Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)

If you are seeking God’s chosen path for yourself, or helping a friend or family member discern their path, and wonder if that path is leading to the Catholic faith, we invite you, your friend or family member to participate in a process called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

Simply inquiring about the Catholic Church does not obligate you to become a member. Before any formal process begins, there is a time of Inquiry during which your questions are answered and the basic teachings of the Church are explained. There is also the opportunity to speak with persons who have journeyed through the RCIA process.

RCIA is a process of faith development and catechetical instruction in which adults and children of catechetical age enter into full membership in the Roman Catholic Church community. This gradual process, endorsed by the ancient practice of the Church, is suited to the spiritual journey of adults. It depends on God’s grace, the free cooperation of the individual, the action of the Church, and the circumstances of time and place.

The process of initiation moves through four stages: the periods of pre-Catechumenate, Catechumenate, Purification and Enlightenment, and Mystagogy. Each stage is punctuated with liturgical rites marking a person’s passage through the process.

In the early church, the initiation process applied only to unbaptized persons. Although a clear distinction must always be made between the baptized and the unbaptized, the Rite of today is intended not only for the unbaptized, but also for persons baptized in other Christian traditions and for persons baptized Catholic who never received the other initiation sacraments. Unbaptized Catechumens and baptized Candidates most often travel together through the periods and rites of the initiation process.

If you would like more information, or to speak with a member of the RCIA team, please call the parish office at 423-870-2386, or Butch Feldhaus the RCIA Coordinator.

Are you interested in becoming a Sponsor?

Sponsors are needed to walk the RCIA journey with Catechumens (unbaptized) and Candidates (baptized) who are interested in becoming Catholic. If you would like to sponsor someone, you will need to be confirmed, actively practicing your faith, and willing to make a weekly commitment.

How does a sponsor “walk the RCIA journey”? Be a companion to one person in the process by sharing your Catholic faith, answering questions (No, you do not have to know ALL the answers!), praying regularly for your partner, attending RCIA sessions from September until Pentecost, and participating in the Rites.

This is a big commitment, but one of the most rewarding ministries our Church offers. The Holy Spirit brings people together as partners. Many lifetime friendships have grown from these partnerships. Sponsorship training is provided. For more information, or to volunteer as a sponsor, e-mail the RCIA Coordinator or call the Parish Office at 423-870-2386.

RCIA at the Diocese of Knoxville Christian Formation Website

RCIA at the Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops Website