Can I start RCIA, now?

I have been studying and praying over my conversion for 4 years. I believe I have a well grounded understanding of the Catholic faith. I accept the teaching of the Church, ALL the doctrines of the Church. I pray the rosary and ask for the intercession of the Saints. I was wondering if a priest would be willing to let me start RCIA now? I know I have to talk to the priest in person of course. I also wanted to know if I could be confirmed in a different diocese, because of an emergency I have been attending Mass in a different diocese for the past month?

[quote="Lead_Me_Home, post:1, topic:183107"]
I have been studying and praying over my conversion for 4 years. I believe I have a well grounded understanding of the Catholic faith. I accept the teaching of the Church, ALL the doctrines of the Church. I pray the rosary and ask for the intercession of the Saints. I was wondering if a priest would be willing to let me start RCIA now? I know I have to talk to the priest in person of course. I also wanted to know if I could be confirmed in a different diocese, because of an emergency I have been attending Mass in a different diocese for the past month?

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Lead me Home:

The policies are different in different Dioceses and, sometimes, are different in different parishes. The best thing to do is to call the parish closest to where you're going to be spending most of your time, and ask for an appointment to talk to one of the priests. before your appointment, make a list of the books & articles you've read in your research. When you talk to your parish priest, explain just what you explained here, and don't be afraid to ask and answer questions, or to ask for "Private Instruction" if an RCIA Class isn't available.

RCIA was unheard of until the 1970's. before then, most converts to the Catholic Church received "Private Instruction" at the hands of a priest or other Sacred Minister.

May God go with you, and may the Lord bless you and protect you.

Your Brother & Servant in Christ, Michael

[quote="Lead_Me_Home, post:1, topic:183107"]
I have been studying and praying over my conversion for 4 years. I believe I have a well grounded understanding of the Catholic faith. I accept the teaching of the Church, ALL the doctrines of the Church. I pray the rosary and ask for the intercession of the Saints. I was wondering if a priest would be willing to let me start RCIA now? I know I have to talk to the priest in person of course. I also wanted to know if I could be confirmed in a different diocese, because of an emergency I have been attending Mass in a different diocese for the past month?

[/quote]

You can begin RCIA any time you want.

Now when you will receive the Sacraments of Initiation are another matter, and that will be determined by your priest. If you are already baptized, you can be brought into full communion with the Church after a suitable period of instruction.

I have been Baptizes, Trinitarian of course. I may need a conditional baptism, but that would just be a scrupulous precaution. I am confident my Baptism was valid, it is grace that brought me to Holy Mother Church.

I am SOOO Excited to start RCIA. I've been wading in the Tiber for nearly 5 years, that's nearly 30% of the years GOd has already given me. I'm telling my dad we'er going to the rectory Saturday. I could do a cart wheel right now.

[quote="Lead_Me_Home, post:1, topic:183107"]
I have been studying and praying over my conversion for 4 years. I believe I have a well grounded understanding of the Catholic faith. I accept the teaching of the Church, ALL the doctrines of the Church. I pray the rosary and ask for the intercession of the Saints. I was wondering if a priest would be willing to let me start RCIA now? I know I have to talk to the priest in person of course. I also wanted to know if I could be confirmed in a different diocese, because of an emergency I have been attending Mass in a different diocese for the past month?

[/quote]

It depends on how it's done in your area. Ideally, there should be a Period of Inquiry that runs year-round that anyone can join at any time. From there, an individual program plan is developed to get you through the remaining stages, which would take into account what your parish has available (ie: how many times a year they welcome new people into the Period of Catechesis) and other factors. Two immovable dates are the Rite of Election/Call to Continuing Conversion, which is the first weekend of Lent, and the Rites of Initiation themselves, which for unbaptized people, take place at the Easter Vigil. (If you are a Christian from another tradition, this could take place on any Sunday of the year, but again it is up to the parish priest to decide what works best for him.)

However, in the majority of cases here in North America, the RCIA is run like a college course, from September to early spring. They would not take you at this late date, since they are already finishing up the Period of Catechesis, and will be moving into the Period of Enlightenment very soon, and even though you probably "feel" as though you could start living the Catholic life right this minute, believe me, at the end of the process you will be glad of having taken the time to go through the whole RCIA process.

It really goes against our culture of instant gratification, and there are lots of people who will want to help you rush the process because why should anyone have to wait for something they want; the consumer has spoken - but taking your time has great benefits. My experience of people who race through RCIA is that they don't last very long in the Church, even when they were so on-fire for the faith at the time. Those who take their time become much more firmly rooted, and are more likely to make it through to the end.

