The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults Adapted for Children (also called the Children’s Catechumenate) is the process for children & adolescents over the age of 7 and under 18 who have not yet been baptized or who have not received First Eucharist or Confirmation with their peers.
“The Christian initiation of these children requires both a conversion that is personal and developed in proportion to their age, and the assistance of the education they need. The process of initiation must be adapted both to their spiritual progress, that is, to the children’s growth in faith, and to the catechetical instruction they receive. Accordingly, as with adults, their initiation is to be extended over several years, if need be, before they receive the sacraments.” (RCIA #253) This formation follows the general pattern of the RCIA, with those in the Children’s Catechumenate receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil, together with the older catechumens. (National Statutes for the Catechumenate #18)
Parents are to be involved in the Christian Initiation of their children, whose permission is required to participate and to receive any of the sacraments.
How long will the process take?
Becoming a Catholic is a life-long commitment. As Christians we are called to continuously grow in faith, hope and love. The RCIA adapted for children will usually last at least a full liturgical year, in some cases it may require more years. Once the child has initiated a process of conversion and has grown in the faith, the child is fully initiated into the Catholic Church, usually at the Easter Vigil.
To start the RCIA process for your child, please contact your neighborhood parish. Click here to find a parish near you.
What happens once my child is initiated?
It is important that during the process of initiation your child become involved in the life of the church with his or her peers. Once your child is fully initiated, a youth community awaits for him/her through faith formation classes or ministries appropriate to his or her age and understanding. Being a Catholic requires us to continue our education in the faith, even into and through adulthood. That is why it is so important that you come as a family with your child. Being initiated means becoming one of the family, and one does not “age-out” of family life.
To learn more about the formation and ministry options available for your child after RCIA, please contact your parish directly. Click here to find a parish near you.
Attention Parish Pastoral Leaders!
Thank you for the work that you do welcoming children into full communion with the Catholic Church!
See the resources below to help you with RCIA Adapted for Children.
For those Parish Pastoral Leaders who are unfamiliar with the Children’s Catechumenate, please view videos on the Children’s Catechumenate below and read RCIA 252–259 as well as the National Statutes for the Catechumenate 18–21, which are also in the RCIA Ritual Book.
This training was conducted on December 2nd, 2017 at St. Matthew's Catholic Church.
Children's Catechumenate Training: Video 1
Children's Catechumenate Training: Video 2
Children's Catechumenate Training: Video 3
Secretariat Director for Evangelization, Catechesis, and Faith Formation