Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Are you an adult seeking Baptism?
Are you the parent of a child (8 years or older) or adolescent seeking Baptism for him/her?
The Catholic Church welcomes you! We are eager to help you and your family walk in the process called Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (commonly referred to by its acronym RCIA), the process utilized for preparation of older children, adolescents and adults for the Sacrament of Baptism.
RCIA is a process meant to form adults and children of catechetical age seeking baptism into the fullness of the Christian life and to become disciples of Jesus, their teacher. This includes an initiation into the mystery of salvation, the practice of faith, hope, and love, and other virtues in a succession of liturgical rites. Persons baptized into another Christian church and now seeking full communion with the Catholic Church are also welcome to participate in the RCIA process of learning about the Catholic faith and being formed in that faith. For a baptized Christian, reception into full communion with the Catholic Church involves reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and then a Profession of Faith followed by the celebration of Confirmation and the Eucharist.
Steps to the RCIA Process
There are four steps to the RCIA process:
Step 1: The first period consists of inquiry on the part of participants and evangelization on the part of the Church. It ends with the Rite of Acceptance.
Step 2: The second period may last for a year or more, and includes catechesis and the corresponding rites. It concludes with the Rite of Election.
Step 3: The third period ordinarily coincides with Lent along with appropriate rites in preparation for Easter and the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a time of purification and enlightenment.
Step 4: The final period extends through the whole Easter season and is devoted to postbaptismal catechesis or mystagogy. It is a time for deepening the Christian experience, for spiritual growth, and for entering more fully into the life and unity of the Christian community.
The initiation of catechumens (those seeking baptism) and candidates (those seeking full initiation in the Catholic Church) is a gradual process that takes place within the parish community of the faithful.
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. 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.
If you are an adult and want to inquire more about RCIA or you wish to begin the process, please contact your neighborhood parish. Click here to find a parish near you.
If you are the parent of a child (8 years or older) or adolescent, contact your nearest parish to learn more about the RCIA adapted for children. Click here to find a parish near you.
Attention RCIA Parish Leaders:
RCIA Training and Study Days
If you are parish staff or a pastoral minister and want to learn more about RCIA, please consult the resources listed on this page.
What a blessing to be called to lead others to Christ through preparation for the sacraments of initiation! As catechists, we know that “the call to the ministry of the catechist is a vocation, an interior call, the voice of the Holy Spirit” (National Directory for Catechesis). To adequately prepare to serve adults and children in the process of RCIA, the Archdiocese of San Antonio provides a variety of trainings and formation opportunities.
The Archdiocese offers training and study days for Parish RCIA Leaders and RCIA Formation Teams. For Basic Training for novices, see our Webinars and Handouts page.
Each December and June, the Archdiocese offers additional RCIA training to help keep formation teams updated with the norms and practices of the rite. For more information, please see our Calendar of Events.