RCIA – Becoming a Catholic


Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Are you interested in becoming Catholic or knowing more about the Catholic faith?

There are many ways that can lead a person to want to know more about the Catholic Church. Perhaps you had a conversation with someone who is Catholic or perhaps you attended an event at a Catholic Church. If you are interested in becoming Catholic or wish to know more about the Catholic faith then you are in the right place.  This journey of faith can be one filled with many different circumstances, but know that it is not a journey that one takes alone.

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a wonderful journey for membership and participation in the Catholic Church.  It is designed for adults who, after hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed, freely desire to seek the living God and enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. The journey is one of conversion, preparation and formation which at the proper time leads towards reception of the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist) that are received at the Easter Vigil. If you do not already belong to a Catholic parish, please click here to find a parish near you and ask the pastor about the ‘RCIA’ process. (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, 1)

Perhaps, you are already baptized as a Catholic or received a *valid baptism from another Christian denomination (Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopalian, Anglican, Presbyterian or **Orthodox) and are seeking to prepare to make a profession of faith and full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Whatever your journey of faith is know that we are here to assist you in deepening your knowledge of the Catholic Church through prayer, formation, preparation and communal support.

*Baptism is considered valid when a minister or priest pours water over the person to be baptized or they are immersed in water using the specific words: I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

**Eastern Christian (Orthodox): the Roman Catholic Church recognizes and accepts all sacraments as being valid.

Christian Initiation of children
who have reached the age of reason (8+yrs):

This form of the rite of Christian initiation is intended for unbaptized children who are 8 years old (usually in Grade 3) through Grade 8 in our parishes, schools and/or academies should have a catechumenal preparation of a minimum of 3 years and then be fully initiated at the Easter Vigil or at one of the Sundays of Easter. The Catholic Church’s mandate since 1988 is that of children who fall into this age bracket cannot receive the sacraments of initiation separated from one another, but rather all three sacraments at one celebration. Unbaptized children under 8 years of age should be baptized according to the Infant Rite.

The Faith Formation Office provides and facilitates training, resources, and consultation for the Coordinating Team and catechists for the various aspects of this process. These opportunities are also available in Spanish. 

Joann Roa
Director, Adult Faith Formation
Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis
718-965-7300, ext 2440