RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS
The R.C.I.A. is a process of conversion and a journey of faith to study and reflect upon the teachings of the Catholic Church. The parish family of St. Matthew welcomes the unbaptized, those baptized in other faith traditions and those who have never completed their sacramental preparation. This journey of faith is also open to anyone who desires to enrich and enhance their own Catholic faith. There is no set time for this journey of faith. The most important aspect is adequate preparation. The Sacraments of Initiation…Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist are normally celebrated during the Easter Vigil for all adults who are unbaptized. This journey of faith is usually divided into four stages:
1. Inquiry: a time of sharing and reflecting on personal journeys.
2. Catechumenate: a time of teaching, reflecting and praying of Catholic beliefs
This stage concludes with the Rite of Election for the unbaptized and those baptized in other faiths. This ceremony is held at the Cathedral on the first Sunday of Lent.
3. Purification and Enlightenment: a time of special emphasis of an awareness of sin in our lives and also of the good already there. Special prayers are offered at the Sunday Mass. This state is completed at the Easter Vigil and all the unbaptized receive the Sacraments of Initiation and those of other faith traditions publically profess their desire to live out the truths of the faith. In addition, any baptized Catholics who never completed their sacramental preparation are included at this time.
4. Msytogogy: This stage assists the newly received to strengthen their faith through weekly attendance of Mass and also to reflect on how they can best serve their parish.