Each person’s journey of faith is unique. God has and always will be a part of our life, known or unknown. God never tires of tugging at our heart or of inviting us to begin, continue, or further develop a relationship with Him. But God is always patient and waits for us to respond to His calling because conversion is a process. God calls and we respond! For some reason, perhaps the time to respond is now to investigate what it means to be Catholic, or the time to complete the sacraments of initiation.
The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is a gradual process where adults have the opportunity to explore faith questions and learn the basic traditions, beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church. These questions and traditions are explored in sound teachings, in conversation and in dialogue over the months the RCIA family meets. RCIA is the process of welcoming adults into our faith tradition and is designed for:
- Adults who have not been baptized into any religion
- Adults who have been baptized in another faith tradition and desire to be in full communion with the Catholic Church
- Adults who were baptized Roman Catholic, but did not receive the sacraments of Confirmation or Eucharist
The process focuses on Christian initiation through the reception of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist ordinarily received in a single liturgy during the Easter Vigil, the evening before Easter Sunday.
The RCIA process includes several
(liturgical ceremonies celebrated in the presence of the worshiping community) and progresses in 4 stages. Each stage of the process is ritually celebrated within a supportive faith community and is recognized with special prayers and liturgical ceremonies which are always a community event.
- Period of Inquiry or the Pre-catechumenate is a preliminary step in the journey of faith. This is a time of getting acquainted, feeling comfortable in the company of other seekers and Catholics and getting answers to some basic questions.
THE RITE OF ACCEPTANCE INTO THE ORDER OF CATECHUMENS AND
THE RITE OF WELCOME FOR BAPTIZED UNCATECHIZED ADULTS IS CELEBRATED
- Period of Catechumen and Catechetical formation where the beginning of formal instruction in the faith takes place.Prospective Catholics learn the traditions and beliefs of the faith and how to live the Catholic way of life.This phase focuses on Jesus, His teachings, the Church and the sacraments.
RITE OF ELECTION IS CELEBRATED
FOR THE NON BAPTIZED AND
CALL TO CONTINUING CONVERSION FOR THE BAPTIZED CANDIDATES
- Period of Purification and Enlightenment usually coincides with the 6 week Lenten season which begins with Ash Wednesday.It is a time of reconciliation, prayer and spiritual renewal for the whole church and a period of continued instruction coupled with more intensive prayer and preparation for reception into the church.Three scrutinies are celebrated on the 3rd, 4th and 5th Sundays of Lent which are prayers for strength to be faithful to the Gospel.
FULL INITIATION WITH THE RECEPTION OF THE SACRAMENTS OF BAPTISM,
CONFIRMATION AND EUCHARIST ARE CELEBRATED AT THE EASTER VIGIL
- Period of Mystagogy where the newly initiated enter more deeply into the Mysteries of the faith.We are invited now to continue to deepen our formation in the faith and live the Catholic way of life.
WE BECOME WHAT WE BELIEVE!
Sometimes people have questions about the marriage annulment process because they have heard so many people talk about it. A brief explanation of what it means follows:
ANNULMENTS AND THE RCIA PROCESS…WHAT THE CHURCH TEACHES
One of the most frequently asked questions deals with the topic of “Annulments.” So much misinformation and misunderstanding surrounds the topic.
- The Catholic Church believes in the sanctity of marriage and regards a marriage as valid, binding spouses for life.When couples do separate and divorce the Church examines in detail the marriage to determine if, right from the start, some essential element was missing in the couple’s relationship.That examining is part of the annulment process.
- An annulment is a declaration by the Church that a marriage which was thought to be valid was not legally binding.When an annulment is granted, the Church is not saying that there never was a marriage, but the legal contract on which that marriage was based turned out to be invalid.
- Two of the other common misconceptions deals with these statements: “I heard that getting an annulment costs hundreds of dollars” and “children born of that marriage are now illegitimate.”In a diocese OTHER than ours, there more than likely is a cost to maintain the work of the Tribunal (the church’s judicial system) which investigates each case.However, money does NOT affect the speed of the procedure OR its successful completion, nor does the inability of a petitioner to share part of the cost of the process.
- IN THE DIOCESE OF COLUMBUS, THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR AN ANNULMENT! Due to the foresight of our former bishop, Bishop James Griffin, each parish in the diocese was assessed a certain amount of money to be placed into an account to pay for the costs of obtaining an annulment.
- On the second misconception concerning the legitimacy of children born into that marriage, when couples obtain a civil divorce, the children from that union are their legitimate offspring.Obtaining an annulment does not alter that legal standing nor does it change the parents’ responsibility toward those children.
If you are considering an annulment, begin by contacting one of our priests or deacons here at St. Brendan the Navigator Parish (614-876-1272) who will assist you with further information and help you begin the process. Or feel free to contact Stacy Pennino, program director, who will be happy to meet with you and then introduce you to one of our priests or deacons to guide you in the process. Stacy@stbrendans.net or 614-850-9715
Want to learn specific details about annulments including the conditions for which a person may petition for an annulment? It’s easy to find information. Just “Google” the word “Annulment” and a wealth of additional information about the process is readily available.
Information about the RCIA process may appear over whelming,
but our RCIA team and sponsors walk with you in this incredible journey.
It is an honor and blessing to do so.
If you would like to inquire about the process or know of someone who is seeking to respond to God’s call to become a member of the Roman Catholic Church, we welcome you and invite you to explore Catholicism with us! If you know of extended family members, friends, neighbors or coworkers who may be interested in entering the RCIA process, extend an invitation to contact us. A personal invitation goes a long way! OR if you would like to be a sponsor for someone in the process, who you may or may not know, we extend this invitation TO YOU! The rewards and blessings of being a sponsor are beyond naming.
Please contact Stacy@stbrendans.net or call 614-850-9715 to register now.