The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (The RCIA) is a program under which the Church welcomes adults seeking any of the following sacraments of full communion in the Catholic faith: Baptism, Eucharist or Confirmation.
RCIA is a program of discernment and instruction in which the person seeking initiation into the Church is introduced to the beliefs and practices of the Catholic faith. At Sacred Heart, RCIA instruction is for non-baptized persons, persons baptized in another Christian faith and baptized Catholics who lack both the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation. Well-qualified presenters lead the discussion and instruction. The instruction follows the outline in the Catechism but follows a unique and innovative format.
Instruction and discernment sessions usually begin in early fall and conclude with the Easter Vigil Mass the following year. Eligible catechumens who are not baptized and candidates who seek full communion receive the sacraments at the Easter Vigil Mass.
Each candidate or catechumen in RCIA is sponsored by a confirmed Catholic in good standing. At the beginning of each session, the RCIA program is in need of Catholics who are willing to sponsor candidates and catechumens. The sponsor assists candidates or catechumens in their discernment and learning process. Sponsors do not need to attend every session with the candidate or catechumen, but we ask that the sponsor make every reasonable effort to be present with the candidate or sponsor as much as possible.
Many sponsors find that the RCIA sessions are a way to renew one’s knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith and, at the same time, to walk with the candidate or catechumen as they enter the Catholic faith.
A schedule for the current RCIA program year is available at the Church office.