Exploring the Faith - RCIA

RCIA  RCIA ("Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults") 
It's How You Prepare for the Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church!
We are a year-round RCIA for children, teens, and adults.

For those who are not baptized (ages 7 +), RCIA prepares you to receive the three Catholic Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion.   Following a minimum of one year of discernment and instruction and participation of all RCIA Rites in the catechumenate, all three Initiation sacraments are received on the evening of Holy Saturday at the Mass of Easter Vigil.  The Sacrament of Confession will be receive at the RCIA Confirmation retreat one to two weeks afterwards

Through RCIA, the baptized (8+) are also prepared for three sacraments -- the Catholic sacraments of ConfessionConfirmation, and First Holy Communion.  Proof of Christian baptism is required. Following several months of discernment and instruction, the Sacraments of Confession and First Holy Communion are received at the end of a special Retreat with sponsors held in April.  Soon after, Confirmation is received.  

For children only: Please go to our special Family RCIA page for more information. (click on Family RCIA for the link)

Confirmation only:  Please go to our Adult Confirmation page here http://www.bede.org/confirmationadult.cfm  Please note: you must be over the age of 17 in order to take the Adult Confirmation classes.


Adult Preparation (age 18+)   -- TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY EVENING CLASSES NOW Available

crucifix&bible Adults can join our ongoing Inquiry Group which meets once each week from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. You can choose our Tuesday or Wednesday evening class. We meet year-round-- even during the Summer months. 

Our next Tuesday evening class is Tuesday, November 25 at 6:30 p.m. at our Parish Center. We will meet upstairs in the Padre Serra Room. 

Our next Wednesday evening class will be November 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Center's Padre Serra Room. 

Morning classes also available on each Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Classes are held upstairs in the Parish Center's Padre Serra Room.

Join this class if you:

     ~~ have never received a Christian baptism

     ~~ are baptized in the Christian faith and want to become a member of the Catholic Church

     ~~ are baptized Catholic and ready to prepare for First Confession, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation.

Join us in the Padre Serra Room - upstairs in the Parish Center.  No prior registration is required!

Curious about what we'll be discussing?  Just click on the link below:

This week's RCIA lesson  (the pdf will be online every Friday night in order to prepare you for the weekend Masses!)  

TEEN PREPARATION  (ages 14 - 17)

use this link for more info: http://www.bede.org/TeenRCIA.cfm

Teen RCIA2

Teens participate in RCIA for Teens: T.N.T. (Train/Nurture/Thrive!)  Teens meet for 90-minute sessions on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Wednesdays evenings every month year-round @ 6:30 p.m. at the Parish Center.  Currently our teens have joined the adult group on Wednesdays.  Parents of teens are welcome to learn with them if they wish to do so.

NEW registrations for Teen RCIA 2014 - 2015 are currently being accepted.  (Note: Sacraments will be received during the Spring of 2015)   Register your teen via email rcia@bede.org

Family Faith FirstChild Preparation  (Children's RCIA) (ages 7-12 if not yet baptized); (ages 8- 12 if have already been baptized)

Children are served both through the RCIA for families: Family Faith First and eventually (in their second year of preparation) PREP (St. Bede's parish religious education program).    NEW registrations for Family RCIA 2014 - 2016 are currently being accepted. (All Spring and Summer 2014 students are preparing to receive the Sacraments during the Spring of 2016)  

Register your child via email rcia@bede.org

Baptisms for Children who have participated in our 2-year Family RCIA take place during the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday with RCIA Teens and RCIA Adults.

Our next Family Faith First regular session will be on Sunday, December 7th,  2014 @ 10:30 a.m.  and includes attending the 11 a.m. Sunday Mass together.  Prior registration with Family RCIA is required.   


 Why Year-Round R.C.I.A.?

This is My Body broken for youAt St. Bede's, R.C.I.A. is truly a year-round process which begins for you when YOU decide you want to begin to explore the Catholic faith. Every month, your specific RCIA group (children, teens, families, and adults) will be engaged in thoughtful preparation for the sacraments.  It is your opportunity to "feast" on the richness of the word of God -- the Bible -- and the treasury of the Catholic faith -- traditions centuries old yet still vibrant today.  You will be taking the time to learn a different way of living, of being. It is our hope and our prayer that through the RCIA process, you will come to embrace the richness of Catholic teaching.


