Why Become Catholic?
You or someone you know might be curious to learn more about the Catholic faith. Or you might be looking to deepen a relationship with God that already exists. Perhaps you were baptized Catholic but never received the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.
For people like this and anyone else interested in full sacramental communion with the Catholic Church, the St. Jude adult initiation program offers the opportunity to learn more.
Our adult initiation program helps adults interested in becoming Catholic to decide whether they want to be received into the Catholic Church, and prepares them to be received if they are ready.
What Is Adult Initiation?
Every year at Easter the Catholic Church of Green Bay welcomes hundreds of new members. Most of these new Catholics—just like most new Catholics throughout the world—have undergone a thorough process of spiritual formation and study. This process is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, often abbreviated RCIA.
Who Is Adult Initiation For?
Each person goes through RCIA in a personal, individual way, yet generally there are three categories of adults who go through the process:
- Unbaptized men and women who seek participation in the Church’s sacramental life through Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.
- Christians baptized in another Christian tradition who seek full communion with the Catholic Church through the sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist.
- Baptized Catholics who have never received the sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist.
Since the goal of the RCIA process is to invite participants to a deeper relationship with Jesus and the Church, Confirmed Catholics who are seeking to better know God and their faith are also welcome!
How Does Adult Initiation Work?
The St. Jude Parish RCIA program is based on informal conversations about faith and God, as well as the rich, dynamic and informative video program Symbolon.
RCIA helps people prepare for initiation into the Catholic Church by exploring questions in several areas:
- Scripture. What does the Bible tell us about God, and the relationship God wants with us?
- Teaching. What do Catholics believe about God? About Jesus?
- Prayer. How do I talk to God? Does God speak to me? How?
- Liturgy. Why do Catholics worship the way they do? What deeper meaning do Catholic rituals have?
- Life. Does it make any difference to my life if I’m Catholic? What kind of difference?
How Much Time Is Involved?
The RCIA process is a gradual one, unfolding over a period of months leading up to Easter. There are several aspects to our RCIA program at St. Jude’s:
1. Informational Meeting. Each year the process begins with an informational meeting about adult initiation at St. Jude’s. This Fall the meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 30, from 6:00–7:30 pm at the St. Jude Parish Center (1025 West 5th Ave.).
2. Regular Meetings. Beginning in October, regular RCIA meetings will take place Wednesday nights from 6:00–7:30 pm at the Parish Center.
3. Special Ceremonies and Service Opportunities. Several special ceremonies mark different moments leading up to initiation, and participants will be invited to participate in a few service opportunities over the course of the year.
4. Holy Week. The RCIA process culminates with Holy Week and the celebration of the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil, the evening of Saturday, March 26, 2016.
5. Mystagogia. After Easter Sunday, those who have received the sacraments of initiation continue meeting for about a month for “mystagogia,” a time of deepening reflection on the sacramental life they now participate in fully.
The RCIA process relies on sponsors, committed Catholics who build one-on-one relationships with people preparing to enter the Church. Sponsors help those going through the RCIA to grow spiritually and prepare for initiation.
If you are interested in acting as a sponsor, please contact Rob Saley.