The RCIA Process
Here is a breakdown of the periods and steps toward initiation into the Catholic faith...
First Period: The Period of Inquiry or Pre-Catechumenate
This initial period is characterized by a "come and see" attitude. Those inquiring into the Roman Catholic faith come together in a group and through weekly meetings learn the outlines of the Catholic faith. It is a time to ask questions about the RCIA process and how we can come to know Jesus Christ in the midst of His Church.
The sessions are free and imply no commitment to join the Catholic Church. All are simply invited to learn the truth about the Catholic faith, and to meet some of our parish members who serve in this ministry. These gatherings are open to adults (15+) who are not baptized, as well as to those who are baptized Christians from other faith backgrounds. Practicing Catholics who are bringing inquirers are also welcome.
Here at St. John Nepomuk we offer Inquiry sessions throughout the year. Inquirers are encouraged to attend as many of the sessions as they are able.
Inquirers who are interested in continuing will join the regular RCIA sessions, which meet every Thursday evening from 7-9pm usually beginning each fall. Watch the bulletin or contact John & Patsy for the current schedule.
Please see the document "Inquiry FAQ" on the right side of this page in the Documents section to learn more about Inquiry at St. John Nepomuk.
Second Period: The Period of the Catechumenate
This period is characterized by a deeper look at the faith professed by the Catholic Church, seeking to impart an understanding of the Faith in such a way as to transform the life of the participant.
Third Period: The Period of Purification and Enlightenment
This period continues what has gone on in the Catechumenate, with an emphasis on personal conversion. During this period, the Church prays for the Elect in a special way. Our RCIA sessions will take a form similar to a retreat, with a focus on strengthening our personal relationship with God.
For those who have determined that they are prepared to enter the Catholic Church, the Sacraments of Initiation are normally celebrated at the Easter Vigil. At the Mass late on Saturday evening, those who were previously baptized make a profession of faith and receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. Those who are not already baptized receive all three sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
Fourth Period: The Period of Mystagogia
This period continues for about seven weeks after Easter. The focus is on a deepening understanding and practice of the sacramental life. The grace received in the sacraments at the Easter Vigil allows the new Catholics (neophytes) to better understand and appreciate the sacred mysteries of the Church.