Your Invitation to Learn More about Catholicism
RCIA - the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults - is a process of questioning and conversation, for non-Catholics who wish to know more about the Church, and for Catholics who have not received the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation. The purpose of RCIA is not to complete a class requirement or to see how much information you can learn about the Catholic Church. Rather, RCIA is designed to help deepen your faith in God, and make you a stronger disciple of Christ.
St. Francis Xavier and our neighboring parish, St. John of the Cross in Western Springs, have combined efforts to present the best of our programs to participants. Leaders from both churches walk with participants throughout the process. If you have been thinking about becoming Catholic or completing your sacraments, please consider joining us.
How it works: We meet on Tuesday evenings, from 7-8:30 PM, and on some Sundays at various times from Sept. 18 – May 21. There are 4 stages in the Process:
- Inquiry – a time to explore where God is calling you, ask questions, experience and learn about the faith, including: God, Jesus, the role of community, prayer, Mary, the saints; also, a tour of St. Francis Xavier Church. Sept 18-Dec 2; meets primarily at St. John of the Cross
- Catechumenate– a time to dive deeper into key elements of Catholicism including: our approach to scripture, why we do what we do, signs & symbols, ritual, church history, what we believe, the 7 sacraments, and the mass. Nov 27-March 5; meets primarily at St. Francis Xavier
- Enlightenment– a time of reflection and prayer before receiving the sacraments. March 6-April 20 – meets primarily at St. John of the Cross; Sacraments will take place at the Easter Vigil, Sat. April 20, 8 pm at St. Francis Xavier.
- Mystagogy– a time to reflect on your experience, and what it means to live out your new life as part of the Body of Christ. April 30 – May 21; meets primarily at St. John of the Cross
Come to an Information Session to learn more:
Tuesday, August 21, 7 pm, St. Francis Xavier Rectory - Please RSVP so we have materials for you.
Email Kate DeVries or Susan Lindsay, or call 708-352-0168 to RSVP for the Info Session, for further information, or to make a appointment to discuss your desires and how the RCIA Process can support your journey of faith.
Frequently Asked Questions about RCIA & Becoming Catholic
Who participates in RCIA? Three groups of people:
1. Unbaptized Adults
The RCIA is primarily intended for unbaptized adults, who, upon hearing the Gospel message and receiving formation in the Christian way of life, choose to become followers of Christ by receiving the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
2. Adults Baptized as Christians
The RCIA process also serves adults baptized in a Christian denomination or community who are now interested in living out their Christian life in the Catholic Church. Any baptism that has been performed with water and the Trinitarian formula (invoking the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is considered valid; therefore baptism is not repeated. Rather, we welcome these men and women into the full communion of the Catholic Church through their profession of faith and reception of the remaining sacraments of initiation: Confirmation and Eucharist.
3. Adults Baptized Catholic
RCIA also includes adults who were baptized in the Catholic faith, but for whatever reason, did not complete their sacraments of initiation - Confirmation and Eucharist. These women and men are already a part of the full communion of the Catholic Church due to their Catholic baptism.
What is involved in RCIA? When does it start?
RCIA is comprised of a series of stages of formation (each with a different focus) that are marked by ritual steps transitioning a person from one stage to the next. Our next journey begins in late September with the Inquire stage. During this stage, we meet weekly for an hour and a half to begin to reflect on how God is calling us and what it means to have faith in Jesus. There is plenty of time to ask questions and discern if this is the right step for you.
In early December, we celebrate our first ritual which publicly marks our desire to officially enter formation for initiation into the Catholic Church. This ritual moves us into our second stage of formation. Here we examine Church teachings, beliefs, customs and traditions. We will continue to reflect on the Sunday scripture.
At the beginning of Lent, (the 40 days prior to Easter), we celebrate another ritual to recognize our progress of being formed in the faith and signals our readiness to begin final preparations for receiving the sacraments. This third period of formation, which coincides with the season of Lent, is more reflective and prayerful, including many special celebrations and rituals passed down from the early Church.
We celebrate the Sacraments and our full initiation into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil Service (after sundown on Holy Saturday – the evening before Easter Sunday)! However, this is not the end, but rather the beginning of your life as a fully initiated disciple! We continue to meet for a fourth stage of formation, gathering a few times during the Easter Season (the 50 days after Easter) to help launch us into the next step of our faith journey and the rest of our lives as Catholic disciples of Christ. The Easter Vigil Service this year will take place on Saturday, April 20, at 8 pm.