Parish 262-673-4831 School 262-673-3081

Enlightened by Faith, Enriched by Education

RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)

Welcome to St. John and St. Kilian!

 

We are glad you are here and are considering sharing your journey with the Catholic Church!  If you are interested in becoming Catholic, were baptized but not taught about faith, or did not complete your Sacraments of Initiation into the Catholic faith, then RCIA, or the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, might be the place to start for you!  The following information is intended to answer some of your questions.  Please contact the Parish Office to start the RCIA process via email: dre@stiliancong.org, or parishoffice@stkiliancong.org, or phone: 262-673-4831 ext. 7406, or 262-673-4831 ext. 7403.  Or, contact our Coordinator of RCIA, Maureen Mitchell, at renee.mitchellxx37@gmail.com.

RCIA


RCIA stands for “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults”. It is a program run by adult members of the parish.  RCIA requires a modest commitment in time, but we think you will find the process a lot easier than you might expect.  In addition, we have found that everyone who becomes involved, young or old, highly religious or moderately so, finds it to be a wonderful experience.  RCIA is intended to instruct in the Catholic Faith those who are seeking to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church through Baptism and/or Confirmation and Holy Communion

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process provides the opportunity for those interested in the Catholic Faith to learn more and to determine if they wish to become Catholic.  Adult Catholics who have not received First Communion, Reconciliation, or Confirmation and others who simply wish to renew or return to their faith or to be a sponsor for adults on this faith journey are encouraged to contact Maureen Mitchell, our RCIA Coordinator, for more information at renee.mitchellxx37@gmail.com.

Jesus recognized the importance of community and teamwork in spreading the Gospel, as displayed by the fact that He called a group of apostles and often sent His apostles out two by two. The Church recognizes the importance of support as one progresses through the RCIA process.  First, candidates do not journey alone but together with other adults who are learning about the Catholic Church and also with a team of dedicated people from the parish community who meets with the group regularly to offer assistance and support (RCIA Team).  Secondly, the Church also gives the inquiring person a sponsor who will share the journey and accompany you at RCIA sessions and other special events.  This sponsor, who normally comes from the parish community, is called a godparent for those who have not yet been baptized and a mentor for those who have already been baptized.  They are truly companions for the journey of faith and walk with each candidate through each step of the process. The sponsor also connects the candidate to the local parish community.  Finally, since the RCIA process takes place within the parish community, the prayers from this community are essential for the journey.  Moreover, the prayers of the universal Church are with each candidate, providing spiritual support for the journey and connection to the Church community.

 

Details and Frequently Asked Questions regarding RCIA

What is the RCIA?
The Catholic Church always welcomes new members into its community.  The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process by which people enter into the Catholic Faith.  It is a process by which interested men and women can explore the Catholic Faith in order to decide whether or not to become Catholic.  One is not required to have any previous exposure to Christianity in order to participate.

Who can join the RCIA? 
Any person who is either an unbaptized person or a baptized Christian of another faith, may participate in the RCIA.

What is the actual process of the RCIA?
The RCIA process includes a number of months of sessions of inquiry and study during which interested individuals can learn about the core beliefs of the Catholic Church, its moral teachings and liturgical practices, and become acquainted with the life of the parish community.  Individuals can ask questions of the RCIA team members and the team can assist the inquirer with understanding more about the spiritual journey they are undertaking.

How long does the RCIA process last?
RCIA classes are typically held weekly beginning in September and continuing until Pentecost of the following year.  Participants are welcomed into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil.

What if I am not ready to become Catholic at that time?
Any participant in the RCIA process can choose not to become Catholic at Easter time.  It is quite common for individuals to continue their discernment and study of the Catholic faith for an additional year or more.  The Church greatly respects the time each person needs for conversion and decision, and one should not feel pressured to become Catholic before one is ready. 

Does anyone help me during the process?
The RCIA team is always willing to help.  During the process, individuals will be required to select a sponsor or godparent, who is a practicing Catholic, who will serve as a spiritual friend and guide during the process and in one’s future life as a Catholic Christian.  Godparents and sponsors are welcome to attend classes and activities with the individual. If the individual does not know anyone who is a Catholic Christian, the RCIA team can help to find a suitable sponsor for them.  Spouses or fiancées may assist the participant. 

What documents are required for becoming Catholic?
Baptized Christians of most denominations will need a copy of their baptismal record.  Copies of marriage certificates and decrees of annulment in the Church may be required if appropriate.

