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Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults


Discernment for the first time is done before you go through the first rite, the ... Discernment before the Rite of Acceptance would be to determine readiness for ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults

Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults
  • An Interactive Walkthrough of the Process

How do I become Catholic?
The process of becoming a Catholic as an adult
requires the process of RCIA. You may be
wondering what is involved in the RCIA process,
or the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
There are several periods in this process. The
first part is called a time of Inquiry or the
Pre-Catechumenate. The other periods are called
the, Catechumenate, Enlightenment and
Purification, and Mystagogy. These periods of the
process are all preceded by formal Rites with the
assembly that will be your affirmation to the
community as well as yourself that you are ready
to move on in your journey towards the Easter
Vigil, your initiation into our "Catholic
Christian" community.
Who will I choose as my sponsor?
  Choosing a sponsor or godparent may be the
most important decision you ever make.      The
person who is not baptized will be picking a
godparent to help guide them in the Catholic life
they are choosing, a person who has been baptized
in another faith or in the Catholic faith will be
choosing a sponsor as their guide in the
Church.The catechumen (non-baptized person) will
probably have the same person who is their
godparent at the Easter Vigil become their
sponsor for confirmation, which will happen
directly after their baptism the same night.
Choosing this person should be done with much
thought and prayerful consideration. The
requirements are that your godparent / sponsor be
at least 16 years old, and that this person be a
practicing Catholic. The qualities this person
should possess are that this is someone you
admire because of their unquestionable faith,
someone who walks closely with God, and lives
their life as closely to the Gospel teachings as
possible. According to the Catholic Catechism of
the Church (1255) this person must also be able
and ready to help the newly baptized adult on the
road to Christian life. Also remember that you
may not choose a parent to be a sponsor or
This is a time when we are led by the Holy
Spirit as He moves to enrich our lives in the
promises of faith, hope and love in our Lord,
Jesus Christ.    The Scripture passage above
perfectly describes two of the aspects that most
people find most appealing in this ministry.
First of all, there is a powerful bond which
grows between everyone by the time you reach the
Catechumenate period. It is love this is what
naturally happens when a group of people meet
weekly in the name of the Lord. You grow in love
and knowledge of God and of one another, that is
a bond that will give you strength as you explore
the scriptures and the depth of Gods love for
us. Next we must set our hearts on spiritual
gifts. Our goal is ultimately to be in communion
with our God, the angels, the saints, and all our
brothers and sisters through the sacraments,
especially the Eucharistic meal. This is where
the Paschal mystery of Jesus Christ unfolds
before us weekly. Therefore our soul purpose is
to share in the Easter sacraments, especially
Holy Communion. You will experience many new and
different feelings as you grow in love for God.
He has called you by name and you have answered
that call. I pray that you will always continue
to answer Gods call with a Yes, and that He
will continue to bless you every day of your
Rite of Acceptance
You have now made the decision to move forward
in your journey as a catechumen (not baptized) or
candidate (baptized Christian or Catholic). The
choice to go on marks your Exodus from the
Inquiry stage into a new way of life. This new
life will be an answer to Gods earlier call to
follow Him. He is the doors are opened wide for
you to enter the Church. You will now be a part
of this community, the family of God, for He has
called you by name. Your acceptance into this
worshipping community is marked by a formal Rite,
a step closer to the Easter sacraments to which
you will soon be elected.
Rite of Sending
This rite and the Rite of Election go hand in
hand within the process of the Rite of Christian
Initiation for Adults. Unless you live in the
Cathedral Parish or something similar within your
diocese, where the Bishop will come and receive
you in the Rite of Election you will experience
the Rite of Sending. These two rites are all
about sending you for a reason, receiving you and
returning you to the parish in anticipation of
Easter Sacraments in a few short weeks. In many
diocese the Rite of Sending may be celebrated on
the same day or weekend as the Rite of Election.
The Rite of Sending is better celebrated the
weekend before the catechumens and candidates
actually go to the Rite of Election. It gives
everyone involved time to reflect on what the
rite is actually about. The fact that there is so
much going on within both rites can become so
overwhelming for the candidates, that they miss
out on much of the symbolism we are using to
assist in spiritual inspiration. These symbols
should create in them the Spirit-driven need to
seek and find the love and peace of Jesus in
their lives. The heart of any rite is how the
symbols are presented and received by you. What
would be the use of doing something and not
having a response or reaction that would move you
to want to continue to seek the love of God?
Rite of Election
During your Lenten journey you are called to a
more intense time of retreat with the other elect
of the Church. This period is called purification
and enlightenment. This time is intended to
purify the minds and hearts of the elect as they
search their own consciences and do penance. This
