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Becoming Catholic

“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.”
~Matthew 16:18

Rite of Catholic Initiation for Adults (RCIA)

rcia_howto

RCIA-crossWanting to Learn about the Catholic Faith or Thinking about Becoming Catholic?

Perhaps you would like to know what Catholics believe. You might feel drawn to the Catholic Church.

Or, possibly, you have no church affiliation and have reached a point in your life when you would welcome membership in a community of faith. Or, maybe, you have a Catholic spouse and children and wonder if it’s time to join them in the practice of their religion. Maybe you just feel drawn towards something you don’t understand?

Whatever the reason, our Saint Margaret Mary has a process designed to help you to discern these questions. It is called Christian Initiation, more formally The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

There are four parts to this journey into Catholicism. During that time, if you make a commitment to become Catholic, it will be your decision, when you are ready. You are also completely free to leave the process, or decide to wait until some future time.

  • The first stage of Christian Initiation is a time called Inquiry. This can take place at any time during the year. In Inquiry, you are invited to ask your questions about Catholicism. The sessions are casual and unstructured based on your questions and needs.
  • When the initial questions are answered, and you indicate you would like to learn more, we move to the second stage, which is on Sunday morning. These sessions include Mass, Scripture sharing, and discussions of Catholic doctrine and practices. These sessions teach what the Catholics believe and practice.
  • Having now walked in the shoes of Catholics, you need to decide what you want to do. Do you choose to become Catholic or do you want to learn more, or have you decided to go in another direction. During the weeks of Lent, those who have decided to become Catholic stay in our Sunday sessions, which are now spent in preparation for receiving the sacraments of Baptism (if you are not baptized), Confirmation, and Communion at the Easter Service.
  • Then, after Easter, we continue to meet on Sundays for six weeks to reflect on what we have experienced as new Catholics and to look ahead to life in the parish.

The RCIA process is led by a team of parishioners, with the help of our priests.  Each Sunday has a different speaker, so you get to know many people as well as Catholic teaching.  There is no fee for this process.  The usual length of the process for most people from inquiring until they enter the Catholic church is about nine months, but the process is adapted to the needs of the inquirer.  We would be delighted to have you join us!

The process starts whenever a person feels “called to inquire,” but the process gels in late August and early September of each year with the beginning of the Catechumenate or the teaching portion of the process.   For more information, please call the Parish Office at 847-658-7625 or talk with any of the priests, deacons or someone from the parish office.

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