 What is R.C.I.A?  R.C.I.A. is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.  It has also been adapted for children (over the age of seven) and for teens.


What are the Sacraments of Initiation?

First steps...There are actually three Catholic sacraments of Christian initiation -- Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.  You are being prepared to receive all three on the same night. (If you have already received Christian baptism, you are also being prepared for three sacraments -- Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist. You will not be asked to be baptized again.)

Sounds Great!   When can I start?

You can begin the Journey towards the Catholic Sacraments any time during the year.   

Interested? Please contact our Director of Initiation, Stefanie Vance at 818-949-4329  or email  (click on Stefanie's name above) for an appointment or just come to one of our classes.

(Parents, see the Family Faith First section regarding RCIA for children)








The Four Steps of the RCIA process         (an explanation of the fullness of conversion to the Roman Catholic Church): Inquiry, Catechumenate, Purification and Enlightenment, and Mystagogy.  


What is Inquiry?

~Is open-ended; take your time to decide

~You should attend at least ten sessions before moving into the Catechumenate Period.

~Is also for baptized Christians who would like to receive the Catholic sacraments of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation.

~You can remain in Inquiry as long as you like. 

~Provides you with "Basic Catholic" information (The Trinity, The Creed, Church History, Prayer, Basic Doctrine, the Saints)

~Is a time of spiritual discernment through group discussion and reflection.

~Allows plenty of time for your questions -- of the Church and of yourself:  "Is God really leading you to the lifelong adventure of a Catholic Christian?"

~Ends when you enter the Catechumenate via a retreat with your sponsor which prepares you both for your participation in the R.C.I.A. initial rite -- the Rite of Acceptance and Welcome.  Twice a year (in January and June), this Rite is celebrated at a weekend Mass. Our next Rite of Acceptance and Welcome is scheduled for Sunday, January 4, 2015 @ the 11:00 a.m. Mass.

All adults interested in Inquiry should contact Stefanie Vance at 818-949-4329 for an appointment or email (click on Stefanie's name above) for an appointment. (see the box at the bottom of this page for more information)

RCIA What is the Catechumenate Period?

  It begins at the Rite of Acceptance and Welcome.

  • If you have never been baptized, you are now called a Catechumen (one who is under serious instruction about the Catholic faith)
  • If you are baptized, you are now called a Candidate for Continuing Conversion to the Christian Faith.  (If you are already baptized, your time in the Catechumenate is usually less than one year)
  • Like the Inquiry Period, this time is open-ended.

Sponsors equal Godparents

  • Provides a time of deeper exploration of Catholic doctine, tradition, and bible study within a small group setting.
  • Full participation in Retreats and other special faith formation activities
  • For the catechumen, it ends on the First Sunday of Lent via the Rite of Sending and the Rite of Elect -- at the start of the Purification and Enlightenment Period.



What Happens If I Am Already Baptized?

If you are already baptized, the Catechumenate Period varies, but you should know that: 

You have already enjoyed the life of a baptized child of God. You are now making the decision to fully embrace your Baptism via the Catholic sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion. 

  • If you are baptized Catholic, after suitable preparation, you will receive your First Holy Communion and Confirmation during the Easter Season. 
  • For all candidates, the Sacrament of Reconciliation ("1st Confession") takes place at a retreat with your sponsor scheduled prior to your reception of Confirmation and First Holy Communion.
  • If you have not been baptized as a Catholic, after suitable preparation, you will be asked to make a brief Profession of Faith at the same Mass at which you will receive your Confirmation and First Holy Communion. 
  • Our baptized Candidates' next Rite of Reception will take place in April and May, 2015.


 Ash WednesdayWhat is the Purification and Enlightenment Period?

