Is RCIA universal?


Hello there dear friends,

As I have said a few times before, I want to become Catholic. All over CA and the US Catholic resources you see references to RCIA as the process to bring converts into the Church. I live in Germany, however, and have not heard of RCIA here. Is it a universal institution in the Church, or more of a US-only thing?

Thanks :)


Yes, I believe that the RCIA has been established for the universal church. Some parishes do not have it but the majority do. I am from the UK and was admitted over 10 years ago into the Catholic church and had to do the RCIA.:thumbsup:


It’s a rite of the universal Church.

However, RCIA is a relatively new rite (since the 1980s – which, in Church terms, is new) and may not be fully implemented in all places.


I wouldn’t know what it would be called here, and I have never read of it on any German Church website. When I went to talk to the priest here, he didn’t mention it either.


Even if he didn’t mention RCIA (or whatever the initials would be in Germany) I hope he had some idea of how you could become Catholic.


I suppose so. :slight_smile:


Where I live (France), RCIA does not exist as it does in the US (where I came from). As far as I can tell all religious instruction/education and sacramental preparation for adult converts occurs at the diocesan level rather than the parochial level, although I admit to not having looked into it very deeply (I am Catholic from the cradle). Perhaps it is the same in Germany...? Your pastor should know. If not, the diocesan offices will be able to tell you. God bless, and welcome home!


This is a link to a Catholic parish in Ranstein and there is news about RCIA with an email address. Perhaps you cold check in with this person and see if he could direct you somewhere near your town.


As Ramstein is an American Air Force base it doesn’t surprise me that this parish appears to offer RCIA at the parochial level, just as it would be in the US. In the context of Germany as a whole, however, this might be an exception rather than the norm. Couldn’t hurt to ask them anyway, I guess. :slight_smile:

OP, are you an expat or native German? Your profile indicates that you’re currently Anglican, which would indicate your being perhaps from the UK but I don’t want to assume anything.


Native German, with family in the UK and Anglican due to family history :slight_smile:


Having done the training “RCIA - Beginnings and Beyond” I came to realize that RCIA is often talked about as a specific way of teaching the faith. It’s not quite that simple or hard line.

RCIA presumes specific rituals at specific times during the process of conversion. The instructions, on the other hand, can be done individually, in a class setting, one-on-one with the priest or a catechist, etc. Each parish does what it needs to do depending on its resources and number of converts.

In our parish the one true convert we had was a child of 10 who met one-on-one with a catechist for over a year. She did all the rites that go with RCIA and was finally baptized at the Easter Vigil.

The Anglican spouse of a parishioner was received into full communion after a short period of study with a catechist. She had been coming to Mass for years with her husband.


Thank you for clarifying :slight_smile: I imagine, then, that you would prefer to go through RCIA in German rather than English (or any other language)…?

If/When you do find out how RCIA works in your diocese, I hope you’ll post what you discover about it. I for one am quite curious! God bless, and again, welcome home!


Indeed, German would be better, although I like the liturgy to be in English or Latin… Im strange! :slight_smile:

Once I find out, I’ll post it here.


RCIA is universal, as the church is! :smiley:

But if you can’t find a course that is close to where you live, you can arrange for catechism classes with a priest. You’ll still get baptised and receive all the sacraments. That’s what they did a long time ago, when RCIA wasn’t around.


[quote="mcrts, post:14, topic:326396"]
RCIA is universal, as the church is! :D

But if you can't find a course that is close to where you live, you can arrange for catechism classes with a priest. You'll still get baptised and receive all the sacraments. That's what they did a long time ago, when RCIA wasn't around.


I'll keep looking, but I suppose it isn't advertised so widely because there aren't so many converts here as in the US. Europe is less religious after all.

I am baptised, so that would only be Confirmation. :)


If you go to an F.S.S.P. parish there normally won’t be RCIA, there will be simply being instructed by the priest.



Oh, I wish there was an FSSP parish near my place. The nearest one is about 150 miles away. :frowning:


Does the ICRSS operate in your diocese? I spent three years sulking because the closest FSSP parish I could find that has EF Mass every Sunday is in another country (Belgium). Then I found out there’s an ICRSS chapel like 5km away from where I live and though I can’t get over there as much as I would like I’ve been a happy bunny ever since :smiley:

Now, how the ICRSS does religious instruction for adult converts…that I cannot tell you.


There wouldn’t be, I suppose. I’m in the diaspora, all is Lutheran up here. One is lucky to find a Catholic church at all!


Yep, it looks like the ICRSS is currently only active in the Archdiocese of Munich, the Diocese of Passau, and the Diocese of Trier. If you’re farther north than Mainz they’re probably out of reach for you, geographically speaking. Bummer. :frowning:

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