Is there a charge for RCIA?
There is no charge for RCIA, a parish leader will arrange the meetings and the parish supplies books and materials.

Do I have to join the Church after the RCIA “course”?
You are under no obligation at any point in time.  We are more than happy to share our faith.  Joining or not joining the Church is your personal decision.

Are there only certain times when l can join RCIA?
No.  Although there is a basic cycle to the RCIA sessions, which is announced in the bulletin, new participants are accepted throughout the year and at any time.

Before I decide to join, can I talk to someone who has already gone through the process?
Yes.  Any member of the RCIA team will be glad to answer your questions or put you in contact with former participants.  Feel free to contact Dennis Vlasak by phone 262-673-4831 Ext. 7406, or email, dre@stkiliancong.org.

Do I have to memorize a lot of prayers and creeds?
No. After you are received into the Church your regular attendance will allow you to gradually learn the words of the liturgy and prayers.

How much preparation must I do for each session?
For each session there will be a planned topic of discussion.  You may be given a one page, or three or four-page articles to read for the next week.  This normally takes 5 to 30 minutes.

Must I be a baptized Christian to join?
No.  If you have not been baptized, that sacrament will be part of your RCIA process.

What happens at each Inquiry Session?
There will be a few members of the RCIA team along with current RCIA participants like you.  Discussion is initially focused on the planned topic, but the conversation is usually far ranging.  Participants are encouraged to ask questions.  At some sessions, you may be shown a video on the planned topic.


What do I do if I’m thinking about joining the Catholic Church?
Contact Dennis Vlasak, by phone, 262-673-4831 ext 7406 or email, dre@stkiliancong.org.

How Can I Get More Information?
You can contact our Director of Religious Education Dennis Vlasak at (262) 673-4831 ext. 7406 or email dre@stkiliancong.org.  Or contact Maureen Mitchell our Coordinator of RCIA at renee.mitchellxx37@gmail.com.

 

Who might look into RCIA?  An invitation is extended to...

  • Those who are unbaptized.
  • Anyone baptized but not as a Catholic.
  • Anyone baptized as a Catholic who did not yet receive first Communion or Confirmation.
  • Fully initiated Catholics seeking fuller catechetical knowledge of their Catholic Faith.
  • Anyone at all looking to learn more about Christianity.
  • Are you thinking about becoming a Catholic?
  • Are you interested in what the Catholic Church teaches?
  • Do you want to deepen your understanding of the person and nature of God and His Son Jesus Christ?
  • Would you like to find answers to questions such as: “What must I do to be saved?” or “How should I live in order to please God?”
  • You may be officially a member of another Christian body who is seriously considering the claims of the Church, or perhaps you were baptized a Catholic but never taught the Faith.
  • Maybe you were raised Catholic but later drifted away and are looking to come back to full communion with the Church.
  • You might be a committed Catholic who just wants to learn more about the Faith.

 

If any of these descriptions fit you, — you may be interested in exploring the St. Kilian RCIA Process.

Our St. Kilian Parish Community invites you to meet with members of the RCIA team who welcome your interest and questions regarding the Catholic Church and our parish community. This team of volunteers assists people who would like to experience full communion in the Catholic Church and the richness of the Christian life.
 

Have you gone on a Journey?

Have you gone on a journey to a place you had never visited before? Remember your excitement, that stimulating fear of the unknown? But you went on your adventure to that place — and you loved it!  Maybe you have been thinking about taking the journey towards conversion into the Catholic Faith, in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults; but with that same fear of the unknown.

Many others have gone on that adventure before you; they are now part of the TEAM they would love to share their positive experiences with you. Some of the challenges that they encountered on their path to conversion may be the very same ones that you are now facing.  Come to the journey and see for yourself.

Call us now to book your journey of adventure it’s FREE!

 

Where do I begin?

Well, you begin from where you are now!

RCIA has stages:

Inquiry: Just Looking — the initial period before you decide to enter the Catholic Church. You’re asking questions and checking it out but aren’t yet ready to commit.

Catechumenate: Learning about the Faith -those who decide to enter the Church and are being trained for a life in Christ are called catechumens, an ancient name from the early Church. In this stage, you’re developing your faith and are being “catechized” — learning catechism, or the basic points about Catholic faith and life.

Purification and Preparation: Getting ready for rebirth — the Church will help you focus intensify your faith as you prepare you to commit your life to Christ and be received into the Church at Easter. If you’re following the RCIA process, you’ll go through a beautiful series of Gospel-based meditations during Lent, which is the time frame of this period.

