2609 Park Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32204

(904) 387-2554

Email: parishoffice@spsjax.org

Becoming Catholic

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

In the not-too-distant past, adults who wanted to become Roman Catholics attended a few weeks of “convert instruction” and were quietly baptized in a private ceremony by the parish priest. It was a totally private process that involved only a priest and the inquirer.

One of the great gifts of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s was a renewed process of forming and initiating adults called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

Men and women involved in the RCIA today are “formed at the hands of the local community around the word of God, discerning and welcoming God’s invitation to embrace life in the Catholic Christian community, and thus serving the mission of Jesus in the world today.”

The RCIA restores for the modern world the process the ancient Church used in initiating members. Early Christians realized that initiation is a process that proceeds through certain stages and that necessarily involves the entire faith community. At St. Paul’s, inquirers meet weekly for eight months with lay people and clergy who teach the faith, share their own experience of Christ in their lives, and accompany inquirers on their journey of faith. They also experience Scripture reflection on Sundays that opens them more fully to the powerful word of God.

RCIA is open to anyone, Christian or non-Christian, who genuinely seeks to explore the possibility of joining the Catholic Christian faith community.

Naturally, RCIA includes a substantial amount of instruction in the teachings of the Church. But first and foremost, RCIA is a process of conversion; it is about changing the heart and transforming the spirit. Along the way, inquirers participate in a number of ceremonies in which the Catholic community gradually affirms them for full membership. These ceremonies include the Rite of Acceptance/Welcoming and the Rite of Election (all described below). Initiation culminates at the Easter Vigil through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.

 

A Quick Look at the RCIA Year

From September to December is the Period of Inquiry, also called the Pre-catechumenate. During this time, participants reflect on their lives and the presence of God in them, and come to know Christ more deeply. The catechumenate, which lasts from December to the First Sunday of Lent, focuses primarily on the teachings of the Church. Scripture reflection encourages participants to “break open” the word of God and consider its meaning in their lives. The six weeks of Lent make up the period called Enlightenment. This is a time of more intense spiritual preparation for the liturgies of Holy Week, especially the Great Easter Vigil. The final period is Mystagogia, a time of reflecting deeply on the Easter mysteries and preparing for full discipleship in the Church.

Catechumens & Candidates

Catechumens are unbaptized persons who desire to be fully incorporated into the Catholic Church through the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist.

Candidates are those who have been baptized in the Christian faith and are seeking full communion in the Catholic Church through the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. Evidence of valid baptism in a recognized Christian denomination (for example, by way of a certificate of baptism or letter of verification from one’s pastor or church of baptism) is required of all candidates.

Sponsors

Each catechumen and candidate is assigned a sponsor. The sponsor must be a practicing Catholic in good standing with the Church but does not need to be a parishioner of St. Paul’s. Catechumens and candidates may request that a Catholic friend or co-worker be assigned as their sponsor, but it is preferred that spouses and close relatives not serve as sponsors.

The sponsors take an active role in the spiritual life of their catechumen or candidate and are vital to the RCIA.

Catechumens will also need to choose a godparent or godparents for baptism. Godparents must be fully initiated adult Catholics who will be good role models.

Schedule of Meetings

Typically, meetings take place 7:00 p.m. each Wednesday, usually in the parish hall. Candidates and catechumens are normally expected to attend 11 a.m. Mass together.

