Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults

RCIA header

All those who desire Baptism, Eucharist or Confirmation in the Catholic faith are invited to sign up now in the Campus Ministry Office located in the basement of St. Rita's Hall.

Questions or concerns can be directed to:

Kathy Overturf
(610) 519-7978

In the RCIA there are four periods of formation and three liturgical stages:

Periods of Formation

  • Evangelization (Precatechumenate)
  • Catechumenate
  • Enlightenment
  • Mystagogia

Liturgical Stages

  • Rite of Becoming a Catechumen
  • Rite of Election
  • Initiation

Here are the terms listed in the order in which they take place:

RCIA

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults; frequently called "catechumenate" or "Christian Initiation"

Evangelization

Whatever leads a person to hear the word of God in such a way to lead to initial conversion to the Lord.

Precatechumenate

An informal introduction to the Catholic community, a period of discussion, prayer and discernment designed to help an individual make a decision about entering the catechumenate.

Rite of Becoming a Catechumenate

This is one of the major rites in which the inquirer requests entrance into the catechumenate and becomes a member in training.

Catechumenate

A specific period of formation into the Christian Catholic community, including an intellectual understanding of the faith and an adult experience of it.

Rite of Election

This is the major rite by which the catechumenate, on the basis of testimony, is accepted for full membership into the Church.

Enlightenment/Purification

A period of intense spiritual preparation for initiation into the Church

Rite of Initiation

This is the major rite by which the catechumenate is initiated into the Church through the Baptism, Conformation, and Eucharist.

Participants in the precatechumenates are called inquirers. In the catechumenate, they are catechumens. During the time of Enlightenment and Purification, they are the elect. And in the final period of Mystagogia, they are neophytes.