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Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults & Confirmation

Are you...
  • thinking about becoming Catholic?
  • baptized Catholic and want to be confirmed?
If so, we invite you to participate in the RCIA process.
What is R.C.I.A.?

What is R.C.I.A.?

R.C.I.A. (The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is a process designed to enable a person become a full participating member of the Catholic Church.  Here at Duquesne University , this journey begins in September and concludes on the second Sunday after Easter. The RCIA process is much more than a program of “convert instruction.”  Rather the RCIA is a process of conversion for the individual and the faith community.  This means that there is nothing ‘automatic' or ‘instantaneous' in the Christian initiation of adults.  Conversion is an ongoing process that takes time. Committing oneself to gospel values and perspectives on every level of life requires a change of heart that cannot be accomplished by an educational program alone.  While doctrinal instruction is a part of the process, the initiation of adults aims at changing the heart and transforming the spirit, not just supplying a bank of knowledge.

Decisions about one's faith journey must not be made lightly. The initiation process within the Roman Catholic church -  the RCIA - allows for a period of time and discernment that is adequate for most who begin the process. However, not everyone is ready to make a commitment at the end of the RCIA process, and some choose another path altogether.

Out of respect for the dignity of each person and the way in which each understands God's call, we welcome every student who desires this exploration of faith. We also respect a decision to discontinue at any time during the process or to decline the final step, the Sacraments of Initiation. We trust that, whatever one's decision might be, the experience will be a time of enrichment and growth in understanding as we explore the teachings of the church.

We believe that coming together in the RCIA is a sacred time and space in which all - participants, facilitators and the whole community - are blessed by each others' presence and the sharing of our faith stories. We are grateful for the privilege of being part of students' faith journeys. We rejoice with both those who complete the process with the Sacraments of Initiation and those who choose a different path. We believe, like St. Paul, that "he who has begun the good work in you will carry it through to completion, right up to the day of Christ Jesus" (Philippians 1:6).

Who Participates?

Who participates in RCIA?

Any person seeking Baptism in the Catholic Church, baptized members of other Christian denominations wishing to join the Catholic Church, baptized  Catholics desiring first Eucharist and/or Confirmation or Catholics wishing to know more about their faith are invited to participate in the RCIA process.

Meeting Time

Meeting Date

RCIA & Confirmation meets in the Spiritan Campus Ministry Conference room, First Floor Towers

Every Tuesday 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Are you thinking about becoming Catholic? Are you Baptized Catholic and want to be Confirmed?

If so, we invite you to participate in the RCIA and confirmation sessions.

 For more information, contact Linda Donovan at x1628 or donovanl@duq.edu, or Fr. Dan Walsh at walshd@duq.edu.

The Process

The Process

The following brief descriptions of the stages of RCIA serve to help us remember where we have come from and to anticipate where we are going.

  1. Period of Inquiry: A time of introduction or re-introduction to the gospel of Jesus Christ and of reflection on one's own life in the light of Gospel values. There is also time set aside for questions and exploration.
  2. Acceptance in the Order of Catechumens Those who profess their faith in Jesus Christ and sincerely desire to enter the church celebrate with the community by publicly accepting the way of Jesus.
  3. Period of the Catechumenate: The catechumens celebrate the liturgy each Sunday, receive an anointing, participate in prayers, and take part in the mission of the church to the world.  During these months the catechumens discover the love and power of God in their lives and in the church.
  4. Election or Enrollment of Names: The liturgical rite, usually celebrated on the first Sunday of Lent in the cathedral of the diocese, in which the bishop formally acknowledges the readiness of the catechumens and calls them to the sacraments of initiation.
  5. Period of Purification and Enlightenment: Usually during Lent, preceding the celebration of initiation, this is a time of intense immediate preparation, centered on the word of God and highlighted by the handing on of the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the celebration of the scrutinies.
  6. Sacraments of Initiation: The catechumens, now the elect, celebrate initiation in the sacraments of the baptism, confirmation and Eucharist. The waters of baptism give birth to the new person in Christ. Anointing with sacred chrism seals and strengthens the newly baptized Christian and those who hade not previously completed their initiation.
  7. Period of Mystagogy:  Mystagogy is the 50-day Easter-time following the celebration of Christian initiation. New members participate fully in the eucharistic life and in the mission of the church for justice and peace. This period reminds everyone that growth in faith is ongoing and lifelong.

-taken in part from Catholic Update, 1986 St. Anthony Messenger Press