RCIA is not necessarily a one time thing. If I go through the process now and after confirmation decide that I still want to learn more I can join the next RCIA class and also go to Bible study and other Parish programs. I know what you mean about those who rush though, one of my aunts converted then left the Church ten years later. She has joined several other Churches and is still lost among other things. This is why I have waited so long to start RCIA as well as the fact that my family is protestant. I don't know how to convince, nor is it necessary, but I have a deeply rooted faith and have stood in face of obstacle from family and the culture of the agnostics at my school. I can only pray that my faith continues to grow and stays strong through the Grace of God.

[quote="Lead_Me_Home, post:1, topic:183107"]
I have been studying and praying over my conversion for 4 years. I believe I have a well grounded understanding of the Catholic faith. I accept the teaching of the Church, ALL the doctrines of the Church. I pray the rosary and ask for the intercession of the Saints. I was wondering if a priest would be willing to let me start RCIA now? I know I have to talk to the priest in person of course. I also wanted to know if I could be confirmed in a different diocese, because of an emergency I have been attending Mass in a different diocese for the past month?

[/quote]

You really need to check with your local parish. Ideally they have a year-round program and bring new people in at various times through the year. Unfortunately many parishes treat RCIA as a school-year program so everyone starts in September.

The best thing to do is ask.

The RCIA at the Cathedral started in october, so if I start sunday I will have 77 days of RCIA opposed to the standard 100 or so days. I think that is sufficient. I am really going to ask, don't worry I have to.

[quote="Lead_Me_Home, post:7, topic:183107"]
RCIA is not necessarily a one time thing. If I go through the process now and after confirmation decide that I still want to learn more I can join the next RCIA class and also go to Bible study and other Parish programs. I know what you mean about those who rush though, one of my aunts converted then left the Church ten years later. She has joined several other Churches and is still lost among other things. This is why I have waited so long to start RCIA as well as the fact that my family is protestant. I don't know how to convince, nor is it necessary, but I have a deeply rooted faith and have stood in face of obstacle from family and the culture of the agnostics at my school. I can only pray that my faith continues to grow and stays strong through the Grace of God.

[/quote]

Yes, I know, but once you have started receiving the Sacraments you will no longer be eligible for the Rites, which are also very good for your soul.

My private suspicion is that the reason the "rushers" end up leaving the Church is because they never go through any of the Minor Exorcisms of RCIA (which go by other names so as not to freak people out), so while they are receiving the Sacraments, they are still in the grip of the Devil.

Don't let them "let you" skip the Rite of Welcome, which typically takes place at the beginning of Advent. If you feel that you really must enter the Church this Easter, then make sure they give you a Rite of Welcome "off the schedule", just for you. :)

And don't believe anybody who says, "Naaaah, ya don't need that; it's just extra fluff."

[quote="Lead_Me_Home, post:1, topic:183107"]
I have been studying and praying over my conversion for 4 years. I believe I have a well grounded understanding of the Catholic faith. I accept the teaching of the Church, ALL the doctrines of the Church. I pray the rosary and ask for the intercession of the Saints. I was wondering if a priest would be willing to let me start RCIA now? I know I have to talk to the priest in person of course. I also wanted to know if I could be confirmed in a different diocese, because of an emergency I have been attending Mass in a different diocese for the past month?

[/quote]

A person should be able to enter the INQUIRY phase of RCIA at any time. Call the parish office and ask for an appointment.

you should be able to start whenever you are ready, there is no provision in the rite for making people wait to begin their preparation, but if you are already baptized, are active in your faith and well instructed in sacred scripture and basic Christian doctrine, neither should you have to go through the entire RCIA process. My best advice is to interview with the pastor of the church nearest you and see how you can get started. There should be no reason why you cannot participate in instruction and formation in one parish, and be received in another for a good reason, and with proper communication between the priests involved.

I want to take every available opportunity to sound like a broken record (that's before CDs and IPODS, boys and girls) and remind all candidates and catechumens that the major factor, in my experience backed up by that of my colleagues, in whether or not a person remains an active Catholic after Easter, is participation in mystagogy in some way for the months and at least a year afterward, through which he becomes active in parish life and ministry. Anybody who approaches this process with an attitude of "what is the bare minimum and the shortest possible time in which I can turn my life around and make a major life change," is probably going to have an unsatisfactory experience.

:thumbsup: :amen:

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