Each Easter, more than a thousand adults of all ages formally become Catholic through parishes, missions, and campus ministry centers in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. Some are baptized for the first time as adults, while others are Christians from other traditions entering into full communion with the Catholic Church. Their backgrounds and stories of faith are as diverse as the people who live in Northern Virginia.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or RCIA, is the process through which adults explore and, if they choose, eventually become Catholic, whether through Baptism or being received into full communion with the Church. Through RCIA you will have an opportunity to ask questions in a non-pressured environment alongside others who are on the same journey, learning the fundamental beliefs and practices of the Catholic faith and what it means to live as a Catholic.
There are various stages and rites involved in the RCIA process, and its duration depends on many factors that can vary greatly from person to person. In most parishes, the RCIA process begins in September or October, though some parishes offer the opportunity to begin at any time of year. Some parishes have a pre-RCIA option for those who need it, and some offer a separate process for baptized Catholics who only need the Sacrament of Confirmation. There is no one-size-fits-all format, so it is important to connect to a local parish and speak to someone about your personal situation.
For now, in order to get started all you need to do is contact your local parish and tell them that you would like to learn more about the Catholic faith!
For more information, or if you would like help finding an RCIA group in your area, please contact us!