The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process by which persons of catechetical age (7 and older) complete their full initiation into the Catholic Church. This group of people includes both unbaptized people as well as those who have been baptized, but are unformed in the Catholic faith. Through prayer, study, discernment and interaction with members of a particular parish, the RCIA process helps these two groups of people to grow in love and knowledge of Jesus Christ and to become familiar with the role of a disciple.
Who is a catechumen?
Individuals who have never been baptized after a period of inquiry, experience catechetical and spiritual formation and become catechumens. As catechumens, they deepen their understanding of the faith as they prepare for the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. The Rite of Election marks for them their entrance into the final phase of the preparation for these sacraments which are celebrated at the Easter Vigil in their parish. During the Rite of Election, they will be given a new title by Bishop Pohlmeier, “the elect” as the church has chosen them as members.
Who is a candidate?
Those who have already been validly baptized in a different Christian tradition, and who have experienced a call to become Catholic, are called candidates for full communion. Because they are baptized, they are already the adopted children of God, brothers and sisters within our Catholic family who by profession of faith will be fully initiated. During Lent, these individuals (ages 7 and older) join with “the elect” in their final period of preparation for initiation normally celebrated at Easter.
The Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion in the Diocese of St. Augustine
In the Diocese of St. Augustine, the Rite of Election (catechumens) is celebrated jointly with the Call to Continuing Conversion (candidates) at one of three celebrations at the beginning of Lent. These are normally celebrated in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine – the Mother Church of the diocese. The three celebrations (Feb. 26, March 4 and March 5) this year are by invitation only due to space at the Cathedral.
The Rite of Election celebrations will be livestreamed on the Cathedral parish website.
Bringing others to Christ is the role of all the baptized and we are pleased to announce that 120 more people than last year will be presented to Bishop Pohlmeier:
Of the 620 total, 286 are children