St Mary Catholic Church          4050 S. 3900 W., West Haven, UT 84401

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Wednesdays at 6:30 PM in Room 6

  • Purpose
  • RCIA Process
  • Baptism of other Christian
  • Definitions
  • Our RCIA Team
  • Class Schedule and Course Outline
  • RCIA Registration Form
  • Purpose

    Can. 788 §1 Those who have expressed the wish to embrace faith in Christ, and who have completed the period of their preliminary catechumenate, are to be admitted to the catechumenate proper in a liturgical ceremony; and their names are to be inscribed in the book which is kept for this purpose.

    §2 By formation and their first steps in Christian living, catechumens are to be initiated into the mysteries of salvation, and introduced into the life of faith, liturgy and charity of the people of God, as well as into the apostolate.

    §3 It is the responsibility of the Episcopal Conference to establish norms concerning the arrangement of the catechumenate, determining what should be done by catechumens and what should be their prerogatives.

    Can. 789 By means of appropriate formation, neophytes are to be led to a deeper knowledge of the Gospel truths, and to the fulfillment of the duties undertaken in baptism. They are also to be imbued with a sincere love of Christ and his Church.

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    RCIA Process

    1. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process established for the universal Church for individuals to become Catholic and receive the sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is mandatory in every parish of the diocese. Full implementation of all aspects of the rite is required. The Christian Initiation process (for those seeking to be baptized) involves four stages. The process focuses primary on faith development rather than on mastery of Church doctrine. RCIA process involves four stages:
      • The first stage of the process is call the Inquiry stage or Pre-catechumenate. This process is designed to answer the questions of the inquirers and to provide instruction on the basic teaching of the Catholic Church. The length depends on the needs of the individual.
      • The second stage is The Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens which marks the end of the Inquiry or Pre-catechumenate, and is the beginning of the second stage of the Catechumens. The Inquirers or Pre-catechumenate state their desire to continue on this journey. The Catechumenate, must span at least one liturgical year.
      • The third stage is Purification and Enlightenment, begins with The Rite of Election and continues until reception of the Easter Vigil. The Catechumens and the Candidates are ready to make a formal request for the Sacraments of Initiation. On the 1st Sunday of Lent catechumens and candidates will attend the Mass at the Cathedral.
      • Mystagogy is the final stage of Christian initiation, which the newly received Catholics (Neophytes) are invited to participate fully in the life of the Church. The period of Mystagogy normally lasts from Easter Season until Pentecost.
      The process will span well over one year. Permission to abbreviate the catechumenate must be granted by the bishop.
    2. The four stages process outlined above is not required of those who have already been baptized in another Christian denomination. The length of their period of preparation depends on their readiness for full communion in the Catholic Church. And their reception into the Church may occur at a time other than Eater Vigil.
    3. The ICEL (International Commission English Liturgy) text of Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults with the U.S. appendix is an essential text for those involved in implementing the rite in parishes. Members of the RCIA team should have a copy of the Study edition of this text to follow throughout the process. A Ritual edition of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is required for the presider/leader to use during the celebration of the rites.
    4. The RCIA team members are encouraged to attend workshops sponsored by the Office of Liturgy. Also, the North American Forum of the Catechumenate sponsors formation institutes for the leaders of the RCIA process. Parishes are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities for their RCIA Teams.

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    Baptism of other Christian

    Most Protestant baptisms are recognized as valid baptisms. Some are not. It is very difficult to question the validity of a baptism because of an intention either on the part of the minister or on the part of the one being baptized. In some instances additional research will be necessary on the part of the minister. What follows is only a partial list, regarding matter and form, not the intention, of baptism in other Christian denominations.


    • Adventists - Water baptism is by immersion with the Trinitarian formula. Baptism is given at the age of reason. A dedication ceremony is given to infants. The two ceremonies are separate. (Many Protestant religions have the dedication ceremony or other ceremony, which is not baptism. If the church has the dedication ceremony, baptism is generally not conferred until the age of reason or until the approximate age of 13).
    • African Methodist Episcopal – Baptism with water by sprinkling, pouring or immersion. Trinitarian form is used. There is an open door ceremony, which is not baptism.
    • Amish – This is coupled with Mennonites. No infant baptism. When baptism is performed at an adult age, it is generally speaking, a valid baptism.
    • Anglican – Valid baptism
    • Apostolic Church - No Trinitarian form is used. Invalid baptism.
    • The Assembly of God – A dedication ceremony is possible. Infants are not customarily baptized. Baptism through water takes place when a person is mature enough to understand its implications. The method of baptism is not outlined but appears valid.
    • Baptist – No infant baptism. There is a ceremony of dedication. Valid baptism takes place at the approximate age of 18.
    • Evangelical United Brethren – Members are not received into this church unless they have been baptized. Assurance of baptism is required before membership is extended. There is a dedication ceremony. Baptism by water seems valid and is generally done by immersion, pouring, or sprinkling. The Trinitarian form is used.
    • Church of the Brethren – Baptism is made by threefold immersion. The formula in Matthew is used. Valid baptism.
    • Church of God – There is public baby dedication with no sacramental significance. Baptism is conferred later by immersion and with Trinitarian formula. Baptism is conferred when the individual asks for it. Valid baptism.
    • Christian and Missionary Alliance – No belief in infant. Baptism is conferred by immersion but it is given upon the personal confession of Christ as the Savior of this person. The formula is not given. Doubtful.
    • Christian Scientist – Have no true baptism.
    • Church of Divine – The ceremony is a christening ceremony, but not one of baptism. Invalid baptism.
    • Disciples of Christ – Although Disciples practice baptism
    • Episcopal Church – Valid baptism
    • Evangelical Churches – Valid baptism
    • Jehovah’s Witness – the Jehovah’s Witness are fundamentalists and Unitarians. The Divinity of Christ is explicitly denied, as is the existence of the Holy Spirit as a person. In the ceremony of baptism, there is a discourse. It is really a dedication rather than baptism. Invalid baptism.
    • Latter Day Saints (Mormons) – There is a dedication ceremony in which no water is used. Baptism takes place immersion but not before the age of 8. On June 5, 2001, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a response that Mormon baptism is invalid. The validity of other baptisms in independent Mormon groups is not recognized.
    • Lutheran Church – Valid baptism
    • Methodist Church - Valid baptism
    • Masons - No baptism at all
    • Church of the Nazarene – Infants are baptized or dedicated according to the wish of the parents. The form is Trinitarian. The matter is not mentioned. The dedication ceremony is not baptism. Baptism seems valid.
    • Old Catholics – Valid baptism
    • Pentecostal Churches – Use a Unitarian formula would have invalid baptism; others could have valid baptisms.
    • Quakers – enrollment on Sunday School roles does not mean baptism. The Friends Church does not observe baptism as an outward rite, but rather as an inward work of God. There are no baptismal records. Baptism is spiritual, and “in no way strengthened by the application of water.” The Quakers are sometimes called the Society of Friends. Since no water is used, there is no valid baptism.
    • Polish National Church – Valid baptism
    • Reformed Churches – Apparently valid baptism
    • Salvation Army – The Salvation Army does not have a baptismal service. But a religious ceremony called a dedication service of children, and also a cradle role. A certificate is issued for the dedication service, but not confused with water baptism. No baptism.
    • United Church of Christ – Congregationalist, evangelical and Reform Church – valid baptism.
    • Universalist and Unitarians – No valid baptism in either church.

