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Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults is a process to prepare the unbaptized and those already baptized in another faith tradition to become full participating members of our faith. This process involves study and instruction, reflection on the Sunday reading, and prayer. Those involved in the RCIA meet weekly from mid-September until Easter. Sponsors from the parish community journey with those in the process. Contact person: Father Joe Weber, 314-843-8482 or send an email.

St. Justin Martyr Catholic Church warmly welcomes new members and strives to provide spiritual formation for all its parishioners.  RCIA is a journey of conversion for persons wanting to join the Catholic Church and for the parish as it supports the process of initiation and walks the journey of faith with the catechumens and candidates.

THE PRE-CATECHUMENATE

Adults who have never been baptized are invited into a process of formation in the Catholic Christian faith and way of life.  This is a gradual process beginning informally with inquiry sessions.  Interested persons will meet with other people who are exploring the possibility of becoming Catholic.  This is an opportunity to ask questions about the Church.  No commitments are made or expected during this time.

RITE OF ACCEPTANCE

When the inquirers are ready to move on, they are paired with sponsors from the parish and celebrate the first liturgical ritual, the Rite of Welcoming with the parish community.

CATECHUMENATE

This second stage of the initiation process is the extended period of time when the formal training in the Christian way of life takes place.  The catechumens (unbaptized) and the candidates for Confirmation are usually dismissed from Mass after the homily and meet with Catechists for an hour to discuss the Scriptures they heard proclaimed at Mass.  This study and reflection on the scriptures is an important part of Christian formation which helps them understand the doctrinal teachings of the Church and prepare for the day when they will receive Eucharist.

RITE OF ELECTION

The second major ritual of the RCIA program usually occurs on the First Sunday of Lent.  The local parish celebrates a Rite of Sending and prays for the candidates as they travel to the Cathedral to meet with the Archbishop where he admits them into the Elect — those to be fully received into the Church at the Easter Vigil.

PERIOD OF ENLIGHTENMENT

The final period of preparation coincides with Lent.  It is a time of spiritual reflection for all Catholics, and a special time of enlightenment for the Elect.

SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION

At the Easter Vigil (after sunset on Holy Saturday), the Elect and previously baptized Candidates celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism (for the unbaptized), Eucharist, and Confirmation.

WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP?

Anyone thinking about  becoming a Catholic or who would like more information should contact:  Mrs. Liz Ryan, Director of Religious Education at 843-6467 or Father Weber at 843-8482.