Adult Initiation

In 1988, the Catholic bishops of the United States directed that adults becoming Catholic do so using the process set forth in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). RCIA stresses the connection between the three sacraments of Christian initiation — baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist. During the Easter Vigil each year, the elect are welcomed into the Church and receive these sacraments.

RCIA is a process of prayer, reflection, and learning that allows for the continual discernment of God’s will in our lives. No matter where you are on your faith journey, there is a place for you at Saint Bernadette! The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process for adults.

Many people inquire about becoming Catholic for many different reasons. Phase one of the journey starts in the heart of the seeker and continues in a small inquiry group where questions are raised and discussed freely. We call it a process because, like any faith journey, each one’s pace is unique. The general process that the Catholic Church uses to initiate adults is based on the same process that the early Christians used during early centuries of Christianity. Full initiation takes place with the reception of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion.

Even if you’re not ready to become Catholic, but want answers, RCIA is a great place to get them.

The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults is a process of conversion to Jesus Christ and the design of God he proclaimed. The RCIA process has four steps:

Pre-Catechumenate /Inquiry

This is a time for those interested in the Catholic Church have an opportunity for inquiry and introduction to gospel values. This is also a time for the community to listen and answer questions.

The Catechumenate

During this time, catechumens (adults starting the RCIA process) are instructed in the faith, participate in community activities, join with the community in prayer and worship, and work actively with the community in the apostolic life of the Church.

Period before Initiation

This is the period of time, usually during Lent, that is a time of immediate preparation for the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil.

Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation

This liturgical rite is usually part of the Easter Vigil. The elect are baptized and confirmed then they are invited to share Eucharist for the first time.

We have in place a year-round process that is ready to welcome any adult anytime. The adult sessions are held Wednesday evenings.

Please call Shirley Smalley at 480-905-0221 to schedule an appointment or for further information.

The Order of Christian Initiation of Adults is a restoration of the ancient practice of initiation in the church that welcomes and forms adults in the way of Jesus as it is lived in the Catholic tradition. This process is divided into a series of steps and stages each with its own distinctive focus; for learning, praying and a spiritual growth that respects and supports the individuals journey in faith.

Shirley Smalley

Director of Sacramental Preparation, Infant Baptism

  • 480.905.0221 x214


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