2018-2019 Schedule

DATE TIME DAY EVENT SCRIPTURE HANDOUT
8/21/2019 7:00 PM Wednesday Inquiry Session #1 Psalm 139:1-16 About Being Catholic
8/28/2019 7:00 PM Wednesday Inquiry Session #2 Col 1:9-14 About Being Catholic
9/4/2019 7:00 PM Wednesday Inquiry Session #3 Luke 1:39-55 About Being Catholic
9/11/2019 No Session
9/18/2019 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #1 – Welcome Matt. 19:16-29
9/25/2019 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #2 – RCIA Process Acts 8:26-39 C0186
10/2/2019 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #3 – The Catholic Church Acts 4:32-35 C0687
10/9/2019 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #4 – Liturgy / Visit the Church 1 Cor. 11:23-26 C0487, C0391, C0889, C01195
10/16/2019 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #5 – Trinity Dt. 6:4-9 C0788
10/23/2019 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #6 – God the Creator Dt. 6:4-9 C0691
10/30/2019 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #7 – Jesus John 1:1-5 C1202, C0101
11/6/2019 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #8 – Holy Spirit John 15:26, 16:13-14 C0695
11/13/2019 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #9 – Catholic Beliefs / The Creed Heb. 11:1-6 C1086, C0785
11/20/2019 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #10 – Beatitudinal Living Matt. 5:1-12 C1291, Handout
11/27/2019 Wednesday No Session (Thanksgiving)
12/5/2018 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #11 – Scripture & Tradition 1Cor. 15:1-11/1Thes 2:13 C0489, C0704, C1081
12/1/2019 11:00 AM Sunday Rite of Acceptance & Welcome (Advent)
12/4/2019 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #12 – Prayer Romans 8:18-27 C0292, C1296
12/11/2019 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #13 – Mary & The Saints Luke 1:39-56 C0591, C1098, C0587
12/18/2019 6:00 PM Wednesday Christmas Party
12/25/2019 Wednesday No Session (Christmas)
1/1/2020 Wednesday No Session (New Years)
1/8/2020 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #14 – Grace & Salvation John 3:10-17 C0402, CU1286
1/15/2020 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #15 – Ethics & Morality Romans 12:9-21 C0896, C1282, Handout
1/22/2020 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #16 – Eschatology: The Last Things Rev. 21:1-8 C0593
1/29/2020 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #17 – Sacraments: Baptism/Confirm. John 3:1-15 CU0389, C1095
2/5/2020 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #18 – Sacraments:Eucharist Matt. 26:26-30 C0996
2/12/2020 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #19 – Sacraments: Healing Jas 5:13-16 C0403, C0800, C0196
2/19/2020 6:00 PM Wednesday Reception & Reconciliation with Fr. George
2/19/2020 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #20 – Sacraments: Vocations Heb 5:1-6/1Cor. 7:32-40 C0596, C0801, C0994, C0697
2/26/2020 8 AM, 12,6 PM Wednesday No Session (Ash Wednesday)
2/29/2020 (?) Saturday Rites of Sending, Election and Calling
3/1/2020 (?) Sunday Rites of Sending, Election and Calling
3/4/2020 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #21 – Temptation Matt. 4:1-11 C0290, C0298
3/8/2020 (?) Sunday Rites of Sending, Election and Calling
3/11/2020 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #22 – Walking In The Light of Faith Matt. 17:1-9 C0291
3/15/2020 11:00 AM Sunday Scrutiny I
3/18/2020 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #23 – Changing Our Hearts John 4:5-42 C0396
3/22/2020 9:00 AM Sunday Scrutiny II
3/25/2020 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #24 – Receiving Sight John 9:1-41 C0396
3/28/2020 4:00 PM Saturday Scrutiny III
4/1/2020 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #25 – Dying & Rising in Christ John 11:1-45 C1296
4/5/2020 11:00 AM Sunday Palm Sunday
4/8/2020 6:00 PM Wednesday Practice
4/9/2020 6:00 PM Thursday Holy Thursday
4/10/2020 3:00 PM Friday Good Friday
4/11/2020 8:30 PM (?) Saturday Rites of Initiation (Vigil)
4/12/2020 9,11 AM, 7 PM Sunday Easter
4/15/2020 7:00 PM Wednesday R.C.I.A. Session #26 – Easter Experience/Evangelization 1 Peter 2:20-25
5/31/2020 2:00 PM Sunday Pentecost – Adult Confirmation
RED – Attendance Required

Inquiries & Registration

Those interested in inquiring into the Catholic Church should contact the Rectory at 387-2554. Registration is closed for the 2019-2020 year. The RCIA program starts annually in August and runs through Easter.

 

Interested in learning more about our Catholic Faith? Please join us in the church on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 PM