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How to Become a Catholic.

Please contact our Parish (ph. 530-889-2254 for information about how to begin.

Someone who is “not Catholic,” and who wants to explore what being a Catholic means, is invited to participate in a formal catechesis. This involves a series of meetings with other adults in sharing the journey of our faith. This catechesis is known by the phrase: Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

Catholic Catechesis has as its center, and the goal towards Whom everything flows “... a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth” (On Catechesis in Our Time no. 5) Who reveals and is revealed over time, in all circumstances of our lives. Catechesis is, therefore, an on-going experience throughout and for all ages. The RCIA is specifically for adults, while other programs are available for our younth and children; it is, as the Gospel itself, for people of every race and culture, for people from all walks of life, for people with special needs of every kind.

In being focused on adults, the RCIA seeks to develop one's initial interest in the mystery of Jesus Christ as revealed, as experienced, in the Roman Catholic Church. It is the beginning of a lifelong deepening of a personal relationship with Christ, for and with His People – the Church.

In a series of evening gatherings, once a week from September through Easter, the RCIA ministry preparation is responsible for developing and confirming an understanding in those who are interested in the Catholic religion. To do so, the RCIA ministry shares the truth of the Catholic Christian experience, as revealed by God in the Word (the Scripture) and Sacred Tradition (how the Church has come to understand what God has revealed to us). Reflecting upon the information shared, both in mutual dialogue, faith testimonies, and prayerful readings, the person exploring the Catholic faith, by becoming more and more familiar with the Church, Her teachings and Her people, hopefully he or she will become “hungry” to be a member of our faith.

The Church has traditionally named the first movement of faith "evangelization,"; seeing in this the initial proclamation of the Good News which stirs a person toward conversion. In recent years, the Church has broadened its understanding of evangelization to be inclusive of the WHOLE journey of one's life, one which is obviously a long conversion process, such that all of us are on the road of discipleship. This is why in the RCIA process, various rituals are part of the experience, prayed in Sunday Mass with the entire community, to memorialize, and celebrate, the different benchmarks of the journey: becoming a catechumen, then being elected (if one is not baptized), electing to belong and being accepted (if one has been baptized in another Christian church), and then becoming a Catholic Christian at Easter.

In the Acts of the Apostles we read that the members of the early Christian community “devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to prayers” (Acts 2:42). Since then, the Church has reiterated the importance of these same dimensions: Word, worship, community, and service in our catechetical mission. The RCIA experience, if faithful and effective, will develop an appreciation for these four dimensions of our Catholic life. It will integrate these in the adult for the life of the parish community.