Learning about Catholicism

For non-Catholics who are thinking about converting to Catholicism, or for any adults who just want to learn more about the Catholic faith, Jesus Our Risen Savior parish offers a series of lessons called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

The RCIA is an annual process that begins the week following Labor Day and culminates at the Easter Vigil, a celebration on the night before Easter Sunday.  Participants meet once a week for about an hour. JORS does not charge for the classes, provides all resources for free and does not require an obligation– at least, not at first.

Participants, who become known as catechumens if they are not baptized and candidates if they are, attend classes from September until the beginning of the liturgical season of Advent, four weeks before Christmas. During that time, known as the precatechumenate or query period, they are encouraged to ask questions and voice concerns. Instructors will cover any topic brought up, although there is also a syllabus of topics scheduled to be discussed, ranging from the Church’s views on marriage and divorce, Mariology, sin, the sacraments, Purgatory and even the ten commandments. The precatechumenate classes are not apologetics sessions, by the way. Although open discussions are encouraged throughout the RCIA, participants will not be engaging in arguments in defense of their religious or social views. The purpose of the RCIA process is to pass along what the Church believes. Reasons for Catholic beliefs and scriptural references to substantiate them will be provided in class.

After the end of this query period, participants will be asked to fill out a registration/application form, indicating that they wish to continue on in the RCIA which leads to eventual conversion to Catholicism. Even though they are then more or less committed, they are not under any actual obligation until, and if, they vow to accept the sacraments of initiation (baptism, reconciliation, Eucharist and confirmation) at Easter. The Catholic Church wants members who follow the faith of their own free will.

Participants will then be part of the catechumenate, as catechumens (ancient Christian terminology) or candidates and will join in full communion with the Church at the culmination of the RCIA process. Since some participants already know something about the Church and may even have been attending mass on Sundays and others start with little knowledge and maybe even misconceptions, the RCIA process is flexible with regard to class attendance requirements. The RCIA coordinator will consult with the pastor and with the participant in determining if he or she is prepared to become a practicing Catholic. Please view our Parish RCIA 2016-2017 Calendar.

To learn more, or to register, call the parish office (576-1164)

or email the RCIA coordinator