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RCIA stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.  RCIA is an adult faith formation process that enables adults who have not received some or all of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation) to enter into the Roman Catholic Church.

There are several stages within the RCIA process.  They are:

The Period of Inquiry: the initial period of formation where those considering to enter the Church learn some of the basics of Roman Catholicism before making a commitment to proceed in the formation process.

The Period of the Catechumenate: once someone has completed the Period of Inquiry and decides that they want to continue in their formation, they enter the Catechumenate. In this phase, those who express an interest to enter the Church are trained for a life in Christ.   In this stage, you're developing your faith and are being "catechized" and learning  the basic beliefs and element of Catholic faith and life.

The Period of Purification and preparation: this is the final period before the Easter Vigil when the Catechumens are prepared to receive the Sacraments of Initiation.  This is a powerful period of preparation where adults are preparing themselves to commit their lives to Christ and to be received into the Church at Easter. 

Initiation: The Easter Vigil (the Saturday evening before Easter) is the culmination of the RCIA process.  On this evening, adults from around the world are fully received into the Roman Catholic Church. 

Mystagogy: after reception into the Church at Easter, this period gives adults the chance to reflect and learn more about the mysteries of the Mass and the Sacraments that they have received.

For more information about the RCIA program at St. Mary's, contact Beverly Kass (

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