"A Catholic community living and sharing our faith in
This acronym stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. It is a
process of seeking out, encouraging, and walking with those who desire to
learn more about our Catholic faith. It is a journey of faith that we walk
together. The "we" includes the members of the RCIA team and the
inquirers, those who have decided to "come and see." There is no initial
commitment. Inquirers are always free to come and see, come and stay, or to
come and go. A "Come and See" information night scheduled early in the
autumn for all interested in the RCIA process.
The following are a brief description of the four stages in this process or
Inquirers are simply looking, listening, asking questions. Meetings are held
weekly at the Church Office Conference Room, providing an overview of
what it means to be a Catholic Christian.
Inquirers are invited to become catechumens in a simple ceremony
celebrated in Church. called the Rite of Acceptance. Catechumens are
individuals who have not been baptized in any Christian faith community.
Baptized Christians who wish to become Catholic become candidates in this
ceremony. Catholic sponsors participate in this rite and may also attend the
weekly sessions, if they wish. Catechumens and candidates are asked to
come to the Sunday Vigil Mass on Saturday's at 5pm and are "dismissed" to
reflect on the Scriptures led by one of our team members or other
At the beginning of the Lenten season, catechumens are presented by their
sponsors to the Archbishop at the Cathedral-Basilica of Saints Peter and
Paul in Philadelphia and become the "elect." Candidates (those already
baptized in another Christian faith) are presented as well. The journey of
faith reaches a climax during Holy Week. After a preparatory Evening of
Spiritual Reflection early in the week, catechumens receive Baptism,
Confirmation, and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday evening).
Candidates make a profession of faith and receive Confirmation and Holy
Eucharist. A parish celebration and social follow immediately after the Vigil.
After reception into our Catholic faith, this is a period to reflect more deeply
into the meaning of the faith at one or more additional sessions.
At Saint Gabriel of the Sorrowful Mother parish, Father Richard J. Maisano,
the pastor, directs the RCIA process assisted by several team members. New
team members are most welcome. Catholics, who desire an updated
understanding of our faith, are also welcome to participate in this process.
Prospective team members and inquirers are welcome to contact Father
Maisano via telephone (610-268-0296) or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.