The mission of evangelization at Holy Angels is to work to fulfill the plan of God the Father that every person be saved from sin and become His child and a member of His family, the Catholic Church, through faith and baptism in His Son, Jesus. As devoted followers of Jesus, this mission is shared by every member of Holy Angels as they seek to spread this good news to all the people they encounter in their daily lives.
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
What is the R.C.I.A.?
The R.C.I.A. is the process by which adults and their children become members of the Catholic Church. The process is based on the Catechumenate which the early Church used to facilitate the formation necessary for a convert to follow in the footsteps of Christ.
Like the process in the early Church, the formation is sensitive to your individual needs before you make any commitment to the Catholic Church. Therefore, the process is divided into four periods. The periods are as follows.
Period of Inquiry
This first period focuses on presenting the basics of the Catholic faith and answering any questions you have. (You may continue to attend Catholic Inquiry sessions for as long as you desire. No commitments are made or expected during this time.) If, after having your questions answered and hearing the faith simply and clearly presented, your interest in becoming Catholic has changed to a desire to enter the Church, you are ready for the next step. The length of this period depends on the need of the individual.
Period of the Catechumenate
This period begins with a public ceremony in the Church called the Rite of Acceptance. In this Rite you become a member of the Church, although not a fully initiated member. The formation of this period consists of a comprehensive presentation of the faith, introduction into the life (prayer and worship) of the Church, and guidance in living a moral life. Once this formation is complete you are ready to move forward. Again, the length of this period depends on the needs of each individual.
Period of Enlightenment
This period begins with another public ceremony called the Rite of Election. In this Rite, you come before the bishop and reaffirm your intention to join the Church. You have now entered the final period of preparation before fully entering the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist). The formation of this period is much more reflective and prayerful as you get ready to receive the great gifts of grace from your Lord. the season of Lent is when this formation takes place.
At the Easter Vigil, held Holy Saturday evening, you will receive the Sacraments of Initiation and become a fully initiated member of the Church. As the Church celebrates Christ's resurrection, you will become a new creation through these sacraments.
Period of Postbaptismal
During the weeks of the Easter Season you will learn at a new level the great mysteries you have received and the mission to witness the love of Christ to the world. This occurs because of the grace you have received in the sacraments. This final period is a reminder that the initiation process is not the end of becoming a Christian, but merely the beginning of becoming one.
Why become Catholic?
For every individual the answer is different. But, from the perspective of the Catholic Church there is one answer that applies to every man, woman, and child. God wants all mankind to be united into one holy family worshiping Him in Spirit and truth. Christ established the Catholic Church to be the family of God. This role was given to her by Christ when He said, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..."(Matthew 28:19) Christ gave the Apostles the fullness of truth and grace in order that the Church could accomplish her mission. That fullness still resides in the Catholic Church through her teachings and sacraments.
I invite you to come and see if the Church truly is what she believes herself to be, the family of God established by Christ. To learn more about the Church, please contact your local priest or call the Holy Angels Parish Center at (630)897-1194.