Initiation: Culmination of the whole process — itself, the culmination of the whole process!  You’re received into the Church during Easter Vigil Mass, where you’ll receive the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist.  If you’ve already been baptized, you won’t be baptized again. 
At the Easter Vigil Mass, we celebrate the Rite of Initiation, which includes Baptism (for those not yet baptized), the profession of faith for those previously baptized, Confirmation and Eucharist. 

Mystagogy: Reflecting on the mysteries of the Mass — after reception into the Church at Easter, this period lets you reflect and learn more about the mysteries of the Mass and the Sacraments that you now participate in fully.  Mystagogy is a time for deepening the Christian experience, especially in appreciation for the sacramental life, for spiritual growth, and for entering more fully into the life and unity of the Catholic community. The neophytes now share with Christ, and his Body in the parish community, the intimate communion of the Eucharist.  Now they have access to all the means of sanctification.  Mystagogy is a period of discernment about how to live out the meaning of the rituals just celebrated at the Easter Vigil.  We as a parish community pledge to help them grow and mature in the Christian life and to develop a genuine Catholic world view.

 

Welcome to the Journey!

Congratulations!

You are already on you way toward a deeper faith. Even if you have not started RCIA yet, reading this is at least your first step toward completing the journey. Like most journeys, there will be some steep hills to climb, many obstacles, and even a few traps along the way.  But, do not let me scare you! If you invite Jesus into your life, He will be there every step of the way. The steep hills will feel like a casual downhill walk.  The obstacles will be a scenery to enjoy along the way. And, you will never ever notice traps. Trust in Him, and He will carry you through.

RCIA the Right Way? 

Who is to say what is the right way to go through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults?  It is a personal journey.  It begins with a choice, and it ends with a choice.  Plus there are a number of smaller choices in between.                          

The first choice is whether or not to start the Catholic RCIA process.  It is not an easy choice.  Almost anyone you ask about how they felt all will say “I began the RCIA process with some hesitation.”

You have to choose to attend each session, commit to read materials that may be given for the next session, to share what touched you in your life today when you read the materials, to choose to ask difficult questions you might have.  You only learn if you let your heart allow you to.

Finally, the process ends with a choice, the most important choice.  The choice to become a Catholic is not complete until the day of the rite.  You must participate in the rite, so you must choose to be there.  You will struggle along the way. However, you will also grow along the way.  Thirst for knowledge.  Read the Scriptures.  Pray always.  This can be one of the most amazing experiences of your life, if you are open to it.

May God bless you and keep you safe on your journey

 

How do I join and what does RCIA involve?

Signing up is easy. Just contact Dennis Vlasak, our Director of Religious Education at 262-673-4831 ext. 7406, or dre@stkiliancong.org, and he will put you in contact with our Coordinator of the RCIA process, Maureen Mitchell, by phone or email.  Or, contact or Maureen Mitchell, our Coordinator of RCIA at renee.mitchellxx37@gmail.com directly.  She will set up a date to meet with you to discuss your desire to take a closer look at the Catholic faith community.

The RCIA process initially consists of weekly meetings at an agreeable time with the RCIA team in what are called Inquiry Sessions.  As you continue

 

INTERESTED IN BECOMING CATHOLIC? 

We're here to help! 

Whether you're looking to join the Church or just have questions, we are here to journey along with you as you explore the Catholic faith. 

If you're not sure what you need or where to start, Dennis Vlasak, our Director of Religious Education, is happy to connect with you.
dre@stkiliancong.org or 262-673-4831 ext.7406

For more information on how to become Catholic, check out the information below...

 

Are you called to be Catholic?

 

RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION FOR ADULTS

RCIA — Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults — will prepare you for full initiation into the Catholic Church through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.  A restoration of the Church's ancient practice of preparation, RCIA is a journey of faith with Christ into His Church. Through community, education, and prayer, RCIA provides both the time and space for you to develop a life giving relationship with Jesus, learn what it means to live as his disciple, and prepare to experience the gift of God's grace that is given to us in the sacraments.  


They asked Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, my brothers?”  Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:37-38).

 

Becoming Catholic | RCIA

The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is a formation process designed for adults (and able to be adapted for children) who are considering joining the Catholic Church.  Through a program consisting of presentations, discussions, study, prayer and participation in the life of the parish, individuals learn the beliefs, teachings and traditions of the Roman Catholic Church and prepare to celebrate the sacraments of Initiation — Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.

