Becoming Catholic – RCIA

Becoming Catholic – The RCIA Process

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process through which adults learn about the teachings of Jesus handed down to us through the Catholic Church and put these teachings into practice by living as part of the Catholic community, serving others, and praying.

RCIA addresses the spiritual needs of the following person:

  • Those who have never been baptized in any Christian faith tradition; referred to as catechumen in the process.
  • Those who were baptized in another Christian faith tradition and their baptism is recognized by the Catholic Church; referred to as candidates in the process.
  • Those baptized Catholics seeking reception of the sacraments of Confirmation and/or Eucharist; referred to as candidates in the process.

RCIA has several aspects

Spiritual – After participating in the Liturgy of Word during mass, participants are dismissed to discuss on the readings of the given Sunday.  Also, participants learn the gestures and rites of the mass and the significance of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Formative – Participants learn and discuss doctrines, traditions and biblical perspectives of the Catholic Church in order for the individual to begin integrating this information into their life.

Service – The formation process lends itself to do for others inviting participants to be involved in service opportunities.


At Our Lady of Light, RCIA begins late September and finishes a few weeks after Easter.  Formal presentations take place on Thursday evening.  Once the individual participates in the Rite of Welcoming and Acceptance, the participant is expected to attend 10:30 Sunday Liturgy, dismissed after the homily to reflect on the Scriptures of the day.

Catechumens (those seeking Baptism) and candidates (those already baptized) normally are received in the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil.


Is RCIA like taking a course? It is and it isn’t.  Most importantly, RCIA is a process which helps a person figure out what God is saying to her or him at this point of life.  The emphasis is on personal reflection, prayer and service to the community.  There are also formal presentations on subjects such as God, Jesus, the Sacraments, and the Scriptures.  There are no quizzes or exams.

Can a fiancé, spouse, or a friend act as a sponsor?   The answer is yes, as long as this person is a baptized and confirmed Catholic.  If married, sponsor’ marriage needs to have taken place in the Catholic Church and it is in good standing. Sponsors are expected to attend classes with the participant.

What is the cost for RCIA?  There is no cost.  RCIA is an important component of Our Lady of Light’s call to spread the gospel.

What if I realize that I may not want to be Catholic yet?  It is your faith journey; we are just walking with you.  Becoming a Catholic is a personal decision.  Do as your heart tells you. 

What if I am a Catholic seeking Confirmation only?  RCIA may not be the right option for you.  Please contact the parish office (239-267-7088) to discuss your options.

How do I register for the RCIA process?  Both the participant and sponsor need to register either in person by making an appointment with the program director or by clicking the below links.  Please note: the program director is the only one who will see the completed form.

RCIA Participant Form

Is Our Lady of Light in need of sponsors even though I may not be connected with a future participant?  Yes.  We are in need of individuals to act as sponsors for there are times when a participant does not have someone to sponsor her or him.  You can register for this ministry by contacting the parish office (239-267-7088) or by using the link below. Again, the program director is the only one who will see the completed form.

Sponsor Information Form