Interested In Becoming Catholic?
Faith Formation For Adults
Call us anytime with questions at 407-869-9472
Have you or one of your friends expressed an interest in the Catholic Church?
If you were baptized into another Christian denomination and would now like to become Catholic, then Incorporation into Full Communion is for you.
Full Communion is the conversion process by which people who know Jesus Christ through the Bible and other Christian Churches and who are practicing Christians, are taught the ‘Catholic Way of Life’ which includes:
- The beliefs differing from other denominations: scripture and tradition
- Our means of worship: Mass, the sacraments, prayer
- Our Catholic worldview: sacramentality
- Our life in Christ: morality, social justice
Faith Formation and a retreat culminate in the Rite of Reception into Full Communion with a Profession of Faith and the reception of the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.
Baptized but not catechized to know Jesus Christ?
The RCIA process is for you.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the conversion process by which people become members of the Roman Catholic Church. It is concerned with the total formation of the person into:
- Believing with the Church community (doctrinal formation)
- Living with the Church community (practical formation)
- Praying with the Church community (liturgical formation)
- Serving with the Church community (apostolic formation)
This gradual development culminates in the celebration of the initiation sacraments of Baptism, and/or Confirmation and Eucharist.
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SPONSORING A CANDIDATE: A SPECIAL INVITATION…SPIRITUAL COMPANION
We are inviting you to consider sponsoring a person who is on a spiritual journey into the Catholic Christian Tradition. A parish sponsor is one who is a companion on the journey and who is open to their own continuing growth. To be a parish sponsor/companion you do not have to be a teacher or catechist; you do not have to know all the answers. You will be sharing the journey with the candidate as a friend in Christ. You will explore together. For you, it will be as much of a learning process as it is for the candidate. It will be an awakening; a renewal of faith; an awareness of yourself. You will be spiritually uplifted, and participating in the ritual of the Catechumenate is a very rewarding and moving experience. This special ministry is both a gift and privilege. Just hear what a previous sponsor had to say: “When asked to sponsor Susanne I first thought of the time commitment. I had no realization of how I would be changed, blessed and graced in this process. I wish every parishioner would be given that opportunity.”
IF YOU CAN RESPOND AT THIS TIME, PLEASE CALL THE ADULT SPIRITUALITY CENTER: 407-869-9472
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WHAT IS THE CHRISTIAN INITIATION PROCESS Christian Initiation of Adults is the way the Catholic Church helps unbaptized adults prepare for the Sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. The unbaptized adults enter into a process of prayer and formation that takes place within the context of the Christian Community gathering to share the faith of the Church with the Catechumen. An adult who received Christian baptism in another denomination but who wishes to enter into full communion with the Roman tradition is called a “Candidate” rather than a “Catechumen.”
Frequently, candidates for full communion share in the Catechumenate process since they too are preparing for the two other Sacraments of Initiation: Confirmation and Eucharist.
The Process focuses on continuing conversion and this is appropriate for any Christian, especially at a time of transition. An understanding of Catholic beliefs, the practice of Catholic observances in the Church year and the experience of Catholic Community are all necessary for an informed commitment that will last.
The Catechumens and Candidates are welcomed by the parish community through various liturgical rites that mark the steps in their formation process. Incorporation into the Catholic Church for the unbaptized takes place usually after a year in the Catechumenate with the reception of the Sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. The baptized Christians or Candidates from other denominations who wish to enter into full communion in the Catholic Church make a profession of faith and receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. This may take place throughout the year.
Since the Church wants to share its life with new members and offer them support and encouragement, the parish provides each Catechumen and Candidate with a sponsor who serves as a spiritual companion for those who wish to become members of the Catholic Church. Each parish is responsible for the formation of prospective members. This formation is guided by the needs of those who are asking for membership, by the resources of the local community and by the norms of the Catholic Church. The Bishop or chief pastor of the parishes in the diocese delegates the formation process of new members to the local pastor and parish ministry teams. As chief Shepherd he elects the candidates for the Easter Sacraments when he meets the Catechumens at the Rite of Election celebrated in the diocese of Orlando on the First Sunday of Lent.
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THE FOUR STAGES of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) Process
I. The Period of Pre-Catechumenate — a stage where one can hear the gospel proclaimed and reflect on his or her life in the light of the Word of God. It is a time for questions about the church to be asked and answered. For those who already believe in the Gospel of Jesus it is a time to hear the message of faith anew and to move to a deeper level of conversion in mind and heart.
II. The Period of the Catechumenate — Those who profess their faith in Christ and desire to enter the Church become Catechumens (those who are unbaptized) or Candidates for Full Communion (those who were baptized in another tradition). After a rite of welcoming a period of catechesis or teaching takes place. The Catechumens and Candidates experience the spirit, works, prayer, their creed and mission of the community. A person may remain a catechumen or candidate from a few months to a number of years.
III. The Period of Purification & Enlightenment — Catechumens who will be celebrating the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter time are given a formal invitation to these Sacraments at the Rite of Election during the first week of Lent. This rite is celebrated at Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine with the Bishop presiding. The Catechumens at this time become “The Elect.” The 40 day period of Lent becomes a time of final preparation. Through the Penitential Rite for Candidates on the 2nd Sunday of Lent and the Rites of Scrutiny for the Elect celebrated on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent, the community prays over the candidates and elect asking God to help them strengthen all that is good and remove all that is harmful or sinful from their lives. By passing on to the Catechumens the practice of faith (the Creed) and its practice of prayer (Lord’s Prayer) and by observing the tradition of fasting and works of charity, the catechumens, candidates and community journey together to Easter when the vows of baptism are made or renewed.
IV. The Sacraments of Initiation — The water of baptism, the sacred chrism of confirmation and participation at the table of the Lord are shared with the Elect at the Easter Vigil. Candidates for full communion in the Roman Catholic Church who were baptized in another denomination, having completed their formation process, make their profession of faith, are confirmed and participate in the Eucharist at this celebration also.
V. The Period of Mystagogy — The 50 days from Easter to Pentecost is a festive season of post-baptismal catechesis. It is a time when the newly baptized and the candidates who have entered into full communion with the Catholic Church deepen their understanding of what it means to be a Eucharistic people. During this season the new Catholic Christians begin to discern how they will share in the mission of the Church through Christian service. The period of Mystagogy is a reminder to everyone that the process of spiritual growth is an ongoing, lifelong task.