Is there a way to expedite the conversion process?

I have been working on a few of my family members to help them find their faith and their way to the Catholic Church. My sister and her husband really are feeling like they want to convert, especially now while their two children are so young. The only problem is they are a little turned off by a whole year of an RCIA process. With family and work it will be difficult for them to manage such an in-depth and lengthy program.

I realize that the program is very important and worthwhile – having gone through it myself – but I do not want to discourage them from joining by saying that is the only way for them to convert. I simply did not know what all ways it could be done. Is there a way to have an “expedited” or speedy conversion process?

RCIA is the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults and is intended primarily for catechumens – that is those who have never been baptized. For reasons of convenience and practicality, many parishes also process other adult converts through the RCIA program – such as baptized Christians and adult Catholics seeking to complete the initiatory sacraments – but RCIA is not required for them. If your sister and brother-in-law are already educated Christians who have studied the Catholic faith on their own, they should approach a priest to assess their readiness. He can offer them personal instruction to complete any deficiencies in their Catholic education, and receive them into the Church when he believes them to be ready. If your sister and brother-in-law are unable to find a priest to help them, I recommend contacting their local diocese for a referral.

If your sister and brother-in-law do happen to be catechumens, it is likely that they will be asked to complete the RCIA program. If there is practical assistance you can give them to facilitate their participation (e.g., babysitting), that may reassure them. They may also talk to their RCIA director about the possibility of make-up work or parishes with better class schedules if work conflicts with the RCIA class in their parish.

Recommended reading:

How to Become a Catholic

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