Did I read correctly?- RCIA Question

I just read in another thread that if you’re already a baptized christian you may not need to do the whole RCIA process.

Is this true? I’ve been baptized anglican and have been living protestant… but as we all know, that’s not the True Church and I wish to become Catholic.

Now I’m confused! Do I “sign up” for RCIA? If I indeed don’t need to do the whole process, how do I find out, and will I still be a true Catholic?

When I joined the Catholic Church, I was already baptized as a child in the Presbyterian Church. The Baptism was recognized and I had my certificate of Baptism. However, I was required to go through RCIA to be confirmed in the Catholic Church. RCIA has come a long way from 25 years ago when I went throught the program. It is a great foundation for learning about our faith, traditions, and doctrine. It also demonstrates how vast and deep the Catholic Faith is and that each person can further their walk with Jesus in many many ways. Good Luck and God Bless you.

The normal way adults are received into the Catholic Church is through the RCIA process. The length of preparation, the periods through which a candidate progresses, and the rites that celebrate transition from one period to the next vary depending on the baptismal status and needs of the individual. Best not to compare your situation to that of anyone else, including those brave candidates who have shared their experiences here. Please contact the pastor of the Catholic parish nearest you and schedule a personal face to face interview so he can get to know you and assess your personal situation and your needs. Even calling on the phone to the parish with a general question won’t give all the info you need

Welcome home!

Thank you so much for your answers- and for the advice.

I’ll call my local parish and schedule a sitdown- thank you for the suggestion Puzzleannie, and for the advice that I may not get all the answers I need through a phone conversation. Thank goodness someone told me!

In every parish where I coordinated RCIA, the formation of candidates varied on several factors, the most important being if they were formed or catechised in their church and how much of Catholicism they understand and profess belief in. We have had candidates who were simply baptised and knew nothing else not ever having practiced their own faith. They had to go through the whole process. We have had others who were well catechised, knew not only their own faith but the Cathoic faith as well and have been attending Mass for years. These people were brought into the church after a few months of catechesis and discernment. We had one women who practically was able to teach the sessions herself. We brought her into the church after a few weeks. Now she will be teaching CCD next year.

As a general rule, in any of my adult classes, the non-Catholic baptized Christians are the most knowledgeable about Christian doctrine in general, the bible, the beliefs of their own denomination and Catholic belief. Some do run into intellectual roadblocks regarding doctrine, but most roadblocks are procedural (annulment etc). They also tend to make the most rapid progress.

Baptized Catholic adults are the least knowledgeable. They are also most likely to drop out and to be seeking Confirmation because they want to get married, and to have unresolved issues, usually regarding marriage, that delays their progress.

Even unbaptized persons generally have some knowledge because they have usually been befriended by a good practicing Catholic who has been bringing them to Mass and explaining things to them (and who often becomes the sponsor). The discernment of their conversion is the most challenging part of RCIA and where the pastor’s involvement is critical.

Since all 3 categories of members have to cover the same ground, and I am only one person, we have one class. When necessary and with the pastor’s permission we make other arrangements for someone with specific needs–schedule, college, work, travel etc. Never came across a situation we could not work with, including deployed military men.

We schedule interview with the pastor for all, and he is usually able to assess when someone is going to need more, or less than the full year class. For instance, a person who had actually been teaching CCD with her husband, was well known to the pastor, yet never formally embraced the faith, needed only a few conversations with myself and the pastors on some doctrinal points, some intentsive prayer and a retreat, and was received into the Church after only a few weeks. yet she had been preparing for 20 years, ever since she married a Catholic and resolved to learn about his religion, honor the promise to raise the children Catholic, and worship together.

If I have 10 people who begin the class at roughly the same time (we go year-round) it almost never happens that all or even most celebrate the sacraments at the same time. People just do not progress on a spiritual plane according to a set schedule.

This is the way RCIA should be run. I agree that baptized non-Catechised Catholics are probably the most difficult to deal with in the process, although we have had a few over the years who were really eager to learn after having a personal conversion experience, but many are here because they are getting married and need to receive Confirmation (which in actually isn’t completley necessary to be married).

What do you do over the summer with those in your process? We live in an area where the people are gone on weekends during the summer and it is diffcult to gather on Sundays (our regular meeting day) or even during the week. Plus my vacation schedule also makes it a problem. I try to meet privatly with cats and cans at least twice during the summer and I also give them videos to watch (if they have a video machine, we don’t have too many dvd’s but we are building up a collection slowly). I have suggested books for them. If I get new inquierers I also meet with them several times and give them stuff to read. We begin again late August or early September. So far we have no new people but 4 Catechumens and two candidates. The candidates right now are in a seperate group because they are complicated cases and one does not speak English well as she is from Hungry. We have two uncatechised older teens, but one is leaving for college in a few weeks but I have put him in contact with the Newman club at his college and he is all set to continue his sessions there. We also have a few baptised children whose parents thought they were Cathoic just because the parents are, but they were baptised in other churches. We are still figuring out how to deal with them since they are already in CCD or the school. We have never had younger children in our process.

we do not meet in July because I am gone, so is most of the pastoral staff and most of the diocesan staff, and SoTex pretty much closes down in July (too hot to move). They have their “handouts” to reflect and study more on the topics of the last few weeks (Divine Revelation) and One Bread One Body for daily and Sunday scripture reflection and prayer. They also have an assignment to attend one or all:
vigil for opening of Pauline Year
Mass for Assumption and Parish picnic (Catholics must attend Mass of course)
and weekend retreat if possible at a number of suggested locations
pilgrimage to a sacred site close to wherever they are going on vacation (we have already researched these)
young adult weekend event for diocese
assist with VBS or other summer programs for children

we will be in touch my email as well

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.