The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (and children/teens) is the process through which adults (and children/teens) become members of the Catholic Faith. If you have never been baptized, or if you have been baptized in another Christian church, you are invited to attend.  If you were baptized as a Catholic but never received any faith formation and never received the remainder of the sacraments of initiation (i.e., Confirmation/and Eucharist) this process may be for you as well.  
Recognizing that each person’s relationship with God is unique; the Church in her wisdom invites people to enter the process known as RCIA to assist each person on their own journey.   


  1. The period of Inquiry is the time when people ask questions about the Catholic Faith. In this period, they learn about the Scriptures, Salvation, Jesus and the kingdom message. There is no time requirement assigned to this period. When a person is ready then they move on.
  2. The period of Catechumenate begins when a person has accepted the saving power of Christ in their life.  They are formally welcomed in the Rite of Election by St. Thomas the Apostle community at a Sunday Mass, and they are called catechumens or candidates.  During this time they attend the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)classes to learn more Scripture, the sacraments, how to live a moral life, and the ritual and the life of the church. They attend Mass and are called to reflect more deeply on the Word of God.
  3. The Period of Purification and Enlightenment corresponds to the beginning of Lent. It is the time when the candidates are called a special name, “the Elect” and are encouraged to develop and increase their prayer life. The period normally begins with a Rite of Election celebrated at the Corpus Christi Cathedral. It is their first exposure to a larger church and to our shepherd, the Bishop.
  4. The candidates who seek full membership into the Catholic Church join on Easter Vigil(the night before Easter).  The St. St Thomas the Apostle community joyfully celebrates the Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation.
  5. The period of Mystagogy completes the initiation process. It begins after Easter Sunday and extends into Pentecost. During this time, the newly initiated are called Neophytes and are encouraged to reflect on their experience and their new life in the church.


For more information on the 2017-18 RCIA program, contact Deacon Bill Cleavelin, 361-208-2146 or bill@whccpa.com. 

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