OCIA is the Order of Christian Initiation for Adults (Formerly called RCIA, Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is the process by which adults enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. Each year a group of people join together to learn about Catholicism and how to practice the faith well. Near the end of the journey, those who aren't members of the Catholic Church have the opportunity to join the Church. It is a powerful and engaging process. 

Who should join OCIA?

Anyone interested in learning more about the Catholic faith is welcome to come to any or all of our OCIA sessions. For Catholics, this is an opportunity to grow in understanding and practice the faith in a more profound way. 

Those who are not Catholic but who are interested in joining the Church are especially welcome to join OCIA. Some participants are baptized in other Christian faiths and want to come into communion with the Church. We also have unbaptized individuals seeking to be baptized. Anyone over the age of 7 who is not baptized will experience OCIA. Typically we have an adult cohort and a youth cohort or learners that meet at different times. 

What do I do if I am interested?

You should contact Jennifer Wendt at 763-745-3492 or email, or Chris Kostelc at 763-745-3489 or email with inquiries about OCIA. 

In addition, you could attend an "Inquiry Session" (dates and times below). An "Inquiry Session" is an informal meeting where you can ask questions about OCIA and hear about the details of the program. 

Complete an OCIA participation form.

Inquiry Sessions

Watch for new inquiry session dates this August/September.

Dates for the Holy Name of Jesus OCIA program:

We will begin our OCIA program fall of 2023. The first class session will be Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023. The sessions are typically on Tuesday evenings from 7-9 p.m. culminating with the reception of the sacraments at the Easter Vigil. Please begin to search your hearts and minds to know if you are being called - listen with the ear of your heart. You have the prayers of many in the parish of Holy Name of Jesus, the local church (the Archdiocese of Saint Paul/Minneapolis) and the worldwide Church. Allow us the privilege of walking with you on this journey of reflection. 

Exactly How Does OCIA Work?

On this journey, there are four phases or periods. The end of each of the first three phases or periods is marked by an Rite celebrated by the local Church.

1.       Inquiry:

You are an inquirer. You have the opportunity to learn and ask questions of your O.C.I.A. team and yourself. Listen with the ear of your heart. The first part of this journey ends with deciding that you want to know more. You want to be welcomed as a Candidate or accepted as a Catechumen.

You participate in the Rite of Welcome (for Candidates)/Acceptance (for Catechumens) at your local church usually in November. After this Rite you are accepted by the Church as someone who is looking into becoming a full member of the Catholic Church or the Body of Christ. You are also accepting the Church as the place where you will be able to most fully approach the truth of who God is and what he has planned for you. This is a mutual agreement between you and the Church.

2.    Formation

You are formed and informed in the teachings and way of life which is the Catholic faith. This period ends with the Rite of Election (the First Sunday of Lent). You become the elect or chosen ones to go on and journey further. (As with the Rite of Acceptance it is a mutual agreement between you and the Church.)

3.    Enlightenment and Purification

During this part of the journey you will go through a period of enlightenment. You become more aware of and responsive to the Holy Spirit working in your life. This part of the journey culminates in membership with us - being accepted as full members of the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil during the Rite of Initiation. At this Rite, the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) are celebrated.

Baptism for those not yet baptized in a Christian faith tradition (Catechumens)

Confirmation and First Eucharist for those who are newly baptized and those who already have been baptized (Candidates), but are to be Confirmed and receive First Eucharist. (Confirmation completes baptism. Eucharist affirms your assent and acceptance to all the teachings of the Church. She will be a mother to you and you will be a son or daughter to her.)

4.    Mystagogy

It is a period following entrance into the Church where all that you have just gone through on the journey is reviewed and further explored – both in your head and in your heart. It is a period of going deeper into a faith whose depth is limitless. At Holy Name of Jesus, it will begin right after Easter. Ideally, it will last a lifetime.

OCIA: Destination AND Journey

OCIA, the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults, begins another season fall 2023. For those of you who have already contacted us or were able to make one of the Inquiry Sessions, we look forward to journeying with you. For those of you who have not contacted us or made one of the Inquiry Sessions, but still feel a tug of mind or heart, please feel free to join us for this first session.

As there is a variety in nature, we also see variety in OCIA. As a group we are those who have not yet been baptized, those who have been baptized in the Christian faith but not confirmed, those who have been baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith, but want to learn more about their faith and for those who are simply curious about what the Catholic Church believes and teaches.

You have probably heard it said that it is not just about the destination, but also about the journey. The Catholic faith, too, is not just about a destination – it is about the journey to that destination. The journey lasts a lifetime as we make our way back to the one who is our Creator. Join us as we journey – Tuesday evenings from 7-9 p.m. All are welcome.

For more information, you may contact the parish office at 763-473-7901.