Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

The Adult Faith Formation process for those seeking to enter the Roman Catholic Church is a year-round activity. For more information, please contact our Pastor at olvpastor@olv.cc or (303) 646-4964.


Why Become Catholic?


You or someone you know might be curious to learn more about the Catholic faith. Or you might be looking to deepen your relationship with God that already exists or has become dormant for some time. Or perhaps you were baptized as a Catholic, but never received the remaining Sacraments of Initiation (i.e., Eucharist, Reconciliation and Confirmation) in the Church.

If this is you or someone you know seeking full sacramental communion with the Catholic Church, the Our Lady of the Visitation (OLV) Catholic Church’s RCIA process offers the opportunity to learn more about the Catholic faith and to bring that spiritual desire to know and be closer to God through His Church and sacraments to fruition.

Our parish’s RCIA process helps inquiring adults interested in becoming a member of the Catholic Church to decide whether they want to be welcomed and received into the Catholic Church, and prepares people to be received only if and when they themselves feel ready.


What is Adult Initiation?


Every year, typically during the Easter Vigil Mass, the parishes within the Diocese of Colorado Springs welcomes hundreds of new members into the Church and faith. Most of these new Catholics—like most other fellow, new Catholics around the world—have undergone a process of spiritual formation and faith-based religious education studies. This process is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or the RCIA.


Who is Adult Initiation For?


Each person participates in the RCIA process in a personal, individual way.  Generally however, there are three categories of adults who go through the process:

  • Unbaptized men and women who seek participation in the Roman Catholic Church’s sacramental life through their reception of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.
  • Christians baptized in another Christian tradition who seek full communion with the Roman Catholic Church through the Sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist.
  • Baptized Catholics who have not yet received the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation within the Roman Catholic Church

Since the goal of the RCIA process is to invite participants to an intimate, deeper relationship with Jesus and the Church, Confirmed Catholics who are seeking to better know God and their faith are also welcome!


How Does the RCIA Process Work?


 

Our parish’s RCIA process utilizes and is based on informal conversations about faith and God, as well as the rich, dynamic and informative adult, religious education learning model utilizing the multi-sections, audio-video program entitled, Symbolon.

Overall, the RCIA process helps participants prepare for initiation into the Roman Catholic Church by exploring questions in several areas, such as:

  • Scripture.  What does the Bible tell us about God, and the relationship God wants with each of us?
  • Teaching.  What do Catholics believe about God?  About Jesus?
  • Prayer.  How do I talk to God?  Does God speak to me?  How?
  • Liturgy.  Why do Catholics worship the way they do?  What deeper meaning do Catholic sacraments and rituals have?
  • Life.   Does it really make any difference in my life if I’m Catholic?

How Much Time Is Involved?


The RCIA is a gradual process, unfolding over a period of months, typically leading up to Easter.  There are several aspects to our RCIA program here at the OLV Parish, such as:

  1. Informational Meeting.  Each year the process begins with an informational meeting about adult initiation into the Universal Catholic Church at the parish-level. This meeting generally occurs in the late August or early September time frame.
  2. Regular Meetings.  Beginning in mid to late September, recurring RCIA meetings take place on Wednesday evenings beginning at 7 p.m., in the downstairs classroom area (after the Wednesday evening Mass).
  3. Special Ceremonies and Service Opportunities.  Several ritual ceremonies within the RCIA process mark different moments and stages leading up to initiation, and participants are invited to participate in them over the course of the instructional period.. 
  4. Holy Week.  The RCIA process generally concludes and culminates with Holy Week and the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil.  Note however, while the Easter Vigil is preferred in the tradition of the Church, any person can be welcomed into the Church (after adequate preparation) anytime during the calendar year.
  5. Mystagogia.  Those who have received the Sacraments of Initiation are encouraged to continue meeting for about a month or more for “mystagogia;” a time of deepening reflection on the sacramental life they now participate in fully.