    • Begins with Ash Wednesday and continues throughout the Lenten Season.
    • Only for the  Elect who will be baptized on Holy Saturday, April 4, 2015.
    • Time of intense preparation.
    • Special Lenten Rites of Election (presentation by your sponsor to the parish at a  Sunday Mass and to the Archbishop at the Cathedral) and the three Lenten Sundays of the Scrutiny Rites (sharing with the Sunday assembly what is keeping you from surrendering to the love of Jesus --and allowing us to pray for your spiritual and physical needs
    • Catechumens are now a part of the Elect of God.
  • Ends as you enter the waters of Baptism on Holy Saturday.
  • *For those already baptized, you are asked to attend all Lenten Rites as a way of supporting those whom you have come to know through the Inquiry and Catechumenate periods.  You will receive Catholic Confirmation and First Holy Communion later in the Easter Season.

 Ready for a life of serviceTime to begin a new lifeMystagogy is the final period of R.C.I.A.  It is coincides with the Easter Season.  Because you are a neophyte "newly planted", this is a time for you to fully dwell on the fullness of the Sacramental life as a Roman Catholic. 

It is a final six-week nurturing of the neophytes which lasts throughout the Easter Season. 

You may continue to meet with the Sunday group for one-hour bible study/discussion after Mass or at another time convenient for the group.

  • You now dwell completely within Sunday Mass -- its readings, prayers, and meaning.
  • Frequently feast on the Eucharist
  • Mingle with the Sunday faithful before and after Mass.  They will be eager to congratulate you!

What should I do AFTER I've received the Sacraments?

  • Seek ways to be an active Catholic parishioner.
  • Consider mentoring someone who is considering Inquiry.

On Pentecost Sunday the  neophytes receive their final R.C.I.A. blessing at weekend Mass.  The blessing concludes with these prophetic words,

"Go forth now

to bring the love of Christ to others with all your body,

with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your heart. 

Nothing is ending.  All is beginning! Amen!"

 Our Family RCIA Gatherings: Children & Their Families Learn Together

Family Faith First is our R.C.I.A. answer for families of children who have not yet been baptized or who were not able to receive the Sacrament of 1st Communion in the 2nd grade.  Parents or guardians must attend each session with their child.

Family Faith First is usually a two-year faith journey for those seeking baptism. Through these monthly meetings, your family actively prepares your children for the Catholic Sacraments of Initiation -- Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion. These Sacraments will be received-- in their entirety-- at a future Easter Vigil. 

 If your child has already been baptized, and you have been attending Mass on a regular basis, your time in Family R.C.I.A. will vary.  Your child is also preparing to receive three sacraments -- Reconciliation (Confession), First Holy Communion, and Confirmation. Sponsors are required to participate in two retreats with your child.  The Sacrament of First Reconciliation is received at a special retreat in which they participate with their sponsors. The Sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion will be received soon afterwards.

Through Family Faith First :

  • Your family will grow in faith together -- guaranteed!
  • Learn the benefits of bringing our Catholic faith and traditions (we have 2,000 years of treasures to discover!) into your home life
  • Enjoy games, inter-active reflections, lively discussions with your children and other families, and participate in our special Advent/Lenten events designed to enrich your family's "God-life".
  • During the 2nd year of Family Faith First,  your elementary-age children may also enroll in Sunday PREP (our parish religious education program).  If your child is currently enrolled in PREP, we will find a way to fit the monthly FFF events into your PREP schedule. 

All parents interested in Family Faith First  should contact  Stefanie Vance at 818-949-4329 or email (click on Stefanie's name above) and make a family appointment.  An interview is necessary so that together we can best find a way to properly prepare your child for the joy of the sacraments.


Family Faith First (Children's RCIA) meets the first Sunday of every month.

Every Family RCIA begins at 10:30 a.m. in the small chapel.  There are three components --

     1: Prayer and Introduction to the Sunday readings/Theme of the Month;

     2: Worship - we attend the 11 a.m. Mass together as a group;

     3: after Holy Mass, 90-minute Family Interactive session --Parish Center


Family RCIA Saturday Sessions

NOTE: If you are unable to attend Sundays, we also offer a monthly Saturday evening Family Session.  This class is on the Second Saturday of each month and begins at 4:30 p.m.  We attend the Saturday 5:30 p.m. Mass together and conclude the session by 7:30 p.m.

Family RCIA is also appropriate for those baptized Christian or Roman Catholic children who haven't yet received the Catholic Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion.   At the completion of instruction and spiritual discernment, baptized children will prepare for their First Reconciliation at a retreat with their sponsor.  Soon after, at a weekend Mass, they will receive First Holy Communion.  Confirmation will be received during the Easter Season.

