The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
Thank you for your interest in learning more about Christian Initiation! We appreciate the time you’ve been with us at Ascension and hope to assist you or a loved one through the discernment of becoming fully Catholic within the Sacraments.
This page is intentionally for unbaptized adults. Adult, in the Church, does not mean the legal age set by most states. She defines an adult as one who has reached the catechetical age (roughly seven to eight) and has attained the use of reason (moral responsibility) aka Children of the catechetical age. To learn about initiation for children younger than the catechetical age, please see our other sacramental pages.
If you were baptized in a Christian community under the Trinitarian formula “…in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”, but would like to receive other sacraments, please see the particular page for that sacrament for more information.
Sacraments of Initiation
“Sacrament” is a Latin-based word that replaced an earlier Greek-based word: mystery. Participation in the mysteries of Christ cannot be fully explained, however, we can attempt partial explanations. The Sacraments of “Initiation” are so named because all three of them are necessary to become full members of the Christian faithful. They lay the foundation for us as each one is meant to strengthen our belief and forge a deeper relationship with God.
Baptism sets us free from sin to share in the life of Christ. We become a part of God’s family. (John 3:5) To carry on Christ’s mission in the world (Matthew 28:18-20), we need the gifts of the Holy Spirit that filled Christ in his lifetime. These are bestowed through Confirmation (Chrismation). The daily living of the gospel is not possible alone. It must be done in union with the Body of Christ, relying on the nourishment that God gives in the Sacrifice of the Mass. Our first Eucharist (Communion) introduces us to “the source and summit of the Christian life.”(CCC 1324) We believe this is the culmination of God’s saving actions in Jesus Christ, where we receive the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ and are reminded of His love and sacrifice. (John 6:50-58)
We are grateful for your curiosity and hope to hear from you soon. To inform us that you are interested, please submit the form below with as much information as you are able to our Pastoral Associate at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you aren’t certain of something or have a question, skip it for now. Fields are not required so that we can begin our conversation with what we have available. We can figure out the rest together, later in the process.
If you would like to learn more about the entire process of Christian Initiation before we discuss it, feel free to read from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.