The Sacraments of Christian initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist – lay the foundations of every Christian life.
“The sharing in the divine nature given to men (and women) through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life. The faithful are born anew by Baptism, strengthened by the Sacrament of Confirmation, and receive in the Eucharist the food of eternal life. By means of these Sacraments of Christian initiation, they thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity.” (CCC, 1212)
Initiation of Children 7 Years and Older
Unbaptized children who are seven years of age or older are considered “adults” and receive all three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil. They enroll in our Religious Education program and receive additional instruction throughout the school year to prepare them for these sacraments.
This process, also called Children’s Catechumenate, is for children from 7 years to 18 years of age who have not been baptized or have been baptized in another Christian denomination. These children may not have been catechized, nor have they received the sacraments of Confirmation or Eucharist. The process begins with a family interview where the family is asked to express their desire to enter more fully into the Catholic community by attending Sunday Mass and participate in the RCIA process. The final decision to join the church is up to the individual family and child.
Initiation of Adults
Starting with an Informational Inquiry Night on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at 6:30 PM in Sullivan Hall, the RCIA class will then meet every Wednesday evening from 7-8:30 PM in the Parish Office Fireside Conference Room. Everyone is welcome!
Faith in Christ begins with your questions……
Do you have questions about God, Jesus, and the Catholic Church? Are you thinking about becoming Catholic? Would you like some firsthand experience about how to . . .
- Develop a prayer life;
- Be serious about converting your life to Christ;
- Learn what “next steps” to take;
- Get helpful guidance that addresses your real needs;
- Find solid & reliable information about what the Church really teaches?
. . . then the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is for you! RCIA is for people who want to know more about Jesus Christ and His Church. It is also for those who desire to become Catholic and be received into full communion in the Catholic Church.
First Information Inquiry Session is on Wednesday, September 21, 2016. Please contact Fr. Mulholland or Laurie McCloskey at 364-7900 to sign up! This year, the RCIA sessions will be led by Fr. Mulholland.
If you love your faith and would like to help mentor someone on their journey, please sign up to become a sponsor or join the RCIA team. Please contact Fr. Mulholland or Laurie McCloskey in the Parish Office at 364-7900.
The RCIA instructs and assists those adults who wish to journey toward initiation or full communion with the Catholic Church. Who does this include?
- An unbaptized adult. The primary focus of the Rite of Christian Initiation is on those who are not already Christian and have not been catechized. They are referred to as catechumens. They attend Sunday Mass and a catechetical session weekly and are baptized at the Easter Vigil.
- Baptized but uncatechized. Adults who have been baptized either as Roman Catholic or as a member of another Christian community but did NOT receive further catechetical formation or instruction are called candidates. Their initiation will include receiving the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist, usually at the Easter Vigil.
- Those seeking full Communion with the Catholic Church. These are adults who are baptized, practicing Christians from other faith traditions who seek entry in the Catholic Church and wish to complete their initiation by receiving the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. They are also referred to as candidates.
Catechumens and Candidates are received into the Church at the Easter Vigil.
At St. Mark we have an ongoing process to welcome inquirers. That means that we meet with you whenever you call or inquire throughout the year.
- Inquirers are interviewed and given material to start them on their journey.
- They are introduced to other Catholics and we begin answering questions in informal inquiry sessions throughout the year.
- When ready, they begin a more intense period of instruction after participating in the Rite of Acceptance and Welcoming.
- They are to attend Mass every Sunday, dismiss for reflection on the Scriptures, and attend a weekly teaching session on doctrine.
The initiation rite is based on the principle that the process of conversion proceeds gradually and in stages. Progress from one stage to the next is marked by a liturgical celebration in the midst of the parish community. The experience and needs of each person differs, and so the length of time may vary for each person.