Becoming Catholic through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

Would you like to know more about God and his plans for you? Do you desire an intimate relationship with the Trinity - the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - in the midst of a community of disciples? 
God loves you and desires to spend eternity with you in Heaven! Come and find out how He has made that possible!

The RCIA Process - The formal process of learning and understanding the Catholic Faith is known as R.C.I.A. or the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, which is a process that will lead you into entry with the Church. Classes begin every September and will meet weekly until Easter Vigil. However, we want to walk with you along the path of discipleship towards Jesus Christ, even if classes are not in session!

Here is a breakdown of the periods and steps toward initiation into the Catholic faith...


First Period:  The Period of Inquiry or Pre-Catechumenate

This initial period is characterized by a "come and see" attitude. Those inquiring into the Roman Catholic faith come together in a group and through weekly meetings learn the outlines of the Catholic faith.  It is a time to ask questions about the RCIA process and how we can come to know Jesus Christ in the midst of His Church. 

The sessions are free and imply no commitment to join the Catholic Church. All are simply invited to learn the truth about the Catholic faith, and to meet some of our parish members who serve in this ministry.  These gatherings are open to adults (15+)  who are not baptized, as well as to those who are baptized Christians from other faith backgrounds. Practicing Catholics who are interested in learning more about their faith are also welcome.

Here at St. Francis Xavier we invite you to inquire about becoming Catholic at any time. Inquirers who are interested in continuing will join the regular RCIA sessions, which meet every Sunday morning from 10-11am usually beginning each fall. Watch the bulletin or contact Stacy Humbert.


Second Period: The Period of the Catechumenate

This period is characterized by a deeper look at the faith professed by the Catholic Church, seeking to impart an understanding of the Faith in such a way as to transform the life of the participant. 

Third Period: The Period of Purification and Enlightenment

This period continues what has gone on in the Catechumenate, with an emphasis on personal conversion.  During this period, the Church prays for the Elect in a special way. 

For those who have determined that they are prepared to enter the Catholic Church, the Sacraments of Initiation are normally celebrated at the Easter Vigil.  At the Mass late on Saturday evening, those who were previously baptized make a profession of faith and receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.  Those who are not already baptized receive all three sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.  

Fourth Period: The Period of Mystagogia

This period continues for about seven weeks after Easter.  The focus is on a deepening understanding and practice of the sacramental  life.  The grace received in the sacraments at the Easter Vigil allows the new Catholics (neophytes) to better understand and appreciate the sacred mysteries of the Church. 

We truly look forward to walking with you on your path of exploration and spiritual discovery!


If you have more questions, contact Stacy Humbert at stacy@sfxstillwater.org or 405-372-6886.