period is intended as well to enlighten the minds
and hearts of the elect with a deeper knowledge
of Christ the Savior. The celebration of the
scrutinies and the presentations will enrich this
experience for our elect.
This is the moment in your life you are
affirming your earlier promises to know, love and
follow Christ. It is also the time which your
sponsor, godparents, team, and the community of
Catholics will say, Yes these Catechumens and
Candidates are ready to move into their final
preparation period. They have experienced true
conversion of heart, mind and soul. During this
part of the Rite, one of the team members will
come forward and call your names for enrollment
to the Easter Vigil Rite. The bishop will ask a
few questions of you, and shortly after this your
sponsors will be asked to stand with you as they
are recognized. Their testimony is the final
affirmation to the bishop. You are now the 'Elect
of God'. Returning to your parish as a disciple
ready to say yes to all Jesus, asks of you.
Soon you will be joining us at the Eucharistic
table and proclaiming your Amen. This is the
Body of Christ with whom I am in communion!
The Discernment Process
The discernment process is to determine if you
are ready to move forward into the next RCIA
period. Discernment for the first time is done
before you go through the first rite, the Rite of
Acceptance. If for some reason you do not feel
ready to move on, you may stay with the
pre-catechumenate or the catechumenate process as
long as you like. Discernment before the Rite of
Acceptance would be to determine readiness for
the Catechumenate period. This is the means by
which we evaluate visible spiritual growth or
conversion in your life. These are some of the
questions I ask myself as I reflect on the time
that we have shared in our experiences together
each week.
Purification and Enlightenment
The period of Purification and Enlightenment
usually starts the first Sunday of lent and ends
with Easter Vigil. Lent is a time to prepare
ourselves spiritually through repentance to
celebrate the paschal mystery. We spend Lent
thirsting for the waters of Baptism, whether
you are anticipating baptism or have already been
baptized. Purification, enlightenment, sin, and
grace we dont have to look far into our
conscience to know that we are sinners. Our souls
long to have the darkness of sin expelled. That
is where Gods saving grace comes in,
enlightenment of the soul. The light illuminates
the darkness. This will be a time for you to
discuss the sacrament of reconciliation in more
detail with your group. Our God is a forgiving
Father. He has experienced being human through
His son Jesus. He has sacrificed His only son for
the forgiveness of our sins. In the sacrament of
reconciliation we are given a chance to seek
forgiveness, renew our broken relationship with
God and to repent or change what was sinful and
walk in the footsteps of Jesus. The rites you
will experience during this period of the RCIA
are the penitential rite, which is for the
candidates, the anointing of the catechumens, the
scrutinies, the rite of exorcism, and the
Lent Easter Vigil
In two weeks you will be joining us in the
Easter Triduum when you will become a part of the
Body of Christ and a new member of the Catholic
Church. Before you can experience this rite of
passage you must travel the same path that Jesus
walked down. Holy Thursday you will get a
glimpse of Jesus priesthood as he shows His
Apostles by example how to be the best priests
they can aspire to be. He shows you how to
receive Him, body, blood, soul and divinity in
the Eucharistic Meal. Jesus gives you many
examples of service to others that night as you
watch the priest and deacons wash the feet of
those who have come to be a part of our community
and worship this night. Then you travel the Way
of the Cross with Jesus on Good Friday, you are
asked now to embrace that very cross you accepted
as a way of life just a few short months ago. The
power of the Cross of Christ is something many
people strive to experience and struggle to
understand throughout their lives, but you have
learned through a journey of conversion how to
truly embrace this cross of salvation. Holy
Saturday is the day on which, you come to realize
the extent of this journey you have traveled
together with the others in your group. You have
shared your joys and tragedies, miracles and
suffering, your everyday life with people you
have grown to know and love this past year. Now
on this Holy Night is your moment to shine in the
brilliance of your new life in Jesus Christ,
professing to the world that you believe and will
follow Jesus all the days of your life. Easter
morning brings with it hope of a new life with
the resurrected Jesus, praying that one day like
Jesus we will also be resurrected from the dead
on the last day to live eternity in Heaven.
Mystagogy is the revealing of the mysteries of
faith and we are constantly in this part of our
faith journey--always learning and living that
life more each day. This time after Easter is an
important time for all of us but especially for
the neophytes (the newly baptized and initiated)
it is a time when you explore the experiences of
the Easter Vigil through the Sacraments and
ministry of the Church. You will look more deeply
into the sacraments and how they affect you in
your daily life, how they strengthen you for the
journey and how we are sent to share in our
sacramental lives. Our ministry through the
sacraments is the sharing of our experience with
Jesus Christ and the sacraments he gave us to
bring us closer to Him. When others begin to
understand that they will also thirst for what we
have as Catholics and as brothers and sisters in
faith --sent out to be among the others whose
lives we touch daily. You will always have an
effect on others' lives if you truly reach out to
them and embody the Christian/Catholic lifestyle.
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