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

Enlightened by Faith, Enriched by Education

RCIA

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 fully initiated into the Catholic faith, then RCIA, or the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, is the place to start! 

 

Are you called to be Catholic?

 

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.  Classes 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 Office. 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. 406, or stop by St. Kilian's parish office.  Our RCIA registration and information sheet can also be found here.

 

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