What is RCIA?

RCIA stands for “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” and is a process for those of who may be considering becoming a Christian or professing one’s faith as a Catholic. This process involves 4 phases towards entering into the Catholic Church:

1) Inquiry (Pre-Catechumenate): Searching

During this preliminary period, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your journey and interest in the Catholic faith and ask questions. We’ll have weekly sessions where we will provide some fundamental understanding of the good news. This is a discernment process where you can decide if you want to move forward. This phase concludes with the Rite of Acceptance for Catechumens (those seeking baptism) and the Rite of Welcoming for Candidates (those baptized seeking full communion with the Catholic Church)

2) Catechumenate: Learning the Faith

This is the longest portion of the process and involves lessons and study towards learning about the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church. We’ll meet weekly (with a break for Thanksgiving and a few weeks at Christmas). This phase concludes on the 1st Sunday of Lent with the Rite of Sending (at our parish) and Rite of Election (at a TBD parish with the bishop)

3) Purification & Enlightenment: Preparing the Heart

This stage occurs during the 40-day season of Lent. The purpose of this phase is to listen to the call of conversion and a time for deeper prayer and more intense reflection as you prepare to enter the Church. During this time, there will be there three liturgical rites called “Scrutinies” intended for special purification. This period culminates in the Easter Vigil for those who are not baptized, receiving the three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Eucharist. Those already baptized but entering into full communion with the Catholic Church will receive Confirmation and Eucharist on the Sunday following Easter, called Divine Mercy Sunday.

4) Mystagogy: Entering Deeper

This final phase is meant to bring the “neophyte” closer to the parish community and deeper into the mystery of the liturgy and mission of the Church.

RCIA Schedule

RCIA sessions will be held on Wednesday evenings 7 – 8:30pm in Braden Center here at our church. Initial sessions begin usually around the end of August with the Inquiry phase and complete during the Easter season with the Mystagogy phase. A detailed calendar can be found here.

For more details on classes and rites and events during the RCIA process please contact Paul Ambro at paul@sthelenchurch.org or 281-485-8867.

Serve in RCIA

Ever considered helping with RCIA?

Do you love our Catholic faith & want to share that love with others?  Please prayerfully consider whether God might be calling YOU to volunteer your time and talent in service of our RCIA participants.  We would be grateful for help in any of the following capacities:

  • Inquiry Facilitator (get to know our RCIA participants and help with leading discussions around the good news about Jesus)
  • Catechist (help with leading classes learning about the Catholic faith)
  • Breaking Open the Word (help facilitate discussion on the Sunday scripture readings in the church parlor for the 9 am Masses)
  • Snacks & Refreshments (bring goodies to the RCIA sessions)
  • Sponsor (an active member of St. Helen’s parish or other nearby parish is paired with a candidate & walks the RCIA journey with them)
  • Prayer Team (sign up to devote your daily prayer to a specific RCIA participant)

Have questions about how you can help?  Email Paul Ambro at paul@sthelenchurch.org