Each year on Holy Saturday during the Easter Vigil,  thousands of are baptized into the Catholic Church in the United States. Parishes welcome these new Catholics through the

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

RCIA sessions take place on Tuesday evenings, 7:30 – 9:00 pm, in the Parish Life Center Room #110. Please contact RCIA coordinator, Father William Brailsford, at wbrailsford@resurrectionadw.org, for the current schedule.

If interested in RCIA, please complete the REGISTRATION FORM and return it to the parish office.  To ensure adequate textbooks are available, please register in advance.  Registration forms are also available in the parish office.

What is the RCIA?

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process by which the Catholic Church welcomes new members into its midst. Would you like to explore the Catholic Church and the faith of Catholic Christianity? Are you interested in becoming a full member of the Catholic Church?

If so, then RCIA is for you. RCIA is a year-long journey of exploration and initiation into the Catholic Church. RCIA is a fun, safe, faith-building discovery of Jesus Christ and the Church he loves. RCIA will change your life. It will bring you closer to Jesus. Is God calling you now? Are you ready to take that step in faith? The Catholic Church welcomes you.

What is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children/Teens (RCIC)?

Children and teens in Grades 1-12, who have not yet been baptized, received First Communion and/or Confirmation may be enrolled in the Sacramental Preparation Religious Education program. If fully prepared they will receive the sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation and/or Eucharist at the Easter Vigil.  The RCIC syllabus is adapted for their age.

For more information about RCIC, please contact: Helene Stever, Director of Religious Education and Youth Ministry, 301-288-4664, hstever@resurrectionadw.org.

Who can participate in the RCIA?

  • The unbaptized who are seeking to find out more about God’s place in their lives.
  • Those baptized in another Christian tradition who wish to learn about the Catholic faith.
  • Catholics who are baptized, but who have not yet received the sacraments of Eucharist or Confirmation.

RCIA is done in four different stages:

  • The Precatechumenate or Inquiry Period – This is a time of asking questions, building community and trust, learning about the Church and it is a time of learning in prayer about conversion.
  • The Catechumenate – This is a longer period marked by continuing to learn about the basic teachings of the Church, continuing to build community, entering more deeply into prayer and reflecting on the Word of God.
  • The Period Of Enlightenment And Purification – This is a more intense period of preparing to receive the Easter Sacraments of Initiation. This period runs during Lent and is a time of deep prayer, conversion, continued instruction, and listening to God’s voice.
  • Mystagogy – The period when the newly initiated Catholics are drawn more deeply into the life of the Church.

Becoming Catholic: Why? Who? How? When?

“Be my soul with the Saints!”John Henry Cardinal Newman 

God loves all humanity. Therefore, God calls all people into his Church. Christ founded his Church on Peter and the other apostles, so that, as Paul said, the “manifold wisdom of God” might be known to the entire world (Ephesians 3:10). This wisdom of God is that in Jesus Christ all humanity is brought to peace in him. This communion of peace in Christ is known as the body of Christ and also as the bride of Christ. It is also known as the Catholic Church. It is through the Church that God loves and saves the world.

So, entering the Catholic Church is serious business. Joining the Church is not simply one religious choice made among others. Joining the Catholic Church is a life-changing decision made in response to God’s truth, beauty, and invitation. Christ himself established the Catholic Church and gave it to us for our salvation. Becoming Catholic is not something one can take lightly.

And the Catholic Church recognizes this. Thus, the Church offers a path wherein any person from any walk of life may explore, accept, fall in love with, and join the Catholic Church. This path is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). RCIA is a way for those desiring to enter the Catholic Church to explore the Catholic faith in an informative, non-threatening, safe, and fun environment. In RCIA you will begin to learn the teaching of the Catholic Church. However there is a lot more to RCIA than that. You will also come into contact with other pilgrims who are making the same journey. We will provide friends for your journey as well. Early in the process, you will be introduced to your sponsor, a friend and fellow-pilgrim dedicated to giving you his or her support as you answer God’s invitation to become a Catholic. RCIA is about building fellowship built on truth and love. Therefore, we mean to offer you the support of Christian friendship, not just lectures.

RCIA takes time, and that’s a good thing! At Resurrection, RCIA is based on a school-year model, so our program begins in the fall and proceeds through Easter when the Church normally receives new members and continues through early summer, ending around Pentecost. If you begin RCIA in the fall, however, you needn’t automatically enter the Church the very next Easter. You may, if the Holy Spirit leads you, choose to take more than one year to explore the Catholic Church. The purpose and rationale of RCIA is to allow each person to discern God’s invitation personally and in God’s own time. We are here to help you answer God’s call in an authentic, meaningful, and faithful way.

If you are coming into the Catholic Church from another Christian community, then welcome home! Jesus prayed that we should all be one (John 17), and we give God thanks that he has brought you to our community in faithful response to his will for one, united, and undivided Church. RCIA will help you come into full communion with the Catholic Church by giving you basic Christian teaching from the standpoint of Catholic truth. RCIA will also help you become integrated into the life of our community through friendship and fellowship.

If you discern God’s invitation to become a Catholic, and if now is the time to take that step, then we are here to help you. Feel free to contact us any time with any questions. Helping people come into the Catholic Church is a sacred calling and a heavenly joy! We hope to serve you, and bring you into the communion of Christ’s Church!

In Christ, The Saint Rita RCIA Team

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the RCIA process last?

For most people the process lasts nine months.

Who should attend the classes?

RCIA is for adults who want to be baptized, baptized Christians of other faith traditions who are interested in learning more about the Catholic faith or becoming Catholic, and baptized Catholics who have not yet received their first Communion or Confirmation.

How do I register?

You can register the first week of RCIA.

Are you high-pressure about becoming Catholic?

Not at all. We want to assist you in discerning God’s will for your life at this time. There is no pressure at all. We will help you through prayer, answering questions, and talking with you. We are merely here to help in whatever way we can.

For more information about What is the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIa) please contact:

Joel Whitaker

RCIA coordinator

For more information about What is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children/Teens (RCIC) please contact:

Helene Stever

Director of Religious Education and Youth Ministry
301.288.4664 or hstever@resurrectionadw.org