Before ascending into heaven Jesus commissioned his apostles (and all of us) to "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Mt 28: 19-20). The role of evangelizing others is not just for priests, deacons and religious. By virtue of our baptism, all the lay faithful are a part of the ordinary priesthood. The Church calls on us to love others and spread the good news to all people. The Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution, Lumen Gentium, clearly assigns the laity a critical role in evangelization:
They are called there by God that by exercising their proper function and led by the spirit of the Gospel they may work for the sanctification of the world from within as a leaven. In this way they may make Christ known to others, especially by the testimony of a life resplendent in faith, hope and charity. (LG 31)
What is RCIA?
It is a journey – a journey toward full membership in the Body of Christ – the Church. It follows the pattern set up in the early Church to bring new members into full communion with the community of believers in Jesus Christ. It was reinstituted following the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).
Some who are seeking to be a part of the Catholic Church are already been baptized into the Catholic Church but have not received the Sacrament of Confirmation (CANDIDATES). Some have been baptized into another Christian faith tradition, but are seeking to be in union with the Catholic Church (CANDIDATES). Others are coming from other faith traditions or no faith tradition (CATECHUMENS).
What do I do if I am interested?
Additionally, you may download the Candidate Information Form to complete and bring with you.
Dates for the Holy Name of Jesus RCIA program:
We will begin our RCIA program Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. The sessions are always on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. culminating with the reception of the sacraments at the Easter Vigil on April 8, 2023. 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 responding to you and to God in his desire for all of us to bring all peoples unto him!
Exactly How Does RCIA Work?
On this journey there are four phases or periods. The end of each of the first three phases or periods is marked by a Rite celebrated by the local Church.
You are an inquirer. You have the opportunity to learn and ask questions of your R.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.
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.)
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.