Faith. Sponsors likewise introduce the candidate to the parish community and its various ministries.
The RCIA process focuses on a person’s growth in the Spirit within a Christian community. Following the practice of the early church the RCIA develops embryonic faith by participation in and celebration of the Rites of the local Christian community. It is a journey in faith for all who participate in the process whether they be those who are inquiring about the Catholic faith or the Catholics who are supporting the inquirers in their journey in faith.
The RCIA program provides an understanding in the basics of the Catholic faith, by educating the candidate in the following:
- The Mass
- The Eucharist
- The Life of Christ
- The Sacraments
- Community Service
If you are interested, (or simply curious) or know of anyone who might like to become a part of the RCIA please contact the Parish Office.
Each candidate has the support and prayers of St Gertrude’s Parish Community as he/she journeys along the road with Jesus toward full initiation into the Catholic Faith.