Rites and Resources for Christian Initiation

How do I become a Catholic? The Rites of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the journey an unbaptized person follows to become a member of the Catholic Church. RCIA programs exist in parishes throughout the Diocese of Fargo. If you are interested in joining the Catholic Church, please speak with the pastor of your local Catholic parish. The RCIA is also the process for baptized non-Catholics to become Catholic, or a Catholic who has not received all the Sacraments of Christian Initiation.

In the Sacraments of Baptism, we become children of God and receive the Holy Spirit. A clear distinction is made for those people are seeking the sacrament of Baptism (called a Catechumen) and those who have already received the sacrament of Baptism, but are not fully initiated (a Candidate). As outlined below, the RCIA journey is slightly different between these two groups.

This journey is never in isolation. Every Catechumen and Candidate has a sponsor (requirements and catechesis (PDF)). Additionally, every parish should have an RCIA team to accompany Catechumens and Candidates on their journey into the Church.

Note: All persons who have reached the "Age of Reason" (about 7 years old) must complete RCIA to be initiated into the Church. Please refer to the RCIA / Confirmation permission flowchart.

Stages in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
 

The Journey of an Unbaptized Person
  • Pre-catechumenate
    • Rite of Acceptance
  • Catechumenate
    • Rites, Minor
      • Minor Exorcisms
      • Blessing of the Catechumens
      • Anointing of the Catechumens
      • Presentations
    • Rite of Sending Catechumens for Election
    • Rite of Election
  • Purification & Enlightenment (Lenten Preparation)
    • Scrutinies:
      • First Scrutiny
      • Second Scrutiny
      • Third Scrutiny
    • Preparation Rites
    • Sacraments of Initiation (Easter Vigil)
  • Mystagogy and the Neophyte Year
    • Anniversary of Christian Initiation
The Journey of a Baptized Person
  • Pre-catechumenate
    • Rite of Welcome
  • Catechumenate
    • Rites, Minor
    • Rite of Sending Candidates for Election
    • Rite of the Call to Continuing Conversion
  • Purification & Enlightenment (Lenten Preparation)
    • Preparation Rites
    • Sacraments of Initiation (Easter Vigil)
  • Mystagogy and the Neophyte Year

The R.C.I.A. Team

Contact Mary Hanbury for information about or resources for RCIA teams.

Resources

Parish resources:

The Association for Catechumenal Ministry website also has information about and resources for RCIA.