The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the process by which adults and children of catechetical age become initiated into the Christian Catholic faith, receiving the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and eucharist, and going forward to live the Christian life. In the diocese of Saskatoon, the office of Christian Initiation and Catechetics provides resources and direction to parishes in implementing the RCIA process. For information contact the Catholic Pastoral Centre, 242-1500, or toll free 1-877-661-5005 or e-mail Elan Ehresman at cic.elan [at] saskatoonrcdiocese.com, Lynda Statchuk at cic.lynda [at] saskatoonrcdiocese.com, or Michelle Sieben at cic.michelle [at] saskatoonrcdiocese.com
How does a person become Catholic?
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (commonly known as the RCIA) is the normal way in which adults become full, active, participating members of the Catholic Church. People who go through this process may be unbaptized, or may have already been baptized in another Christian Church, or may be baptized Catholic but have not received the sacraments of Eucharist or Confirmation. The process leading to full initiation follows four steps adapted to the particular needs and concerns of those to be initiated. The initiation process help adults to grow in their relationship with God, become familiar with Catholic teachings and practices, and get involved in service within the parish or the wider community.
How someone comes to consider joining the Catholic Church is unique to each individual. Years of marriage to a Catholic spouse, conversation with a Catholic friend or coworker, something written or viewed in the media, questions from one’s children, a crisis, a search for meaning in life - any of these can lead someone to explore the possibility of becoming Catholic.
If you are considering becoming Catholic, or know of someone who is interested, or wish more information, please call your nearest Catholic parish. You may also call
Michelle Sieben at 358-2057, Diocesan Coordinator of Christian Initiation.
Christian Initiation of Children
Has your child missed the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation or Eucharist? Children who were not baptized as infants are initiated into the Catholic Church through a process called the Rite of Christian Initiation. Children who are baptized but have missed Confirmation or First Eucharist for whatever reason, are also prepared through this process. Children spend a minimum of one year in the initiation process, preparing through prayer, scripture, catechesis and ritual. Parental involvement and regular attendance at Sunday liturgies are necessary. The process leads to initiation into the church through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil.
For more information, please call your nearest Catholic parish or Michelle Sieben at 306-358-2057, Diocesan Coordinator of Christian Initiation.
The Ministry of Sponsor
In reaching out to those who have expressed a desire to become Catholic, the church wishes to share its tradition, its life, its values, its prayers, its apostolic work. Because so much is involved, it takes quite a while to pass on these traditions. As cradle Catholics, many of us take all this for granted. The Christian Initiation process calls for each inquirer to have a sponsor. Sponsors are active members of the parish community who serve as companions to the inquirers.
What is involved in being a sponsor for someone who is being initiated into the Catholic Church? You are paired up with an inquirer and attend weekly sessions with that person. You extend, in a personal way, the parish community’s welcome and support. The joy and faith, the personal stories, struggles, and insights of new members will renew your own faith and sense of belonging to the church. As you share some of your own life and faith, you will uncover for yourself new dimensions of being a Catholic Christian.
The following are comments from sponsors:
“Initially I joined RCIA as a sponsor to learn more about being a Catholic myself. I did learn a lot about being a Catholic but it has been much more. It has forced me to come to grips with where I am with God. What do I want, where do I want and need to go?”
“I’ve truly marveled how our group at the beginning was a collection of strangers and how we have grown together to form a warm caring community. We have learned to trust, to laugh, to cry, to share our innermost pains, to experience Jesus’ peace and grace.”
“Witnessing and experiencing the RCIA process has immersed me in the church in a way I had never experienced before. Group discussions were a highlight- listening to other people’s stories and sharing my own reinforced the community of the church. Observing and participating in the rites, scrutinies, and Easter Vigil has made me reflect on what I have grown up with. I see the church with new eyes now, being thankful for the faith we share.”
“The Easter Vigil was very powerful; to hear every word, to take in every gesture, to see the emotions, to see the grace of God in the faces of the catechumens- all of this was very life-giving to me.”
Parishes are always looking for sponsors. The ideal is to have a large sponsor pool so that inquirers can be matched with someone of similar age, interests and life circumstances. Consider volunteering for the ministry of sponsor in your parish!
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