If you're reading this, then maybe you're wondering about getting baptized or becoming Catholic, or someone asked you about it. Hopefully this page will answer some of your questions. However, it's always a good idea to talk it over in person. Please call or e-mail us and let us know that you're interested in becoming Catholic (504-866-0984, or firstname.lastname@example.org). We're here to help you answer your questions about God, faith, Jesus, the Church, baptism, and more.
How does one do it? Basically, through a process called "R.C.I.A." RCIA stands for "Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults" and it's the way that adults become Catholic [By the way, Catholics are Christians, so sometimes we use these words interchangeably]. How does it work? Below are the steps or phases of RCIA:
The first phase is simply
asking: What is it? Do I want this? How does it happen?
This is the time to make personal contact––to go from being curious to taking some action. At this point inquiry is still not a commitment, you're just asking questions like
is this what I've been looking for? This period can last as long as you need it to, until you are comfortable to move on to the...
When you decide that you are committed to becoming Catholic, you will enter the Catechumenate through a short rite called the "Rite of Acceptance". Then, you will be called a "catechumen" (read more on
), someone who is undergoing instruction in how to live as a Christian. The Catechumenate can last as long as you need it to, but no less than one year. Toward the end of the Catechumenate, close to the beginning of the season of Lent (
learn more here
), you will have the opportunity to request baptism at the upcoming Easter Vigil (the night before Easter Sunday). Then you will enter a...
- Period of Purification & Enlightenment
For those catechumens preparing to enter the Church at Easter, Lent becomes an especially intense season of "purification" and "enlightenment" in which they are instructed in Christian prayer and prepared for the sacraments they are about to receive at the end of Lent.
The night before Easter Sunday the Church gathers in the dark to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. At the beginning of this special and beautiful Mass, the ancient rituals of Christian initiation are celebrated for the catechumens and candidates (those who are already baptized but entering the Catholic Church). Catechumens are baptized, confirmed and receive Communion (the Body & Blood of Christ,
) for the first time. Candidates (those already baptized) are received into the Church through a Profession of Faith, are Confirmed and receive Communion for the first time.
After initiation is complete, during the Easter season, the "neophytes" (the newly baptized) are led through a process of reflection and preparation for the rest of the Christian journey.
So, how do I start, or what's the next step for me?
You don't have to be sure yet to inquire about RCIA, so don't worry about getting in too deep yet! Just contact us (504-866-0984, or
)! We'd like to help answer your questions.
On the other hand, if you're sure about this, that's great too! The next step is giving us a call or sending an e-mail.