Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults & Confirmation
- thinking about becoming Catholic?
- baptized Catholic and want to be confirmed?
R.C.I.A. (The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is a process designed to enable a person become a full participating member of the Catholic Church. Here at Duquesne University , this journey begins in September and concludes on the second Sunday after Easter. The RCIA process is much more than a program of “convert instruction.” Rather the RCIA is a process of conversion for the individual and the faith community. This means that there is nothing ‘automatic' or ‘instantaneous' in the Christian initiation of adults. Conversion is an ongoing process that takes time. Committing oneself to gospel values and perspectives on every level of life requires a change of heart that cannot be accomplished by an educational program alone. While doctrinal instruction is a part of the process, the initiation of adults aims at changing the heart and transforming the spirit, not just supplying a bank of knowledge.
Decisions about one's faith journey must not be made lightly. The initiation process within the Roman Catholic church - the RCIA - allows for a period of time and discernment that is adequate for most who begin the process. However, not everyone is ready to make a commitment at the end of the RCIA process, and some choose another path altogether.
Out of respect for the dignity of each person and the way in which each understands God's call, we welcome every student who desires this exploration of faith. We also respect a decision to discontinue at any time during the process or to decline the final step, the Sacraments of Initiation. We trust that, whatever one's decision might be, the experience will be a time of enrichment and growth in understanding as we explore the teachings of the church.
We believe that coming together in the RCIA is a sacred time and space in which all - participants, facilitators and the whole community - are blessed by each others' presence and the sharing of our faith stories. We are grateful for the privilege of being part of students' faith journeys. We rejoice with both those who complete the process with the Sacraments of Initiation and those who choose a different path. We believe, like St. Paul, that "he who has begun the good work in you will carry it through to completion, right up to the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6).
Any person seeking Baptism in the Catholic Church, baptized members of other Christian denominations wishing to join the Catholic Church, baptized Catholics desiring first Eucharist and/or Confirmation or Catholics wishing to know more about their faith are invited to participate in the RCIA process.
Our introductory sessions begin in September in the Spiritan Campus Ministry Center in Towers Living Learning Center.
The following brief descriptions of the stages of RCIA serve to help us remember where we have come from and to anticipate where we are going.
-taken in part from Catholic Update, 1986 St. Anthony Messenger Press