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    • Book of Elect - the book the Catechumens for election are to sign at the Rite of Sending in their parish, this book is presented to the bishop at the Rite of Election on the first Sunday of Lent, and from there they are sent to the Easter sacraments.
    • Candidate – generally anyone preparing to become a Catholic, but the term is often used more specifically for a person who is baptized in another Christian tradition, who is preparing for reception into the full communion of the Roman Catholic Church.
    • Canon Law – the body of law that governs church practice and projects the rights and privileges of individuals and community.
    • Catechesis - means “instruction in the Catholic Faith”
    • Catechist - means “a person, either from the clergy, religious or a lay person, who instructs others in the Catholic Faith”
    • Catechumen - means “a person who has never been baptized and who wishes to become a Catholic.”
    • Catechumenate - means “the entire RCIA process.”
    • Chrism – a combination of oil and sweet balsam or perfume that is mixed and consecrated by the bishop and used to anoint newly baptized people and newly ordained priest and bishops.
    • Doctrine – the formal teachings of the Church.
    • Elect – catechumens who have been found ready by the community of faith take part in the next celebration of the sacraments of Initiation.
    • Election – the process of selecting those catechumens who are considered ready to take part in the next celebration of the sacraments of Initiation. The celebration of the Rite of Election takes place the first Sunday of Lent. The bishop declares in the name of the church that particular catechumens are ready and chosen for the sacraments at Easter. The book of the Elect is presented to the bishop at this celebration.
    • Enlightenment – the period of Lent during which the elect are involved in the final stage of preparation for celebrating the rites of Initiation.
    • Enrollment – the rite of inscribing into the book of the Elect the names of those catechumens to be elected to take part in the next celebration of the sacraments of Initiation.
    • Exorcisms – prayers for the deliverance from the powers of evil and falsehood and for the reception of the gifts of the Lord, especially the Holy Spirit. Exorcisms are part of the rites of scrutiny.
    • Evangelization – the activity by which the church proclaims the gospel in word and in deed.
    • God Parent (s) – this is the person who will accompany the catechumen on his/her journey through the rites and periods of the catechumenate through the time of Mystagogy.
    • Immersion – baptism in which the person is partially or entirely submerged in the baptismal waters.
    • Infusion – baptism by pouring water over the head of the person.
    • Inquirers – persons who sincerely seek to learn about the Catholic Faith.
    • Lectionary – a book containing the assigned scripture readings for the celebration of the Eucharist and the other Sacraments.
    • Mystagogy – the period of time following initiation, usually the Easter season, the period of Mystagogy normally lasts from Easter Season until Pentecost.
    • Neophytes – the newly baptized who is in the final period of Christian Initiation.
    • Oil of Catechumens - the blessed oil used in anointing catechumens as a sign of their need for and God’s offer of strength in overcoming all opposition to the faith they will profess throughout their lives.
    • Paschal Triduum - the three days from Holy Thursday evening through Easter Sunday. Christian celebrated the Passover of Israel from slavery to freedom, the Passover of Jesus Christ from death to life.
    • Scrutiny – rite celebrated with the elect, usually at the Sunday Liturgy on the 3rd, 4th , 5th Sunday of Lent.
    • Sponsor (s) - a person (s) who accompany the inquirers when they seek acceptance into the order of catechumens and who remain with them as companions during the catechumenate until the rite of election.

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    Our RCIA Team

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    Class Schedule and Course Outline

    RCIA Schedule

    RCIA will begin on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 from 7 pm until 8:30 pm, in Room #6

    Classes will be on Saturday’s in Room #8 from 10 am until noon.
    Classes begin Saturday, September 13, 2014

    RCIA Course Outline

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    RCIA Registration Form

    RCIA Application Form

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