SSJ - RCIA
We are so excited you are considering the Catholic faith and want to welcome you to our family! The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is designed to provide you with an opportunity to become more acquainted with our Catholic community, Sacred Scripture and Tradition, and the Gospel of Christ that guide our Catholic lives.
For questions please contact:
David Walsh, RCIA Director
Interested in Becoming a Catholic
Questions on RCIA
I’m already baptized in another denomination. Do I need to attend RCIA?
That depends. The Catholic Church doesn’t re-baptize people who are already baptized. If you are baptized but never received any instruction in the faith, you should receive instruction now and finish any sacraments you didn’t complete. We strongly recommend RCIA, even if you have been well instructed in another faith tradition since you will need to learn how the beliefs and practices you grew up with differ from the beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church. If you are a baptized and confirmed Catholic returning to the practice of the faith, you should talk to the pastor of the parish about how to proceed. We recommend that Catholics who have been away from the Church for many years (say, 10 or more) go through RCIA for the instruction.
I think I was baptized, but am not sure. What kind of information do I need to join RCIA?
If your church or congregation kept records, you’ll need to obtain a copy of your baptismal record — a certificate or a letter from the pastor there. Because locating records can be difficult or time-consuming, you should try to obtain these records as early in the process as possible. We must see these records to confirm your baptismal status before you’re received into the Church.If your church or congregation did not keep records or no longer exists, we can make other arrangements. Please contact a member of the Saint Simon and Jude parish staff.
I’ve been divorced but am not remarried. Can I become Catholic?
Certainly. Unless you plan to marry, you do not need to obtain an annulment.
I’ve been divorced and remarried, and my spouse is divorced and remarried.
Can I become Catholic?
You and your current spouse need to begin the annulment process, and you should begin it as soon as possible even if your spouse is not considering entry into the Church. Please contact the parish staff for information on how to proceed. Of course, you can attend RCIA instructions while the annulment process is ongoing. But reception into the Church has to wait until the annulment process has been completed.
What’s the cutoff date for joining RCIA?
The formal RCIA experience begins in September and runs through the weekend of Pentecost, five weeks following Easter. Unbaptized persons who have had no previous religious instruction are required to complete minimum catechetical cycle, participate in the Days of Reflection and Community Service projects.
When do you meet?
RCIA at Saint Simon and Jude meets on Sundays after Mass Beginning with the Rite of Acceptance and Welcoming, we attend 9:30 a.m. Sunday mass. Unbaptized (catechumens) are dismissed immediately after the homily to reflect on the Word as group. This is known as Breaking Open the Word.
How long does RCIA last?
Inquiry sessions (also known as Pre-Catechumenate) take place all year long Inquiry is designed to help you decide whether you want to continue since RCIA is a serious commitment. The formal RCIA experience begins in September and runs through the weekend of Pentecost, five weeks following Easter. Unbaptized persons who have had no previous religious instruction are required to complete minimum catechetical cycle, participate in the Days of Reflection and Community Service projects.
Reception of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, First Eucharist, and Confirmation) occurs at the Easter Vigil. If you have been baptized in another faith tradition you will not be re-baptized. The Neophyte year is a “soak-in” period for new Catholics. This is a time for you to consolidate what you have learned, and to explore more about life in the Catholic Church.
My schedule doesn’t permit me to attend your sessions. What should I do?
There are a couple of options. We may be able to arrange catechesis in a private setting with a qualified parishioner. Also, other parishes meet at different times, and you may prefer to attend RCIA one of them. We can provide information on when and where other parishes in the area offer instruction.
Deepening Our Catholicity
When we receive the Eucharist, Christ is in us.