Rite of Christian Initiation of Adult (R.C.I.A.)

Who is R.C.I.A. for?

  1. Those who have never been baptized.
  2. Those who have been baptized in another Christian tradition who are interested in becoming Catholic.
  3. Those who were baptized Catholic but are in need of the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and/or Confirmation. 

Interested in R.C.I.A. at St. Thomas?  Contact us and we will reach out to you!

What is R.C.I.A?

The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, or R.C.I.A, is a communal process for the formal initiation of new members into the Catholic Church. It is a journey of faith intended to mirror the spiritual formation of the earliest members of the Church in the first and second centuries.

The U.S. Bishops describe the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults as a process in which participants "undergo…conversion as they study the Gospel, profess faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church, and receive the sacraments."

Likewise, the language used in the R.C.I.A. process is that of the early Church formation programs. Catechumens are those who are seeking full membership into the Catholic Church through the three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. Candidates are those who have been baptized in another Christian tradition but are seeking initiation into the Catholic Church through the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Confirmation.

When Do R.C.I.A. Classes Begin?

Our new year of RCIA begins on Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. Classes are held each Tuesday evening from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. in Aquinas Hall. Weekly attendance is required through the conclusion of the program during the Easter season of 2021.

R.C.I.A. Class Schedule

(Stay tuned)

Additional Resources

Here are some great resources for you as you go deeper in your understanding of the Catholic Faith, and your relationship with Christ:
Cathechism of the Catholic Church - Searchable
Butler's Lives of Saints, Vol. 1
The Catechetical Instructions of St. Thomas Aquinas
These Are The Sacraments, by Fulton J. Sheen
Calvary and the Mass, by Fulton J. Sheen
Introduction to the Devout Life, by St. Francis de Sales
St. Thomas Aquinas, by G.K. Chesterton

R.C.I.A. is a Journey

The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults is a process that proceeds over weeks and months. It has several steps:


This is the earliest phase in the process; it is also known as the Period of Inquiry. Catechumens and Candidates acknowledge that Christ is calling them into the Church through the movement of the Holy Spirit. This is a time for seeking and reflection.

Rite of Initiation

The first Rite in the R.C.I.A. process, the Rite of Initiation accepts new members into the worshipping community.


The longest part of the process, the Catechumenate is a time of learning and formation in the traditions and doctrine of the Catholic Church. This is a time for sharing stories, reading scripture, and studying the Church customs, traditions and doctrine. Participants also participate in worship services and various Church rituals.

Rite of Election

Catechumens and Candidates are chosen to be received by the bishop and the community and to receive the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter.

Sacraments of Initiation

At the Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday), all newly elected members of the community who have been journeying through the R.C.I.A .process are welcomed formally into the community of believers through receiving the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.


This is a time of reflection and celebration after the formal reception into the Catholic Church. Mystagogia means “leading into the mystery” and it is a time to explore the deep mystery of our faith and go forth to help build the reign of God on Earth as new members of the faithful.

R.C.I.A. Team

People journeying through the R.C.I.A. process need sponsors and community support to help them grow in faith. The R.C.I.A. team of sponsors help guide, support and instruct those discerning whether to become members of our Catholic community. Team members share their faith with inquiring adults who are seeking more information about the Catholic Church, many of whom seek to celebrate one or more of the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.