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 journey:
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 parishioners.
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 email@example.com.