Adults (or children) who are interested in exploring the Catholic faith may begin the RCIA process at any time by participating in Inquiry.

This program is designed for men and women who wish to become Catholic.  The Catechumens, that is, adults who have never been baptized in any Christian religion and the Candidates, that is, baptized non-Catholics, make up the membership of this group.  Sessions are held on a regularly scheduled basis.  The Catechumens are baptized and the candidates received into the church, and both groups are confirmed at the Easter Vigil Mass each year.  Information for prospective members can be obtained by contacting the Parish.  The same program for children is also available.

WHO CAN JOIN RCIA?

Any adult or child over seven years of age who is either:

  • Unbaptized (no religious background).
  • Baptized in a Catholic or other Christian faith, but did not receive formal education in the Catholic Faith, nor the Sacraments of the Eucharist or Confirmation.
  • Baptized or not and raised in another Christian faith but interested in learning about the Catholic faith.

WHAT IS A 'SPONSOR'?

Each participant is given their own 'sponsor' who will support you with their prayers and accompany you on much or your journey. You don't have to make the journey alone!

 

DISCOVER A BEAUTIFUL FAITH IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.  G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “The difficulty in explaining 'why I am a Catholic' is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true.”  Read the article on Catholicscomehome.org.

How Do I Become Catholic? — Liturgical Training Publications

 

How Does Someone Become Catholic? — Catholicism in Focus — Breaking in the Habit

 

Are you called to be Catholic?

There are lots of reasons why people choose to become Catholic as teens or adults.  Maybe you are married to someone who is Catholic and are ready to explore this faith further.  Maybe you have friends or relatives who were married in the Catholic Church or you attended a funeral and were moved by that experience and now want to learn more.  Maybe you know or admire someone who is Catholic and you want to explore the faith more deeply.

How do I learn if the Catholic Church is right for me?

If you are curious about the Catholic faith, we have a special process designed to help you do that.  It's called RCIA.  RCIA stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.  Joining the RCIA process at our parish does not commit you to joining the Catholic Church.  It is a process to help you explore what the Catholic Church has to offer.  If you choose to complete the entire RCIA process, you will become a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church.

How do I know if the RCIA process is for me?

The RCIA process is designed for three groups of people:

  • those who were never baptized.
  • those who were baptized in another Christian tradition (Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, and so on) who now wish to be Catholic by entering into full communion with the Catholic Church.
  • those who were baptized Catholic but never received any education or any of the other Sacraments of Initiation such as first communion and confirmation.

How long does it take?

It's hard to say. If you haven't been baptized, or ever received any kind of religious education, it will probably take at least one year.  If you are already baptized and educated in another Christian tradition, such as Lutheran or Presbyterian, it may be much shorter.

How do I get started?

We are always happy to talk with those who are exploring, interested in learning more about Catholicism, or looking to begin the process of becoming Catholic.  The parish can be reached at 262-673-4831, or stopping by St. Kilian's parish office.  Our RCIA registration and information sheet can also be found here.

The process is divided into 4 parts.  Everyone goes through them at their own pace in conjunction with the Holy Spirit and the parish community. 

A Strong Start in the Faith: The Catholic RCIA Stages

Thinking of joining the Roman Catholic Church?  The Catholic RCIA stages are a good model of basic faith development.  This article provides some detailed guidance for that process.

So, you’re developing your faith.  Great! Is it a little overwhelming?

Where to start?

Why so many “stages” of initiation?  What should I be doing in each stage?  How will I know when I’m ready to move forward?

This “article” is your best starting point to answer these questions, and more.  I’ll provide you with some fundamentals — centered in Christ — for beginning and developing your life of faith in the Roman Catholic Church.

Everything else builds on these fundamentals!  But… Where do you begin?  Well, you just begin from where you are now!  Many adults entering the Catholic Church, or those just thinking about it, follow a process known as the RCIA — the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

The RCIA process has several distinct stages.  These Catholic RCIA stages are a good model of faith development itself, so this “article” will fit you whether or not you’re actually in the RCIA process.

Inquiry: the initial period before you decide to enter the Catholic Church.  You’re asking questions and checking it out, but aren’t yet ready to commit.

Catechumenate: those who decide to enter the Church and are being trained for a life in Christ are called catechumens, an ancient name from the early Church.  In this stage, you’re developing your faith and are being “catechized” — learning catechism, or the basic points about Catholic faith and life.

