Becoming Catholic (RCIA)
Who is RCIA for?
- People who have not been baptized and/or come from a non-Christian religious background.
- People baptized in another Christian tradition, but desire membership in the Catholic Church.
- Anyone seeking to learn more about the Catholic faith even if their end goal is not reception into the Church.
How do I participate in RCIA?
- To participate in RCIA, please contact Deacon Bob Quinnett. You can send him a message by clicking here or call the parish office at 580-355-2054 to find out more information. Deacon Bob will let you know when the RCIA group meets next and answer any of your initial questions.
How long is the process?
- The time varies, but generally, the process begins in mid- to late-summer, culminates in the spring at Easter, and is followed by a year of reflection. This time frame is marked by specific rites and distinct periods during which different aspects of the Faith are discussed and reflected on. These phases are as follows:
- Inquiry (also known as the Period of Evangelization or Precatechumenate): This is a very casual period. During this time, there is no set agenda or topic for discussion. Discussions are driven by the questions and topics of those seeking more information about the faith.
- Period of the Catechumenate: This period is marked by much more formal discussions about the faith. Weekly topics are established and guest speakers are common to go into depth on subjects such as the Sacraments, Church history, and social justice. During this time weekly sessions are opened with vespers (a brief prayer service) in the chapel. Also during this time, weekly scripture studies begin (usually on Sundays). These studies give the group time to meditate in depth over the Sunday mass readings.
- Period of Purification and Enlightenment: This period begins during Lent and enters the final stage before the Easter vigil at which the Church fully accepts those seeking full communion. This period is marked by a focus on inner reflection and preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation. Lenten retreats and Bible studies are common during this time to assist in focusing on the season of Lent and the mysteries of the Sacraments.
- Mystagogy: At this point, all those who participated in the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil are now fully and sacramentally members of the Catholic Church. The Mystagogy period typically involves a year of monthly meetings which might cover a number of different topics to help enrich the faith of newly confirmed Catholics.
Sacraments, Catechumenate, Mystagogy: What does all this mean?
- The Catholic Church often uses a vocabulary that is hard to understand by those who are unfamiliar with the Church. This should be no reason for concern. All of these terms and concepts will be well-discussed and explained early in the process.