Learn More About The Catholic Faith
Becoming Catholic means joining an ancient faith, deeply rooted in the teachings and traditions of Jesus Christ and His Church. The Church always welcomes new members into its community. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process for bringing into the Catholic Church both those who have never been baptized (Catechumens) and those who were baptized in a non-Catholic Church (Candidates for Full Communion). Any person 18 years of age and older who is either an unbaptized person or a baptized Christian of another faith, may participate in RCIA. One is not required to have any previous exposure to Christianity in order to participate.
Each year in September, St. Patrick Cathedral begins a new class of RCIA, and we invite everyone who would like to join the Catholic Church or who is at least curious to understand the teachings and customs of Catholic Christianity. For those who have never been baptized, this process will culminate in Baptism at the Great Vigil of Easter in the spring. Those who are already baptized will be received into full communion with the Catholic Church by a Profession of Faith at the same Vigil. Finally, the newly baptized adults and those who make their Profession of Faith will all be confirmed and share in the Holy Eucharist for the first time at the Easter Vigil. Any participant in the RCIA process can choose not to become Catholic at Easter time. It is quite common for individuals to continue their discernment and study of the Catholic Faith for an additional year or more. The Church greatly respects the time each person needs for conversion and decision, and one should not feel pressured to become Catholic before one is ready.
The RCIA process includes several months of classes of inquiry and study during which interested individuals can learn about the core beliefs of the Catholic Church, its moral teachings and liturgical practices, and become acquainted with the life of the parish community. Individuals can ask questions of the RCIA team members and the team can assist the inquirer with understanding more about the spiritual journey they are undertaking. While classroom work is a part of the process, RCIA is more than a class; it is a gradual introduction to the customs, beliefs, practices, and devotions of Catholicism. Those who participate will be guided by teachers and assisted by mentors to understand the richness of Catholic worship and teaching as a preparation for making a Profession of Faith at Easter: "I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God."
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Charlotte, NC 28203
Fax: (704) 377-6403