Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

​If you are interested in becoming a full member of the Catholic Church, RCIA is meant for you. These sessions are for adults who have not yet received their Sacraments of Initiation through the Catholic Church – Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. Meetings are weekly on Monday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30 P.M. in the classrooms.

For more information, please email Deacon Mike Houghton mhoughton@sjvshelby.org or call the St. John Vianney parish office.

FAQs about RCIA

Who is the R.C.I.A. for?
RCIA is for anyone 18 or older who has not completed any or all of their Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, or Eucharist – and wishes to do so in order to become a fully participating member of the Catholic Church.

Are you or someone you know interested in becoming Catholic? 
The RCIA or the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, is the process by which a person enters the Catholic faith. Many individuals are soul-searching and asking questions regarding Christianity and in particular how one can become part of the Catholic Church. Also, many people who have been away from the Church, or who have not completed their sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) wonder how to return and become active participants.

What are some aspects of the process?
STUDY: RCIA sessions are weekly on Monday evenings.
WORSHIP: The expectation is that the candidate is participating at Sunday liturgy weekly.
PRAYER: Through participation in Sunday Mass, “retreats”, personal devotional time.
SOCIAL: The community is an important aspect of Christian life. Participation in various parish events is encouraged.
SERVICE: Outreach to others is essential to the Christian way of life. Sponsors introduce their candidates to the opportunities available and help make the connections.
What if I get started and decide this isn’t for me?
Faith in God and the decision to become a member of the Catholic Church are personal choices that must be made in an atmosphere of complete freedom. We will try our best to help you understand what it means to be a Catholic Christian. But we sincerely believe that you must be allowed to use God’s gifts of conscience and free will without feeling any pressure from us.

What is a Sponsor?
A sponsor is a confirmed, active member of the Catholic Church who is willing to be a friend and guide, and to participate in the RCIA with you. A sponsor cannot be the mother or father of the one to be baptized or confirmed.  If you don’t know of anyone to ask, the RCIA team stands ready to help.

Is there a cost for participating in RCIA?
No. There is no cost for participating in RCIA.
May I bring a friend?
Yes, we encourage it! As a matter of fact, spouses, fiancés, and sponsors are especially encouraged to join us on a regular basis.

Am I obligated to become Catholic?
There is no obligation on participants to become members of the Catholic Church. Anyone seeking information about the Catholic faith is welcome to attend our sessions. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions and dialog with the material. There are times during the RCIA process for you to explore your intentions and continue to discern God’s call. Everything shared during the sessions will be treated with confidentiality and respect. The RCIA is a time of exploration, where people can ask questions and learn about the Church. People coming from other faith groups may have many questions about Catholicism, and areas where they don’t feel comfortable. Don’t worry. Each person is given the space to question, to think for themselves, and to take all the time they need to make a decision about joining the Church.
What do sponsors do?
Sponsors actively participate in our meetings and celebration of the Sacraments. They converse regularly with the participant in an ongoing process of faith development. Their promise is to be good listeners and to help participants to know where God is leading them without pushing them in any direction.