Becoming Catholic - RCIA

We invite you to look deeper into the Catholic faith.  RCIA is a process which takes place gradually in an open and welcoming environment.  It is a journey to learn how to live the Gospel values and the truths of our faith.  We hold weekly sessions to share what Catholics believe and the fellowship of our church family through study, prayer, and rites at Masses.  Participants are mentored throughout the process by a team of catechists and sponsors.

Each rite is preceded by a period during which the person receives the information needed to fully celebrate the coming rite. The celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation takes place during the Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday when the participants receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist.  Now the person is fully initiated into the Catholic Church.

People involved in the RCIA process are either catechumens (those who have never been baptized) or candidates (those who are baptized in a different faith tradition or baptized Catholics who have not received the Eucharist or been confirmed). 

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Contact Deacon Bill at  203 940-0711 or

Stages in the RCIA Process

1. Inquiry
During this initial stage of RCIA, also known as the precatechumenate, individuals meet with our team to discuss their interest in the church. They can ask questions and are introduced to the teachings of the Catholic faith.

2. Catechumenate/Rite of Acceptance
When a person has decided to join the Catholic Church, he or she begins the Catechumenate. This begins with the Rite of Acceptance, a rite held during a Sunday liturgy in Advent, in which they express their readiness to accept the Gospel and be received into the Catholic Church. During this stage the catechumens formally study Church teaching.

3. Purification & Enlightenment/Rite of Election
This period takes place during Lent. Beginning with the Rite of Election on the First Sunday of Lent, catechumens and candidates begin a final preparation for initiation into the Catholic faith. During the Period of Purification, they also participate in several rites called Scrutinies during Sunday liturgies.

4. Initiation
At the Easter Vigil, catechumens are baptized and confirmed; candidates are confirmed. Then catechumens and candidates (both having received the Sacraments of Initiation) take part in the Eucharistic celebration.

5. Mystagogy
The word Mystagogy comes from Greek meaning “interpretation of mystery.” During this final period of RCIA, the new Catholics (called neophytes) deepen their understanding of the paschal mystery and make it a part of their lives.

Important Rites and Dates in the RCIA process
Rite of Welcome/Rite of Acceptance – usually 1st Sunday of Advent
Rite of Election – usually 1st Sunday in Lent
1st Scrutiny – 3rd Sunday’s in Lent
2nd Scrutiny – 4th Sunday’s in Lent

3rd Scrutiny – 5th Sunday’s in Lent
Rehearsal for Vigil Mass – 10 am on Holy Saturday Easter Vigil Mass – 8 pm
Pentecost Sunday – 50 days after Easter