What is the process for becoming Catholic?

The process for preparing and welcoming new members into the Catholic Church is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of adults (RCIA). This process takes place in a parish community within your local vicinity where you will join a group of other enquirers. The priest, catechist, and sponsors within the parish community will accompany you through this process, guiding and supporting you and answering your questions as they arise. Journeying with others will help you witness and share in the life of the Church.

Jesus Christ loves you;
he gave His life to save you;
and now He is living at your side every day to enlighten,
strengthen and free you.                          

[Pope Francis]

How long is the process?

The uniqueness of each person’s journey involves a gradual unfolding and deepening of your relationship with Christ; the intention is not to rush this process since it involves both the mind and the heart.

Ordinarily the process takes at least one liturgical cycle, that is close to 12 months, culminating in reception of the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil – Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. This length of time is not so that one can ‘learn all doctrine’ although doctrine is one part but to acquire values and a way of living. It takes 12 months to hear the teachings of Jesus Christ in one cycle of the liturgical calendar. This ‘becoming’ takes a lifetime.

Most parish groups start the RCIA process mid-year (May-June) and journey into the following Easter when you will be received into the Church. The process then continues for a further fifty days concluding at Pentecost