RCIA & RCIC
Our 2016-17 program for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) began with the Period of Inquiry on September 22. We wish to invite you, as someone who might be searching for answers and a place to open your heart and mind to God, to consider joining us in our exploration of the Catholic Faith. St. Pius X’s RCIA program could be your answer. For more information about RCIA/RCIC, to inquire about becoming Catholic, or to become involved as part of our RCIA team, please call Sister Maxine at (614) 866-1575 or use our form below to contact her directly.
Sister Maxine Shonk, O.P.
WHAT IS RCIA?
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is a yearlong process during which anyone who is interested can learn more about the Catholic Religion with a view toward the possibility of becoming a full participant in it. This initiation into the church is a process of discernment, not a one-time act and is facilitated by a team of RCIA ministers from the parish. It is divided into four significant phases:
1. Period of Inquiry
This period officially begins when you make the call to St. Pius X. Unofficially it began long before that, when you first learned about God and about Jesus Christ and wanted to learn more. This time of inquiry is a time to ask the questions and to identify just what it is you are looking for. You are partnered with a sponsor (or companion), someone from the church community who is familiar with the faith to accompany you in your faith journey, to answer/help ask the questions, and to help you discern your next step.
Based on your continuing discernment, this period ends with the Rite of Acceptance into the Catechumenate on the First Sunday of Advent when you are publicly welcomed by the faith community of St. Pius X.
2 . Period of the Catechumenate
This second stage of the discernment/ initiation process is the extended period of time when you will receive more formal instruction in Catholic practices and doctrines.
You will also begin to attend the Sunday Mass but will be dismissed after the Liturgy of the Word to discuss (“break open”) the scriptures you have just heard. This is a time for reflecting on and sharing your own faith journey with your fellow “catechumens” and sponsors.
Based on your continuing discernment, this stage concludes when you gather with all catechumens from across the Diocese of Columbus for the Rite of Election, or admission. This takes place on the first Sunday of Lent at the diocesan cathedral or a designated church and is presided over by the Bishop. The community of St. Pius X will celebrate the Rite of Sending as a way of blessing and celebrating your election.
3. Period of Purification
This final period of preparation is one of intense, spiritual reflection that coincides with Lent. It is also known as the Period of Enlightenment … more a time for prayer and reflection than for teaching. The three purifying rituals known as the scrutinies—or examens—help to strengthen you in your discernment.
Based on your discernment, this period ends on the Sacred Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. At the Easter vigil, after sunset on Holy Saturday, you will receive the sacraments of initiation: Baptism (for those not previously baptized) Confirmation and Eucharist. You will have become fully incorporated into the body of Christ, the Church, and into the richness of the Catholic tradition.
4. Period of Mystagogy
The process of initiation continues after the Easter celebration. During the Easter season you and the other neophytes—the newly incorporated—gather to deepen your grasp of the great Paschal Mystery into which you have been incorporated. Mystagogy is also about mission, going forth to continue the mission of Jesus Christ.
During this time you will spend time getting to know the church community of St. Pius X, learning about the many opportunities it offers for building community, for being of service to the Church and to the needs of the society around you, and for continued faith development and prayer.
Get Involved with RCIA/RCIC
- Volunteers Needed? Yes. Volunteers are needed each year to act as parish sponsors who companion and mentor inquirers as they explore and discern membership in the Catholic Church; to provide assistance by preparing and presenting specific topics during our weekly sessions; and/or to attend to the details of the program to create a welcoming environment for inquirers, e.g. refreshments, clean-up, preparing prayer, setting, etc.
- Ages This ministry is appropriate for men and women over 18 years of age.
- Ministry Location St. Pius X Parish Activity Center (PAC Room)
- Designation This ministry is ongoing for six months of the year.
- Frequency Meetings are conducted the first three Thursdays of each month. Candidates also attend Mass and study sessions according to an RCIA schedule.
- Time(s) 7:00 - 9:00 PM for meetings, other times as identified
- Special or Helpful Skills Must be a practicing Catholic.
- Other Information Because of its purpose, commitment to serving in this ministry involves approximately a significant number of hours. However, the depth of your growth and faith development, the involvement in your parish community, and the joy it genuinely brings others is priceless.