Purification and preparation: The Church will help you focus and intensify your faith as you prepare you to commit your life to Christ and be received into the Church at Easter.  If you’re following the RCIA process, you’ll go through a beautiful series of Gospel-based meditations during Lent, which is the time frame of this period.

Initiation itself, the culmination of the whole process!  You’re received into the Church during the Easter Vigil Mass, where you’ll receive the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist.  (If you’ve already been baptized, you won’t be baptized again.)

Mystagogy: after reception into the Church at Easter, this period lets you reflect and learn more about the mysteries of the Mass and the Sacraments that you now participate in fully.

Below is a discussion of each of these Catholic RCIA stages.  But first, some basics…

Laying a strong foundation

Faith will be the foundation of your life.  Make that foundation solid!  Go slowly, make sure you’ve developed the basics well. That will help you avoid discouragement and frustration, two big enemies of faith development.  Also be aware of the importance of orthodoxy in the information you receive. (“Orthodoxy” here means “accurate and faithful” teaching.)

Make sure that you’re satisfied with your own faith development in each of the Catholic RCIA stages before moving on to the next. Don’t let pressure from anyone else make you move on. Also watch out for calendar-based pressure — don’t say things like, “If I don’t start catechesis now, I won’t be done this Easter!” That’s the wrong basis for making a decision about your faith and your life!

We know, sometimes it seems like it takes a long time to work through all of the Catholic RCIA stages. But… Don’t rush it!

RCIA stage 1: Just Looking

In the inquiry stage, you’re just finding out about Jesus, Christianity, and the Catholic Church.

Your main task here is to explore and develop your faith enough so you can make an informed initial decision about entering the Catholic Church. The final decision won’t come for a long time, when you actually enter the Church at Easter and receive the sacraments of initiation.

The RCIA inquiry stage page has lots of detailed guidance for you during this stage.

Even if you’re past the inquirer stage, you could still read that section to make sure you’ve covered the right ground. You’ll need to rely on that foundation later!

RCIA stage 2: Learning about the Faith

In the catechumenate, your faith has begun to develop. Now you need to learn and grow more.

You focus on catechesis in this stage: learning about the faith, how to live as a Christian, and developing your interior life.

Your job now is to come into closer contact with the Living God and learn more about the Catholic Faith.

RCIA stage 3: Getting ready for rebirth!

This period of purification and enlightenment is the final stage before receiving the Easter sacraments of initiation into the Church: baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist.  (Those already baptized with a valid baptism in another Christian church aren’t baptized again.)

This stage of intense reflection calls you to deeper conversion in preparation for your renewal at Easter.  This is what the season of Lent is for, but it has a special intensity for you this year as you’re entering the Church and receiving the sacraments of initiation.

The Church uses three profound and beautiful passages from the Gospel of John to focus this preparation effort.

RCIA stage 4: Reflecting on the mysteries of the Mass

This stage of mystagogy during Easter is for continued reflection on the sacraments you have received at Easter, especially the Eucharist.

Specific catechesis on the Mass, the Sacraments, and especially the Eucharist are the focus of this stage.

The Mass and the Eucharist are the “source and summit” of the Christian life in the Catholic Church, and this period is designed to help you understand, appreciate, and live more deeply this center of Catholicism.

That’s a good overview of the Catholic RCIA stages, with more than enough supplemental information to think about for a while!

Remember that the Catholic RCIA stages are a good model of basic faith development, so you can learn a lot from them even if you’re not in the RCIA process.

Parish Participation

Sponsors and RCIA team members are very important to the initiation process.  RCIA team members support the overall process by serving as greeters, ministers of hospitality, table discussion leaders and topic presenters.  Sponsors support a particular catechumen (person preparing for Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) or candidate (baptized person seeking to enter into full communion of the Catholic Church). Ideally a sponsor attends RCIA meetings with the catechumen or candidate, prays with and for them and acquaints them with parish life. They assist their catechumen or candidate in discerning when to celebrate the various rites that mark the RCIA faith journey.  To volunteer to be a sponsor or RCIA team member, please call the Parish Center.

For information about the RCIA process, please contact Dennis Vlasak in the Parish Center dre@stkiliancong.org or 262-673-4831 ext. 406.

Want to know more?

We are always happy to talk with those who are exploring, interested in learning more about Catholicism, or looking to begin the process of becoming Catholic.  Dennis can be reached at dre@stkiliancong.org, 262-673-4831 ext. 7406, or stop by St. Kilian's parish office.  Our RCIA registration and information sheet can also be found here.

 

RCIA information from the US Bishops (USCCB - United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)

 

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