rcia/rica - Becoming Catholic

Perhaps you have given thought to the cliché “is that all there is” and have arrived at a place and time in life where you would like to explore other options. Many of us have been faced with that same question and for us the answer was to uncover and explore a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. A relationship developed within the context of the Catholic Christian community. We welcome your inquiry into this life changing experience with empathy, compassion and understanding. We also have felt the loneness and despair of not being connected to the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.

Not long ago a lawyer working with federal immigration issues came to understand she was having moral issues with the disposition of her case work. She had a religious background in a non-Christian religion but came to know and admire Catholic co-workers. Through their influence she began inquiring about the Catholic faith primarily to help understand the Catholic churches position on social justice. One year later, she was Baptized, received the Body and Blood of Christ and was Confirmed in the Catholic Christian tradition. She openly testifies she came to find answers and found more questions seeking answers. In seeking the answers she found the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. Today she still works with difficult immigration issues; however now she prays for and with her immigrant case load and has helped established a network of legal aid that will assist the poor with a fee scale that reflects their income, in some cases pro-bono.

We use the metaphor of a “journey” in describing the process one follows in understanding the Catholic faith. It is an ideal metaphor as the process is filled, as any journey is, with rest stops, decisions on which direction you’d like to follow, fear of the unknown and ultimately the joy of having arrived at your destination.

The Santiago Catholic community believes strongly in Matthew 25:31-46, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” The journey to full inclusion in the Catholic Christian tradition incorporates this scripture into its very core. The journey includes understanding and celebrating centuries old Christian traditions, reflections on the Gospel and how they apply today and profound community support and prayer.

Many are not aware the Catholic faith is the original Church Jesus Christ founded. Our faith tradition celebrates Rites and Rituals that date back to the time Jesus was here on earth. Your journey will include understanding the significance of these Rites and Rituals and how they “imprint” the knowledge of Jesus into our very souls. The journey to the discovery/recovery of Jesus Christ is the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).

RCIA Inquiry

The process of welcome and instruction in the Catholic Christian tradition was developed by the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) at the close of Vatican II in 1963. All Catholic Dioceses throughout the United States follow the same process, a guided journey into uncovering a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The journey is separated into two distinct components, an Inquiry Period and a Formation period. Typically the entire process is one calendar year long.

  • The Inquiry period in RCIA is not determined by time but by the individual response to the question why am I here?
  • The Inquiry Period is about a process to help discern the reasons for seeking change. 
  • The Inquiry Period then is a period for thought and reflection. It does NOT follow a curriculum but a process of looking at our lives and connecting through shared stories how we move through various lives’ stages.  
  • The Inquiry Period is a spiritual journey that varies according to the many forms of God’s grace, the free cooperation of the individuals, the action of the Church and the circumstances of time and place.

The journey is open to any adult eighteen years and older unbaptized, Baptized in another Christian tradition or a Baptized Catholic who for whatever reason didn’t attend Religious Education classes and has not received all the Sacraments of Initiation.

For additional information contact:

Janice Nguyen

Adult Formation Coordinator

RICA Formation Period

Formation is a process through which individuals come to know, love and model Jesus Christ.

  • Formation classes: Wednesdays  6:30pm-8:00pm.
  • Formation consists of Instruction (Gospel relevance to today), Rituals (2000 years of community celebrations), Volunteer in community service projects and Prayer (individual and communal).
  • Formation is complete when those on the journey have discovered and accepted and made public the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.

The Sacraments of Initiation are celebrated at the Easter Vigil liturgy, bringing those who have completed the journey, to full inclusion into the Catholic Christian tradition. For more information contact:

Janice Nguyen

Adult Formation Coordinator