Exploring the Faith - 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.
Through RCIA, the baptized (8+) are also prepared for three sacraments -- the Catholic sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion. Proof of Christian baptism is required. Following several months of discernment and instruction, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is received at the end of a special Retreat with sponsors. Soon after, Confirmation and First Holy Communion are received. Please go to our special Family RCIA page for more information. (click on Family RCIA for the link)
Adult Preparation (age 18+)
Adults can join our ongoing Inquiry Group which meets from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. every 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Tuesday evenings. During October and November, we are also meeting on the 4th Tuesdays of those months.(By appointment only, "make-up' sessions are available as needed.)
Join us in the Mother Teresa Room - first floor of the Parish Center. No prior registration is required!
Teen Preparation (ages 14 - 17)
use this link for more info: http://www.bede.org/TeenRCIA.cfm
NEW registrations for Teen RCIA 2013 - 2014 are currently being accepted. Register your teen via email email@example.com
Child 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 2013 - 2015 are currently being accepted. Register your child via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Children are baptized at Easter Vigil with the teens and adults.
All children need a godparent/sponsor before the Rite of Acceptance & Welcome in January, 2014.
Our next Family Faith First regular session will be on Sunday, November 3rd @ 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.?
At 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?
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.
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.
~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 5, 2014 @ 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)
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.
- 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?
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 late April and early May, 2014.
What 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 19, 2014.
- 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.
Mystagogy 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.
- 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. There are four components --
1: We meet at 10:30 a.m. in the small chapel for Prayer & Instruction on the Mass;
2: Together, we attend the 11 a.m. Mass;
3: after the homily, the RCIA children are dismissed from the Mass and study the Sunday Scripture readings with their teacher;
4: after the Mass, parents rejoin their children for family faith formation from Noon to 1:15 p.m.
NOTE: If you are unable to attend Sundays, we also offer a monthly Saturday 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 7:15 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.