Welcome! The Catholic Church’s mission is to offer people of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to deepen their understanding and relationship with Jesus Christ.
Becoming Catholic involves a journey of faith, accompanied by the support of a parish community. This process is called Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or RCIA. During the RCIA process you meet with others to share, reflect, pray and learn more about the Catholic faith. There are ceremonies or ‘rites’ at each stage to signify the steps along the way.
- Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
St Augustine, a great Saint of the Church, said, “Our hearts are restless, O Lord, until they rest in you.”
The RCIA is for all seeking to become members of the Catholic Church.
The RCIA is best described as a journey of faith that passes through a number of different phases and focuses on conversion of heart and mind to Christ. It is a gradual journey tailored to the needs of the individual.
Young People (aged 9 to 16)
The journey towards Christian Initiation for a young person differs from that of an adult. The CrossroadsRCIA resource has been designed to provide support to parishes and communities in journeying with young people (ages 9 to 16) who wish to explore and develop their faith with a view to receiving the Sacraments of Initiation.
A Primary School Child
Parents are usually asked to take part in a preparation program with their child to understand the sacraments of initiation and the commitment to living faith.
To start the process, you will need to contact your local parish. We have a page to help you find your nearest parish if you are unsure of your parish contact details.
- RCIA Story
For Nicole, preparation for RCIA involved weekly meetings and prayer, and the study of scriptures and Catholic traditions. Nicole describes the process of preparation as an intensely enriching experience that served to deepen her faith.
‘I think you actually feel closer to God … because you’re surrounded by people with really deep faith: people you can talk to about it all the time,’ she says.
- Stages to Becoming Catholic
Stages to Becoming Catholic
The RCIA process follows four stages of initiation.
The Period of Evangelisation and Pre-catechumenate or Inquiry is the first stage of the journey. It is a time to explore and question your faith, uncover the basic message of the Gospel and begin to discern how to live this in your life.
It is a time of discovery with no fixed structure or duration. This is described this as a time for inquiry and introduction to the gospel values; an opportunity for the beginnings of faith.
The Period of the Catechumenate is a time for you to deepen your understanding of the Catholic faith and relationship with Jesus. It is a time for suitable pastoral formation and guidance. It can be thought of as an apprenticeship.
At the heart of the Catechumenate period is conversion of heart, the conversion to Jesus Christ.
Period of Purification
The period of Purification and Enlightenment is a time for reflection and prayer and a time to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus. This is a period of more intense spiritual preparation, consisting more in interior reflection than catechetical instruction. It often occurs in the Church during the season of Lent before Easter.
Post Baptismal Period or Mystagogy
This is a time when the newly baptised (neophytes) begin their lifelong commitment to living a Christian life. It marks a shift from learning about faith to living faith in everyday life and a shift from looking within to looking outside, to the community.
- Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions