Becoming Catholic

Are you interested in learning more about the Catholic faith? People are drawn to explore the Catholic faith for many reasons. Some have become curious after experiencing the prayer and ritual of a Catholic Mass at a funeral or a wedding. Some have seen the hope and comfort a Catholic friend, relative or co-worker found in the Catholic faith when they were experiencing a difficulty or crisis. Others are either contemplating marriage to a Catholic or are already married to a Catholic and desire to know more about what their spouse believes.

God always invites people into deeper relationship – sometimes in ordinary ways and sometimes in extraordinary ways. You may be experiencing the first urge to know about the Catholic faith or you may have been reflecting on this for some time.

A Look at the Christian Initiation Process

In the earliest days of the Christian Church, those who desired to be followers of Jesus engaged in a lengthy period of preparation and instruction that would eventually lead to their baptism. This period lasted as long as three years where these “catechumens” were formed in the way of discipleship. The term “catechumen” means one who is a learner. Through this process of preparation, these early catechumens became immersed in the teachings of Jesus and in the community of faith. This period of immersion ended with the reception of the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation and Holy Communion.

The Catholic Church has returned to this earlier formation process, now called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This process is best described as a journey of conversion that is gradual and suited to each person’s needs. It is also referred to as a process rather than an educational program as it involves much more than textbook type of formation.

The process of RCIA consists of four periods, each with its own focus. Each of the four periods ends with a celebration of a ritual that marks the end of one step and the beginning of the next step.

First Period: Inquiry or Pre-Catechumenate

This opening step is a “Come and See” stage where the “inquirer” has time to:

  • hear the faith stories of Catholics,
  • ask initial questions,
  • learn about the parish
  • foster initial conversion

    Celebration of the Rite of Acceptance into the order of Catechumens

    and the Rite of Welcoming Baptized Adults.

    Second Period: Catechumenate

    This step in the process provides time to deepen faith and knowledge of the faith within the Catholic Christian Community through:

  • reflection on the Word of God
  • exploration of the richness of Catholic Tradition
  • experiences of prayer and worship
  • introduction to the apostolic life

    Celebration of the Rite of Election and of the Call to Continuing Conversion of Candidates

    who are preparing for Confirmation and Eucharist.

    Third Period: Purification and Enlightenment

    The Elect (unbaptized) and Candidates (baptized) join with the Christian Community during the season of Lent to:

  • experience a Lenten Day of Retreat
  • enter more deeply into prayer and reflection with the community
  • journey with Jesus on his path of suffering and death
  • prepare for the celebration of the sacraments of initiation

    Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation

    Fourth period: Post Baptismal Instruction, Mystagogy

    This last step in the RCIA lasts a lifetime. Catholics of all ages continue to pursue formation in the faith. For the ‘neophytes,” the “newly baptized” Catholics, several experiences aid in the deepening of their expression of faith:

  • participation in the Eucharist
  • immersion into the missionary spirit of the Church
  • appreciation of the Gospel message

    Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

    If this overview of the process of RCIA seems a bit daunting to you, do not be afraid! The process is not done alone. Several inquirers will also be with you on the journey and our parish community has a team of dedicated people to assist you on the journey.

    The Parish will also give each inquirer a sponsor who will share the journey with you and become a companion at the weekly sessions as well as at the other special occasions. Of equal importance will be the prayers and support of the entire parish community.

    How do I begin this process?

    The way to begin this process of learning more about the Catholic Church and perhaps deciding to become a member of the Catholic faith is to get in touch with the parish office or contact the parish RCIA coordinator Deacon Mike Romaka at (580) 536-3960 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    The Catholic Church welcomes your interest in our faith. The RCIA has been a great blessing to those who have experienced the process as well as our parish community that have fully embraced the process.     "