Prior to beginning the RCIA catechetical process, an individual approach someone in the parish or staff to inquire about Roman Catholicism and perhaps how to become a member and what this process entails. Or perhaps contact with people of faith and a personal faith experience lead people to inquire about the Roman Catholic Church.
A phone conversation or meeting with a priest or the Steward of RCIA takes place and the “Inquirer” is invited to attend our Inquiry Sessions here at Saint Michael Parish. Moreover, contact with people of faith and a personal faith experience lead people to seek more information about the Roman Catholic Church and its beliefs. At other parishes this Inquiry period may be known as the Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate.
But first and foremost, this journey begins with our hearts being opened by the Holy Spirit, our hearts converted to Jesus Christ, our Lord, and His Gospel of Salvation, recognizing that we are being called away from sin and drawn into the mystery of God’s Love.
For some, this process involves a long period of searching; for others, a shorter time. Each person comes with his or her own unique story so the time for preparation of the Sacraments can vary.
Some people come knowing nothing about Jesus and His Good News, others may come from another Christian denomination and have an active faith and participation in that Christian community…and peoples in between. Also, RCIA can be a means to further instruction those Roman Catholics who are seeking preparation for their Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation.
An important part of this faith formation is conducted at a Mass whereby these Inquirers are administered “Rites.” These are formal celebrations that form and inform not only the Inquirers but St. Michael’s faith community. It is the responsibility of the entire baptized to help form these Inquirers through all the processes of initiation by their prayer, concern and fellowship.