Archbishop Gregory Aymond
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
The Catholic Church and all of her members joyfully welcome anyone who would like to become a member of the Church. It is not a grandiose statement when we say, “all are welcome.” If you are not a “cradle Catholic,” someone who was received into the Catholic Church through Baptism as an infant, there are different processes by which one becomes Catholic. One process is to enter the Church with the help of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program. For children who have reached the age of reason (age seven), the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) program is available.
The RCIA program is taught by practicing Catholics, deacons and priests. Organized into informal classroom-style instructional sessions, those interested in joining the Catholic Church are taught the beliefs, practices and laws and traditions of the Roman Catholic faith. Through faith sharing experiences, participants are welcomed on the journey that each Catholic travels everyday of their lives – a journey that we all hope will bring us to our home in heaven.
The goal of the RCIA program is to bring the newly forming faithful into full communion with the Catholic Church through the reception of the three sacraments of Christian initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and the most Holy Eucharist. If a member of the RCIA program is already a validly baptized Christian, they are formally received into the Catholic Church by completing a profession of the Catholic faith, usually immediately followed by Confirmation and the most Holy Eucharist.
The Columbus Catholic Connection: Are you interested in more information concerning how to become a member of the Roman Catholic Church? Call your parish office now, as many parishes are just in the beginning stages of planning their RCIA program beginning in September or October. You could also contact the Diocese of Columbus Office of the Liturgy.