Becoming Catholic as an Adult

For those who wish to become Catholics and those who are already Catholics and want to be enriched and deepened spiritually, St. Paul's Catholic Community offers RCIA.

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process through which interested adults are gradually introduced to the Roman Catholic faith and way of life.

For those who join an RCIA process it is a period of reflection, prayer, instruction, discernment, and formation. There is no set timetable and those who join the process are encouraged to go at their own pace and take as much time as they need (In the Diocese of Calgary it usually takes up to two years). Those who enter the process are expected to begin attending Holy Mass on a Sunday, attend a weekly RCIA session, and to become increasingly more involved in the activities of our community.

In St. Paul's Parish, the RCIA process involves the following process:

Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate: This is also known as the Period of Inquiry. During this period, teaching is given to people who are interested in learning more about the Catholic Faith. The sessions cover basic information about the Faith and fundamentally communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church is offering here an invitation to initial conversion.

Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens: The Inquirers who wish to continue now move onto the next stage, which is known as the Period of the Catechumenate. The Inquirers who are not already baptized are welcomed to this next stage via the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens. As they enter this Rite they are known as Inquirers. As they leave this Rite they are now referred to as Catechumens.

The Rite of Welcoming the Candidates: The Inquirers who have already been validly baptized in another Christian denominations, or baptized Catholic but not confirmed as a child, are welcomed to this next stage via the Rite of Welcoming the Candidates. They enter this Rite known as Candidates, and they are known by this title from now on. The candidates’ rite generally takes place during Lent.

Period of the Catechumenate: A Catechumen is one receiving instruction in the principles of the Christian religion with a view to baptism. It is for this reason that those who are already validly baptized in another Christian Faith are not known as Catechumens, but rather Candidates.

Period of Purification and Enlightenment: This period tends to correspond with Lent and is intended to be a period of increased introspection and coming closer to God. The aim of this period is to eliminate what is weak and sinful, and affirm what is holy. During this period the Elect undertake a number of Rites, including the Scrutinies and Presentations.

Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation: At the Easter Vigil the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation take place. The Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist; if one is a candidate, Sacrament of Reconciliation already have been made prior to the vigil. The Elect celebrate all of these while the Candidates (having already been baptized) only celebrate Confirmation and the Eucharist. The Elect are now called Neophytes, and they are considered to be full members of the Faith Community.

Period of Mystagogy: After reception into the Church at Easter, this period lets you reflect and learn more about the mysteries of the Mass and the Sacraments that you now participate in fully.

To ask questions about RCIA or to register for RCIA, please contact the RCIA Co-ordinator, Cathy at           403-608-9118.