jesus1 St. Joseph's Catholic Church  
  HOME ::


Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults


RCIA sessions meet on Mondays from September to May at 7pm in the Upper Room. The Upper Room is located behind the Church building. If you are interested or know someone who is interested in the RCIA process, please contact the parish office at 760-256-6818.

Please spend a few moments reading below about the RCIA process. God bless.


What is the RCIA?

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a journey of faith. It is the process through which adults who desire to join the Catholic Church become members. Though an ancient process begun in the early days of the Church, it fell out of use for centuries. During that time individuals who wished to become Catholic met one on one, usually with a priest or sister, for an unspecified amount of time to learn about the faith before being accepted. The RCIA as we know it today was revised and mandated for use in the Church following Vatican Council II.


Who can be part of this journey?

  • Someone who has never been baptized.
  • Someone who has been baptized in another faith tradition, and who wishes to join the Catholic faith.
  • Someone who has been baptized a Catholic, but who has not received the Sacraments of Confirmation and first Holy Communion.


What is involved in the RCIA process?

The RCIA process is consists of four phases or steps which are punctuated by three public Rites as follows:

1. Period of Inquiry

  • unique to each individual
  • time for asking questions
  • time to intensely examine one’s personal relationship with God
  • ends when the inquirer becomes firm in the desire for initiation and for the study of Catholic teachings and practices 

2. Period of Catechumenate

  • begins with Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens for the unbaptized who are now called Catechumens, or the Rite of Welcoming for those who are already baptized now called Candidates
  • time of learning the teachings of the Church and beginning to accept Catholic teachings and practices
  • Sponsors accompany both catechumens and candidates on their journey
  • length of the catechumenate phase can vary from person to person
  • ends when the catechumens discern that God is calling them to receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist); the candidates, when they discern that God is calling them to make profession of faith in the Catholic Church and receive the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist

3. Period of Purification and Enlightenment

  • begins with the Rite of Election for Catechumens; the Call to Continuing Conversion for Candidates
  • Catechumens are not called Elect; Candidates continue to be known as
  • Candidates
  • time of intense preparation during Lent to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus at Easter and to receive the Sacraments of Initiation

4. Period of Mystagogy

  • begins with the Catechumens reception of the Sacraments of Initiation usually during the Easter Vigil; Candidates may be received into the Church at any time of the year
  • time of reflection on the commitment made to the Lord, the Church, and the faith community
  • time of finding a place in the community and getting involved


What is the length of time that one is part of the RCIA?

The RCIA is not a lock-step process. Therefore, there is no specific length of time. One becomes member when ready to accept God’s call and to take on the responsibility of membership.


Who can be a Sponsor? What is required of a sponsor?

Any fully initiated, practicing Catholic, who is at least 16 years of age can be a sponsor. A sponsor is a companion to the Catechumen/Candidate on their faith journey. It is expected that sponsors accompany the person to the weekly RCIA sessions and to support them during the Rites.


When are RCIA sessions held?

RCIA sessions are held every Monday evening from 7 to 9 PM in the Upper Room. For persons who desire to participate in the process and who find it absolutely impossible to make Monday evening sessions, the RCIA team will make special arrangements.


Who are the RCIA Team?

The RCIA team are faith-filled members of the parish who volunteer to share their faith with those persons who desire to become members.


What about children?

With the permission of their parents children who are 7 years of age and older who are unbaptized participate in the children’s process of RCIA known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children (RCIC). For children, it is usually a two-year process. The RCIC meets on Sunday's from 11:30 to 1:00 at St. Philip Neri in Lenwood. The RCIC team consists of catechists who accompany the children through their two-year process.