Please contact our Director of Initiation-RCIA  Stefanie Vance 818-949-4329 or email (click on Stefanie's name above) for an appointment or more information.

Questions about Becoming Catholic?   

It's o.k. to ask! Eucharist = Body and Blood of Christ

  • How quickly can I be baptized?
  • What's the time commitment?
  • How often do you meet?
  • I'm already baptized.  Is RCIA for me, too?
  • When can I receive Communion?
  • My teen wants to receive Communion.
  • How do my kids "catch up" with their sacraments?
  • How can I fit this into an already-busy schedule?

During November, our upcoming RCIA sessions for: 

ADULTS @ 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesdays on  November 10, November 18 & 19, November 25 & 26

  This week's Lectionary lesson is available for download here:

               Baptism of the Lord:

               2nd Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle A:

               3rd Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle A

               Presentation of the Lord, Cycle A 

           Feb 3 - 9:   5th Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle A

           Feb 10 - 16:   6th Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle A

           Feb 17 - 23:  7th Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle A;

                              Stories of Forgiveness;  St. Faustina;

                               St. Edith Stein;

                               St. Maximilian Kolbe

           Feb 24 - Mar 2: 8th Sunday Ordinary Time          

           Mar 3 - 9:  1st Sunday of Lent

           Mar 10 - 16   2nd Sunday of Lent

           Mar 17 - 23   3rd Sunday of Lent - 1st Scrutiny Elect

           Mar 24 - 30   4th Sunday of Lent - 2nd Scrutiny Elect

           Mar 31 - April 6  5th Sunday of Lent - 3rd Scrutiny Elect

      April 6 - April 12     Palm Sunday of our Lord's Passion

      April 13 - 20          Holy Saturday Vigil & Easter Sunday

      April 21 - 27          Divine Mercy Sunday - John 20

    April 28 - May 4      3rd Sunday of Easter - Luke 24  (Emmaus)

     May 5 - 11             Good Shepherd Sunday - John 10

      May 12 - 18           5th Sunday of Easter - John 14

      May 19 - 25           6th Sunday of Easter - John 14

      May 26 - June 1      Ascension of Our Lord - Matthew 28

      June 2 - 8              Pentecost Sunday - John 20

      June 9 - 15            Most Holy Trinity Sunday - John 3

      June 16 - 22          Body & Blood of Christ - John 6

      June 23 - 29          Solemnity of Ss Peter & Paul - Matt 16

      June 30 - July 6      14th Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 11

      July 7 - 13              15th Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 13

     July 14 - 20             16th Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 13

     July 21 - July 27      17th Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 13

    July 28 - Aug 3        18th Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 14

    Aug 4 - Aug 10      19th Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 14 cntd

    Aug 11 - Aug 17      20th Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 15

    Aug 18 - Aug 24      21st Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 16

   Aug 25 - Aug 31      22nd Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 16  

   Sept 1 - Sept 7       23rd Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 18

  Sept 8 - Sept 14  Exaltation of the Holy Cross - John 3

Sept 15 - Sept 21   25th Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 20:1-16

Sept 22 - Sept 28   26th Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 21:28-32

Sept 29 - Oct 5      27th Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 21:33-43

October 6 - 12      28th Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 22:1-14

October 13 - 19     29th Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 22:15-21

October 20 - 26     30th Sunday Ordinary Time - Matt 22:34-40

October 27 - Nov 2   All Souls Day - John 6: 37-40

Nov 3 - Nov 9  Dedication of the Lateran Basilica - John 2:13-22

Nov 10 - 16      33rd Sunday Ordinary Time - Matthew 25:14-30

Nov 17 - 23   Christ the King - Matthew 25:31- 46

TEENS @ 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, November 19 & 26 only (requires previous registration)

Upcoming in December


@ 10:30 a.m. Sunday, December 7th(requires previous registration)  OR @ 4:30 p.m. Saturday, December 13th. 

All Sessions are held in the Parish Center or church.             

All Sessions hosted by our RCIA Director of Initiation  Stefanie Vance at 818-949-4329 or email (click on Stefanie's name above) for an appointment, registration forms or more information