Christian Initiation of Children / La iniciacion cristiana de los niños
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 Roman Catholic is a life-long commitment. The process will last at least a full liturgical year, possibly several years. Once adequate evidence of conversion is noted, the child will be fully initiated, usually at the Easter Vigil.
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, he or she will be placed in youth faith formation appropriate to his or her age and understanding. Being a Roman 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.
Please contact your parish directly or contact your Parish Life Liason for more information.
For Parish Pastoral Leaders who are unfamiliar with the Children's Catechumenate
For those Parish Pastoral Leaders who are unfamiliar with the Children’s Catechumenate, please view videos on the Children’s Catechumenate and Read RCIA 252–259 as well as the National Statutes for the Catechumenate 18–21, which are also in the RCIA Ritual Book. In addition, please see our Calendar of Events for any additional upcoming training.
Questions or Comments?
Secretariat Director for Evangelization, Catechesis & Formation