Catechumenate Program for Adults

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process by which adults become members of the Catholic Church.  By participating in the RCIA, you will have the opportunity to continue your spiritual pilgrimage, to learn more about the Catholic Church and to meet others who are striving to follow Jesus Christ as Catholic Christians. Our program involves weekly meetings in which we pray, learn more about Church teaching on a particular topic, and discuss readings from Sacred Scripture.

If you discern that you wish to become a Catholic, or if you need to complete your sacraments of initiation, you will participate in the rites of Christian initiation.  A "rite" is a religious ritual or celebration; the three sacraments of initiation you will receive become a fully inititiated Catholic Christian are Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist.  Adults who have never been baptized receive all three sacraments, usually at the Easter Vigil.  Adults who have been baptized in another Christian ecclesial community make a profession of Catholic faith and are received into the Catholic Church; they then receive the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist.  Adults who were baptized in the Catholic Church can complete their Christian initiation by receiving Confirmation and Holy Eucharist.


Generally the RCIA process takes place in four phases:

  • The Inquiry Period: Adults who wish to learn about the Catholic Church are called inquirers.  During the inquiry period, they learn more about the Church and listen to God's call in their lives, deciding if they wish to become Catholics.  Adults are welcome into this phase at anytime throughout the year.
  • The Catechumenate: Inquirers who decide they wish to become Catholic declare their desire in the Rite of Acceptance, celebrated during Mass.  They are then called Catechumens, from a Greek word meaning "one who is instructed."  During this period, Catechumens receive further instruction on the teachings of the Catholic Church and deepen their participation in the Church's life of prayer, fellowship and service.
  • The Period of Purification and Enlightenment: Catechumens who decide they are ready to become Catholic declare their desire and are called by the Church in the Rite of Election, presided over by the bishop and celebrated at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.  They are then called Elect, for they have been elected by the Church for new life in Christ.  During this period, they purify and enlighten themselves through prayer and reflection, in final preparation for their initiation.
  • Mystagogy: At the Easter Vigil, the Elect receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Eucharist, becoming full members of the Catholic Church.  They are then called Neophytes, from the Greek for "newly planted," because the faith has been newly planted in them.  As they begin their new life as Catholic Christians, the neophytes reflect on their experiences and are led along the path of faith in a period called mystagogy, from the Greek for "leading through the mysteries."

If you think you might like to participate, please contact Christine R. Suarez,  Director of Religious Education, at (510) 741-4900 extension 1004,  or call the Parish Center at (510) 741-4900.

2023-2024 Registration Form (Click Here)


Adult Faith Formation




Registration for this year is closed but will open again in Summer 2020. Please contact the Parish Center at (510) 741-4900 or send an e-mail to for more information.

Click here to register



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