What Does the Catholic Church Teach and Believe? This process of learning the faith is a part of the Adult RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). These Inquiry Sessions, starting in June, are designed for adults, either unbaptized or baptized in another faith tradition, who would like to know more about the Catholic Church. Learn more
Assignments for class this week:
Video 1: Introduction to Theology of the Body: Christopher West
Video 2: Lenten Parish Mission, Evening 3 - Fr. Rothan
Note: If you have any questions, please bring them to class next week.
What is the RCIA?
“The rite of Christian initiation . . . is designed for adults who, after hearing the mystery of Christ proclaimed, consciously and freely seek the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts. By God’s help they will be strengthened spiritually during their preparation and at the proper time will receive the sacraments fruitfully.” (RCIA, 1)
Jesus invites us to “come and see” what life with Him can be
“The next day John was there again with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God.’ The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi’ (which translated means Teacher), ‘where are you staying?’ He said to them,’ Come, and you will see.’ So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (which is translated Anointed).” – John 1:35-41
The Journey of Christian Initiation
RCIA is a gradual coming to Christ. It occurs in steps which are arranged to assist the individual journey of each person. The community of faith supports and encourages the person through prayer, common reflection on the Word of God, the study of the Christian tradition, and by example, through living out fully the Christian way of life.
The steps of the RCIA are:
Parish RCIA Information
Coordinator: Ms. Mary Spaeder
The Pre-Catechumenate meets a few times during the summer on Wednesdays from 6:30pm-7:30pm. This is for all those who might have an initial curiosity about the Christian faith in the Catholic tradition. These sessions are informal and provide the opportunity to simply “come and see”, asking questions in a comfortable environment.
The ordinary sessions of the Catechumenate last from early September through May of each year. They occur on Wednesdays from 6:30pm-8:30pm. These sessions are designed to provide a structured and systematic introduction to the Christian faith in the Catholic tradition.
Anyone interested in more information can contact Ms. Mary Spaeder at the Parish Office or one of the priests.
The Sacraments of Christian Initiation are Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist
- Saint Gregory of Nazianzus (†389): “Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift. . . .We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God’s Lordship.”
- Tertullian(†222): “After coming from the place of washing we are thoroughly anointed with a blessed unction, from the ancient discipline by which [those] in the priesthood . . . were accustomed to be anointed with a horn of oil, ever since Aaron was anointed by Moses. . . . So also with us, the unction runs on the body and profits us spiritually, in the same way that baptism itself is a corporal act by which we are plunged in water, while its effect is spiritual, in that we are freed from sins. After this, the hand is imposed for a blessing, invoking and inviting the Holy Spirit" (Baptism 7:1–2, 8:1 [A.D. 203]).”
- Pope John Paul II (†2005), Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 1: “The Church draws her life from the Eucharist. This truth does not simply express a daily experience of faith, but recapitulates the heart of the mystery of the Church. In a variety of ways she joyfully experiences the constant fulfilment of the promise: ‘Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age’ (Mt 28:20), but in the Holy Eucharist, through the changing of bread and wine into the body and blood of the Lord, she rejoices in this presence with unique intensity. Ever since Pentecost, when the Church, the People of the New Covenant, began her pilgrim journey towards her heavenly homeland, the Divine Sacrament has continued to mark the passing of her days, filling them with confident hope.
The Second Vatican Council rightly proclaimed that the Eucharistic sacrifice is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life’. ‘For the most holy Eucharist contains the Church's entire spiritual wealth: Christ himself, our passover and living bread. Through his own flesh, now made living and life-giving by the Holy Spirit, he offers life to men’. Consequently the gaze of the Church is constantly turned to her Lord, present in the Sacrament of the Altar, in which she discovers the full manifestation of his boundless love.”